The Ultimate College Packing List for 2024 (FREE Printable Checklist)

This post is all about the ultimate college packing list for 2024. You’ll find everything you need to pack for college this year.

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Packing for college can be stressful! There are SO many things to consider and it can be hard to keep track of everything.

To help you out, we’ve put together the ultimate college packing list. It has EVERYTHING that you’ll need for freshman year – dorm bedding, organization, electronics, kitchen items, and much more!

With this list, you’ll feel much more prepared to take on your freshman year of college.

To make the process easier for you, we’ve also converted this college packing list into a free printable PDF.

Download Our Free College Packing List

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    Dorm Bedding Essentials

    Here’s everything you need to have a dorm bed that’s comfy enough to be a hotel bed.

    [RELATED: How to Make Your Dorm Bed More Comfortable (On A Budget)]

    Twin XL Sheets

    The main thing to look for when choosing sheets for your dorm room is that they come in the Twin XL size.

    These sheets from the brand Mellanni are the perfect size, super affordable, and feel insanely luxurious. I’ve had them for years and I will never buy another brand!

    Comforter or Quilt

    Your bed is one of the main focal points of your dorm room. So you definitely need to find bedding that matches your decor style!

    Go with a solid color comforter or find a fun patterned quilt!

    Some of the best places to get dorm comforters are Amazon and Dormify. If you prefer to shop in person, I’ve found some really cute bedding sets at Home Goods and Target!

    Mattress Topper

    Trust me, this is an absolute dorm room essential. Most dorm room mattresses are thin, hard, and uncomfortable.

    A thick mattress topper will make the biggest difference in your comfort and sleep quality.

    The one linked above is my all-time favorite mattress topper. It’s insanely thick and honestly feels like you’re sleeping on a cloud.

    If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, this one is more affordable and still has great reviews.

    Pillow Top Twin XL Mattress Pad
    Buy Now
    04/16/2024 09:56 pm GMT

        Supportive Pillows

        Shredded Memory Foam Pillow – Queen Size Set of 2
        $34.99 ($17.50 / Count)
        Buy Now
        04/16/2024 09:58 pm GMT

        Having a good pillow or two is absolutely essential for creating the comfiest dorm bed.

        I think memory foam pillows are the comfiest but bring whatever you usually use at home!

        Extra Blankets

        You probably won’t be able to control the temperature in your dorm room. Make sure you pack a few extra blankets for those cold late-night study sessions.

        Bonus: having layers on your bed also makes it feel much more luxurious.

        Bed Skirt

        A bed skirt definitely isn’t essential but it can be nice to have! It’s a great way to hide everything under your bed and make your room look a little more put-together.

        Make sure to get an extra long one so you can use it with bed risers.

        Bedside Table

        A bedside table is an absolute essential for a college dorm room. You’re going to need a place to set your phone, water bottle, glasses, etc. when you sleep.

        These bedside shelves are made specifically for dorm rooms and they’re so handy, especially if you’re planning on lofting your bed.

        If you’re not planning on lofting your bed all the way, an extra tall bedside table will work perfectly. This one from Dormify is awesome because it has built in charging ports!


        A headboard isn’t 100% essential, but it does make your dorm room look so much more put together.

        Dorm Bathroom Supplies

        Sharing a bathroom isn’t always easy but these essential items will make it much more tolerable.

        [RELATED: 18 Dorm Bathroom Essentials You Can’t Forget To Pack]

        Shower Caddy

        Portable Mesh Shower Caddy
        Buy Now
        04/16/2024 10:09 pm GMT

        Shower caddies are absolutely essential for transporting your shower products to and from the dorm bathroom.

        I liked having a mesh shower caddy because it allowed for better drainage than the plastic ones.

        Towel Set

        Amazon Basics 6-Piece Towel Set, 100% Cotton
        $18.99 ($3.16 / Count)
        Buy Now
        04/16/2024 10:14 pm GMT

        Towels are an obvious dorm bathroom essential. The most affordable way to shop for towels is to buy them in a set.

        This set from Amazon comes with two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths. There are a few different colors to choose from, so you can match them to your dorm color scheme.

        Towel Wrap

        A towel wrap definitely needs to be on your dorm room packing list.

        You’re going to be walking down the hall to and from the dorm bathroom every time you shower. It’s so nice not to have to worry about your towel slipping down.

        Shower Shoes

        Trust me, you do not want to be walking around barefoot in a communal bathroom.

        Make sure you get ones with holes in the bottom so you don’t track a ton of water back into your dorm room.

        Toiletry Case

        A toiletry case is a bathroom essential you don’t want to forget on your college packing list.

        The ones that have hooks are ideal for dorms because you can hang them on the door or by the sink when you get ready.

        First Aid Kit

        Yes, the front desk probably has a spare bandaid. But do you really want to be waiting for the elevator with a giant paper cut at 2am?

        Trust me, keeping a first aid kit in your dorm room will be so useful.


        This obviously depends on you and your needs but here are some common toiletries that you can add to your college packing checklist.

        • Toothbrush
        • Toothpaste
        • Floss
        • Shampoo and Conditioner
        • Face Wash
        • Lip Balm
        • Skincare
        • Lotion
        • Makeup & brushes
        • Sunscreen
        • Deodorant

        Miscellaneous Bathroom Supplies

        These are some commonly forgotten dorm bathroom items that should be on your college packing list.

        • Shaving Cream
        • Razor
        • Cotton Balls
        • Q-Tips
        • Tweezers
        • Nail Clippers
        • Feminine Products
        • Nail Polish & Remover
        • Glasses, Contacts, & Contact Solution
        • Hair Styling Tools
        • Medications

        Dorm Closet Essentials

        If your dorm has a closet, these are some essential items that you should pack to make sure you stay organized.


        Black Velvet Hangers, 60 Pack
        $23.95 ($0.40 / Count)
        Buy Now
        04/16/2024 10:21 pm GMT

        Velvet hangers are thinner than normal hangers which allows you to hang more clothes in a small dorm closet.

        Laundry Hamper

        Rolling Laundry Hamper, 60L
        Buy Now
        04/16/2024 10:23 pm GMT

        Hauling your laundry from your dorm room to the laundry room can be a huge pain.

        Get a laundry basket that rolls for easy transport.

        Shoe Organization

        If you have a lot of shoes, a hanging shoe organizer is a great way to save some space in a cramped dorm room.

        You could also opt for shoe organizers that can fit underneath a bed.

        Full Length Mirror

        I’m not sure how people can survive without a full length mirror! I always like to check my outfit before I leave for class or a party.

        If your dorm room doesn’t have one, an easy solution is an over-the-door mirror. I love this one because it has built in storage for jewelry, accessories, and makeup!

        Dorm Kitchen Supplies

        Here’s everything you’ll need for a well-stocked dorm room kitchen.

        [RELATED: 20 Dorm Kitchen Essentials You’ll Actually Use In Your College Dorm]

        Mini Fridge

        Having a mini fridge was great for keeping snacks and drinks in my dorm room. Just make sure your dorm room doesn’t already have one before you buy.

          Fridge Caddy

          A mini fridge caddy is one of the most genius dorm items.

          It hangs over the top of your fridge and has little pockets for all of your snacks and utensils. Such a perfect way to utilize otherwise unused space!

          Coffee Maker

          Keurig K-Mini Plus Single Serve Coffee Maker, Black
          $88.99 ($88.99 / Count)
          Buy Now
          04/16/2024 10:34 pm GMT

          You can’t always run to the campus coffee shop for your morning cup. Having a small coffee maker in your dorm room lets you make a good cup of coffee anytime.

          The mini Keurig is perfect for dorm rooms because it’s super compact and allows you to make one cup at a time.


            Even if you plan on having every meal in the cafeteria, you’ll still want a few dishes in your dorm room for snacks.

            Get an affordable set of dinnerware that you can use throughout the year. Just make sure you buy a set that is microwave safe!

            Travel Mug

            YETI Rambler 20 oz Travel Mug
            Buy Now
            04/16/2024 10:37 pm GMT

            Make sure you get a durable travel mug so you can bring your coffee to class with you.

            My favorite travel mug is this one from Yeti. It keeps your drinks hot for the whole day and it’s insanely durable.

            Water Bottle

            A water bottle is a major college essential. Get one that will keep your water cool forever like a Stanley, YETI, or Hydroflask.

            Containers for Snacks/Leftovers

            Food Storage Containers, 6-Pack
            $9.99 ($1.66 / Count)
            Buy Now
            04/16/2024 10:41 pm GMT

            If you like to bring snacks for class, keep a few containers in your dorm room.

            You can clean them pretty easily and they’re better on the environment than Ziploc bags.

            Brita Filter

            Sometimes the tap water in your dorm doesn’t taste the best.

            If you have a water filter pitcher you can fill your bottle up with great tasting water any time.

            Dorm Room Furniture

            [RELATED: 20 Cute & Comfortable Dorm Chairs for College]


            If you can fit a futon in your dorm room, I highly recommend you do so. Whenever you have friends over to your room, they’ll have a comfy spot to sit.

            I love this one because it’s affordable and the faux leather is perfect for wiping up spills.

              Storage Ottoman

              A storage ottoman is a dorm room essential because it serves so many purposes.

              It can be extra seating for when friends visit, a footrest for your futon, and a storage spot. I loved putting my extra blankets in there when they weren’t in use.

              Storage Shelves

              ClosetMaid 6 Cube Storage Shelf
              Buy Now
              04/16/2024 10:51 pm GMT
              Collapsible Fabric Storage Cubes, 6-Pack
              $24.79 ($4.13 / Count)
              Buy Now
              04/16/2024 10:52 pm GMT

              My roommate had these storage cube shelves in our dorm and I was so jealous of the amount of storage she had!

              You can use these to store miscellaneous items like extra school supplies, snacks, toiletries, etc.

              Curtains & Curtain Rod

              If you’re a light sleeper and get woken up easily by the sun, blackout curtains will be an absolute dorm room essential for you.

              Hang them with no-drill curtain rods. PERFECT for your college dorm room.

              Locking Safe

              Petty theft is more common than you may think in dorm rooms.

              Keep your valuables safe by locking them up in a lock box or safe while you’re out of your room.

              Dorm Decor Essentials

              This is the fun part – decorating your dorm room! Here are some of the best dorm decor items.

              [RELATED: 11 Cutest Dorm Room Wall Decor Ideas You’ll Want To Copy]

                Throw Pillows

                Plush Decorative Throw Pillow Covers, 2-Pack
                $16.99 ($8.50 / Count)
                Buy Now
                04/16/2024 11:01 pm GMT

                Throw pillows are a fun way to add a pop of color to your bed or futon.

                Just make sure you don’t go overboard! You’ll need room to store them when you’re sleeping in your bed.

                  Area Rug

                  Ultra Soft Shaggy Area Rug
                  Buy Now
                  04/16/2024 11:05 pm GMT

                  A cute rug is a great way to add some texture and color to your dorm room. Plus you never really know how well they cleaned the floors before you moved in.

                  An area rug is a great way to cover up the gross dorm floors and make the whole room more cozy.

                  Wall Tapestry

                  Wave Wall Tapestry
                  Buy Now
                  04/16/2024 11:06 pm GMT

                  Tapestries are an awesome damage-free way to add a huge pop of color and design to your dorm room. They’re cheap, lightweight, and easy to remove when you move out.

                  Pick a tapestry that goes with your theme and it will tie the whole room together nicely!

                  [RELATED: 35 Cute Tapestries To Hang in Your Dorm Room]

                  String Lights

                  Dorm room lighting is usually pretty harsh and fluorescent. Adding some cute fairy lights can create nice ambiance and help fill in a blank wall.

                  Dorm Cleaning Supplies

                  The right products can help you maintain a fresh and clean dorm room all semester. Here are the essentials that you’ll need for cleaning your dorm.

                  [RELATED: 21 Dorm Cleaning Supplies Every College Student Needs]

                  Disinfectant Wipes

                  Lysol Disinfectant Wipes, 80 Count
                  $5.47 ($0.07 / Count)
                  Buy Now
                  04/16/2024 11:12 pm GMT

                  If I had to pick just one cleaning product that is a dorm room essential, I would pick disinfectant wipes.

                  Wipes are a quick, effortless way to keep your dorm room clean. Just wipe down surfaces a couple times a week.

                  All Purpose Cleaner

                  Method All-Purpose Cleaner Spray, Lime + Sea Salt
                  $4.18 ($0.15 / Fl Oz)
                  Buy Now
                  04/16/2024 11:13 pm GMT

                  All purpose cleaner is definitely one of the top essential dorm cleaning supplies because it’s so versatile.

                  Use it to clean your dresser, desk, door handles, sinks, countertops, etc.

                  Laundry Detergent

                  This is obviously a must have cleaning item!

                  Remember to get one that’s compatible with all types of washing machines because you never know what kind they’ll have in your dorm building.

                  Dryer Sheets

                  Dryer sheets actually serve multiple purposes.

                  Yes, they make your clothes smell good and keep them soft. But you can also stick them in your dorm vent as a quick air freshener!

                  Compact Vacuum

                  Having a compact vacuum cleaner in your dorm room saves you a ton of time and sanity. This one is super affordable and works really well.

                  Paper Towels

                  Clean up your spilled coffee, use them as a napkin, cover things in the microwave, dry your hands with them, etc.

                  Paper towels are super versatile and definitely a dorm room essential.

                  Dish Soap

                  Dish soap is essential for keeping your dishes clean. You probably won’t have a ton of dishes to do in your dorm room, so a small bottle is probably fine for the semester.

                  Scented Trash Bags

                  Glad Small Drawstring Trash Bags, Lemon Fresh Scent
                  $5.58 ($0.16 / Count)
                  Buy Now
                  04/16/2024 11:17 pm GMT

                  Scented trash bags will cover up the scent of whatever you’re throwing away. Your roommates will definitely thank you for bringing these!

                  Air Freshener Spray

                  A lot of dorm rooms have pretty bad airflow which can leave them smelling a little musty.

                  A good room spray isn’t a substitute for cleaning, but it can definitely help mask some unidentifiable odors.

                  School Supplies for College

                  While you’re getting all your dorm stuff together, don’t forget you’ll actually be attending classes too! Here are some essentials for class that you need to pack.

                  [RELATED: 23 College Backpack Essentials: Must-Have Items For Students]


                  You’ll obviously need a backpack to carry around the rest of your school supplies.

                  Make sure you get one that’s durable enough for a laptop, heavy books, and all of your supplies.


                    I am a firm believer in keeping a planner at all times, but especially in college!

                    You can plan for your future assignments and keep all of your social events organized.

                    Miscellaneous School Supplies

                    • Pencils & Pens
                    • Highlighters
                    • Stapler
                    • Scissors
                    • Binders
                    • Notebooks
                    • Sticky Notes
                    • Tape

                    Dorm Electronics

                    Laptop + Charger

                    Laptops are an obvious essential for college students nowadays.

                    Between online classes, online textbooks, and online assignments, everything you do in college is going to involve your laptop in some way or another.

                    A good laptop is definitely an important investment for anyone heading off to college.

                    Clip On Fan

                    Portable Clip-on Fan, 3 Speed
                    Buy Now
                    04/16/2024 11:33 pm GMT

                    Dorm rooms get stuffy and you’re going to want to have some air circulation. This fan clips onto your bed or desk so you can stay cool in your room.

                    Power Strip

                    Most dorm rooms do not have nearly enough outlets and they’re always in inconvenient locations.

                    Having a power strip will allow you to plug in all of the essentials. I like this one because it has built in USB ports too.


                    Depending on what classes you’re going to be taking, you’ll probably need some kind of graphing calculator.

                    Yes, your phone does the trick for homework but you’ll need an actual calculator for exams

                    Extra Long Charging Cords

                    You may not have an outlet right next to your bed or desk, so extra long charging cords always come in handy.

                    These are also great for studying in the library or coffee shops when outlets aren’t right next to you.


                    Good headphones are especially important in college! You’ll use them while walking to class, studying, or working out.

                    I recommend getting ones with noise cancellation so you can drown out noisy roommates.

                      Desk Lamp

                      Dorm rooms aren’t exactly known for having great lighting. Get a good desk lamp so you can can actually see what you’re working on.

                      Portable Speaker

                      Portable speakers are perfect for dorm room dance parties, picnics, and beach days. Get a waterproof speaker and you can even take it into the shower!

                      White Noise Machine

                      If you’re a light sleeper, you’re definitely going to want to bring a white noise machine to college.

                      This will help drown out hallway noise, your roommate’s late-night study sesh, etc.

                      Miscellaneous College Essentials


                      totes Clear Bubble Umbrella
                      Buy Now
                      04/16/2024 11:30 pm GMT

                      An umbrella will be super useful when you need to walk to class on rainy days.

                      You could opt for a raincoat, but I prefer an umbrella so that it protects your backpack too.

                      Collapsible Luggage

                      Collapsible Rolling Suitcase
                      Buy Now
                      04/16/2024 11:31 pm GMT

                      Collapsible luggage is useful for moving into your dorm room. I recommend keeping one or two of them in your room for when you go back to visit home.

                      Lighted Makeup Mirror

                      The lighting in most dorm rooms is pretty awful. If you plan on doing your makeup in your room, you definitely need some kind of lighted makeup mirror.

                      This rechargeable mirror folds up and is perfect for dorm life.

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