Today I’m sharing my ultimate college packing list as I go into my sophomore year of college! There are so many posts about how much you desperately need to bring all these crazy things. Because college living spaces are notoriously undersized, over-packing can be a big issue. When it comes to actually packing what you need, the below items should definitely get stuffed into your parents’ van.

Click here for our free printable checklist to cross things right off your list!


  • comforter or quilt
  • two sets of twin XL sheets
  • two regular pillows
  • two throw blankets!
  • mattress topper/pad


  • a bright desk lamp, or one with multiple settings
  • sticky notes
  • lots of index cards
  • black pens
  • one set of colored pens
  • 3-4 highlighters
  • a pack of number two pencils
  • legal pads/preferred note taking system
  • folders
  • filing system
  • your planner of choice
  • ruler
  • calculator


  • plastic shower caddy
  • cheap flip flops or shower shoes
  • 2-3 towels
  • a modest robe
  • personal toiletries
  • hand soap for the sink in your room


  • coffee maker
  • mugs
  • coffee
  • tea
  • non-perishable food items
  • microwave
  • microwaveable dish
  • paper/styrofoam plates
  • plasticware
  • water bottle
  • tupperware for leftovers
  • canned soup


  • hangers
  • over the door shoe organizer
  • work out clothes
  • comfortable shoes
  • lots of jeans
  • layer-friendly clothing
  • t-shirts
  • tank tops
  • 2-3 dresses
  • 1-2 skirts


  • a small tool kit
  • command hooks
  • first aid kit


  • ALL of your makeup
  • ALL of your hair tools
    • just your everyday ones
  • ALL of your nail polish
    • choose 5 colors
  • Knick-knacks (non wall decor)

What are your must haves at school? Anything you wish you would’ve left at home? Let us know in the comments below! We will continue to build this list.


The Ultimate College Packing List
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The Ultimate College Packing List
Everything you need to know about packing for college. The Ultimate College Packing List and a free printable version to cross things off!
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More About the Author

Sara Fry
Sara Fry
Sara is from Austin, TX and currently attends college at UNT. She’s an Art and Design Studies major with a minor in entrepreneurship. She runs her own blog at, and is also an art gallery manager. She enjoys writing about her experience as an art student, her struggle with mental illness, and her college experiences.

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