College Packing List

In the last week, I’ve had a few friends ask me if I have a college packing list. And given that we’re moving our third guy into school this August, I do finally have a pretty good one. Most of the things I buy for the kids come from Target or Amazon, so I will link what I can below. I always buy everything ahead of time and drive it to school, but I know most kids who go to college out of state can buy their items ahead of time and have them available for pickup when they arrive, or delivered right to their dorm room. (Be sure to check into this if you have a child attending college far away!) And Homegoods is my absolute favorite place to find the things that make a dorm room feel a little more like home. I hope your kids turn you loose in one like mine do.

Let’s do this!



Mattress pad

Sheets (most college dorm beds are twin XL…this was news to me!)




Body pillow (My daughter Grace had this because her bed was right up against a cement wall and this gave her a little cushion)

Headboard (this is more decorative than functional, but gave a little buffer again between the cement wall and Grace’s head. I didn’t have to get for our son Eddie because his dorm had newer furniture–totally explains Grace’s and Eddie’s lot in life in a nutshell.)

Under bed storage


Shower caddy

Shower shoes (flip flops or slides)


Wash cloths

Hand towels

Rug for in front of room sink

Toiletries (including hand soap and dish soap for room sink if there is one)

First aid: Bandaids, cold medicine, pain reliever, vitamins



Mini fridge

Trunk for all the stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else

Love seat or futon (Facebook Marketplace is also great for this)

TV (Facebook Marketplace is great for this, too)

Amazon Firestick for TV

Collapsable hamper

Laundry basket 

Tide pods (kids seem to like this over the big jug of detergent)



Fan (even if the dorm has air conditioning, this seems to come in handy)


Stackers for sweaters

Shoe rack or over-the-door shoe bag



School supplies

Desk lamp

Extension cords

Surge protectors


Backpack/book bag


Water bottle

Coffee maker

Travel coffee mug

Place setting (or plastic and paper ones that they can just throw away work great, too)


Cleaning items (paper towels, disinfectant, Swiffer sweeper)

A good winter coat if they’re going somewhere cold



Pro Tips:

–If you are driving, we bring all of the clothes already on hangers and then we could just hang them right up when we get into the room.

–Last year, I asked Eddie if he could give me his “must-have” ideas for school and they were pretty funny. These might be helpful, too.

–And one more little story I put together last August after I moved Grace in for her senior year.

As always, just holler if you have any questions. Good luck!


Picture by Jenn Marie Creative

My name is Ann Marie Scheidler and I'm thrilled you've decided to check out my blog. I'm a pearl-loving yogi with a thing for travel, a weakness for beautiful bags, and a passion for storytelling. In this space, I'll be sharing stories about my family, go-to recipes, my wellness journey, fashion and beauty favorites, and my love for Chicago’s North Shore. I find new inspiration wherever I go. Thanks so much for coming along for the ride!


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Leave a Comment


  1. Amy R wrote:

    We just discovered these laundry sheets to replace bulky/heavy detergent bottles. Nice idea and enviro friendly!

    Posted 7.13.22 Reply
    • Ann Marie Scheidler wrote:

      Yay! Thank you for sharing!

      Posted 7.13.22 Reply
  2. […] College Packing List […]

    Posted 7.19.22 Reply