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College Student Printable Packing Checklist: Moving Day Must-Haves

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College Packing List Hip2Save

Are you ready for college moving day?

Wondering about the best back to school items to make your college moving day easier? Fear not: we’ve got a printable checklist of things to take along! Although every campus offers different amenities and has different rules, this checklist is sure to make it SO much easier to remember the essentials while shopping, packing, and moving!

In addition, you can even customize this list! 🙌🏻

To customize it how you’d like, select only the items that you want below, click on the Print icon at the bottom of this post, and print a list with just those items! Now if only finals were this easy! 🤣

big lots dorm apartment shopping finds — pom pom blanket

And if you’re wondering what stores are the best to shop for the items on your list, be sure to check your local Dollar Tree first – as everything is just $1 each (or less)! Also, you can find awesome deals at stores like Big Lots, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and even Amazon.

NOTE: This checklist is not a comprehensive list and you may or may not need all of the items listed. Many schools will tell you what is and is not allowed, what is provided, and what is not and what to expect when you get there. Be sure to check with your specific college or university.

Also, many schools provide the dimensions for dorm rooms, beds, and windows to give you a good idea of sizes you’ll need, so check with them to be safe before making purchases.

Bed & Bath Items:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – a cart with sheets

Bed risers or blocks (for more space)

Toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, etc)


Office/Desk Supplies:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – a laptop on a desk

Printer (if not using center on campus)

Printer paper (if bringing a printer)

Camera (if not using cell phone)

School supplies (pens, pencils, paper, etc)


Dorm Room Items:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – assortment of window and desk fans


Laundry/Cleaning Supplies:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – Tide, Tide Pods, and Bounce

Cleaning supplies (dish soap, etc)

Quarters (if no laundry card)


Kitchen/Household:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – Rubbermaid food storage container

Travel coffee mug (for taking to class)

Hot pot or coffee-maker (if allowed)

Microwave (if allowed)

Small fridge (if allowed)


Important Documents:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – checkbook and pen closeup

Insurance cards

Credit/Debit/Prepaid card

List of emergency contacts

Social Security card

Bank info/checks (see this deal on checks!)


Miscellaneous:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – Duracell batteries



Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off running long distance, bargain shopping, warm weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.

Join The Discussion

Comments 17

  1. 3boys

    Mom of two current college students…
    Drop:
    trashcan (most rooms already have them, some even have recycle bins too)
    full-length mirror
    bulletin board or white board (choose one or a combination, some kids will hang a small white board outside the door for messages)
    laundry basket *with wheels* (my kids like one from Target that hangs on a hook or closet rod and has straps like a backpack), floor space is precious.
    fabric softener – actually sets stains in clothes
    Re-think laundry pods – most have too much detergent and that actually makes the clothes/bedding stiffer.
    Iron & ironing board
    drying rack (again, floor space is precious – they can hang wet items on hangers around the room if needed)
    Social Security card won’t be needed unless they are applying for a passport or a job. Scan it and keep a copy in their Google Drive.
    envelopes & stamps – only needed if they want to send bday cards

    Add:
    plastic shoe boxes: fill one with first aid & cold supplies, second with school supplies, third with (ear buds, HDMI cable, ethernet cable, spare light bulb, etc).
    milk crates – great for hauling items to/from college; in dorm room can stack on their sides for ‘bookcase’ type storage.
    make sure the floor rug is washable!

    Get them used to using Google Drive / Microsoft OneDrive / Dropbox for *everything* if their computer crashes or gets stolen then they can still access their school work (a Chromebook is fantastic for college and will automatically use Google Drive).
    My one college student (an hour away) and I use a Google Keep note for reminders of what they need/want for the next visit.

    • dona

      Thank you for this!

  2. Gisette

    Good list! Just don’t let your child bring every single item from their home bedroom. Our daughters roommate last year had so much stuff it looked so cluttered on her side of the room. Less is more – I promise!

  3. Laura

    Yes, bring only about a third of that list and you should be good! We made a pile in the dining room of everything we thought might be needed. I went through it with my son item by item and got rid of about half of it. This spring I had him bring back things he did not need or use and about 20% made it back home again. So, don’t get carried away. All that stuff has to be transported and then stored (at sometimes great expense) so only bring essentials!

  4. Desiree

    Great advice above! My two college girls love laundry pods. They’re comfortable using them because its what we use at home. Both said no to fabric softener. Both schools provided a recycle bin but no trash can, so agree with checking to confirm what your kid’s school actually provides. For girls, I find the biggest challenge tends to be limiting amount of clothes/shoes (keep it seasonal) and limiting the amount of “cute” decor that soon becomes clutter in a small room.

  5. Tia

    Oh how I wish I could be preparing to head to college. These kids have it so easy these days with their unlimited phone plans and Google! Lol

  6. AZ

    I’d definitely go w/ liquid detergent over pods as the latter is much more expensive and most college students are on a strict budget. Also for college students that have a car, it’s better for them to take less stuff w/them on moving day since they can always go grab whatever is needed from Target etc. once classes start.

  7. bdubs

    Under documents, it’s been suggested to get a HIPPA waiver and a medical POA so if anything happens you (parents) can be contacted and make decisions for them.
    Our school requests laundry pods so kids don’t overfill the washers.
    Door stop to keep the dorm door open to meet new people
    We also had our kids shop the cheapest store around — our house! Towels, dishes, utensils, pans, most bedding, etc. WE all have extras. Save the new stuff for when they need it.

    One thing we found out about the hard way — don’t pay for anything with a credit/debit card to the school. Most charge a 3-4% fee for using credit. Do an electronic check wherever possible.

  8. Sara

    Instead of brining the actual social security card, bring several paper copies. Also, bring several paper copies of their birth certificate. Make several paper copies of the front and back of their drivers license/state id.

    Cloud only copies of anything are no good if that storage service or all available computers are down. Paper copies and flash drives are better. No internet access required. Paper copies can be accessed immediately. Cloud copies and flash drives take time that you may not have.

    • Sara

      *bringing, not brining

    • Cindy

      The original is required for a job/work study though.

      • Sara

        My work study job only asked for copies. That way they didn’t have to use their time or paper to make copies from the originals. They made me do it.

  9. MBell

    Great list! For locked storage, we used a filing cabinet which provides a great base for printer. Basic silverware set is listed twice FYI. We used cotton shower curtain to cover closet clutter. Inexpensive blackout curtains and rod from IKEA (hung using Command strips) were much appreciated by our son. $99 refrigerator with separate freezer from Costco has worked great. Bed risers and over the door hooks are not permitted in some dorms so check ahead.

  10. Jodi P

    DON’T BRING………………High School stuff. Photos, yearbooks, awards, team clothing, bedding in high school colors, etc. N.O.B.O.D.Y. cares what high school you went to, or about your high school friends, or about how great you were in high school. Cloaking yourself and your room in your high school stuff just tells everyone that you don’t really want to be at college, you don’t have room for new friends, and you don’t want to grow up. Time for new friends and new memories!

  11. Jodi P

    Now I’m getting nostalgic for college dorm life! LOL That was thirty years ago, before cell phones, internet, and even personal computers. I live a few blocks from my old college, and I’m still nostalgic when I drive there.

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