We write about this topic pretty much every year. For example, here are some prior year posts we’ve run on the topic:

15 Things to be sure to take to college. Or buy when you get there (2013)

The Dorm Room Must Haves for Heading Off to College (2015)

This time, however, it hits particularly close to home. Make that literally at my home. After 18 glorious years, we are packing our only child up and sending him on the road. To College. Yikes. I’m gonna say what every parent says.

The days sometimes take forever, but the years just fly by.

First Day of School


So for packing for college this year, I am providing an exhaustive list ~ the one my fab friend Liz Shea sent me ~ for both your and my reference.

Sadly, since he’s your standard issue athlete man-child, I was not able to interest him in any of the adorable LeighDeuxDorm.com items we featured last month. The good news is that the decor and clothes will be easy with this one, but for many of your and yours, the dorm decor and packing clothing take primary focus.

Just in case you never get past thinking through whether or not she should pack 4 or 10 cocktail dresses with matching heels, this list covers off a lot of the things you might not have on your docket. The CONTAINER STORE has an awesome online section just for college dorming, including a list by school of what you can and cannot bring for some colleges. If you don’t want to spend Container Store prices, you can always search for items on Amazon and maybe even next day ship to school via prime.


Toiletries You Might Not Think Of:

Nail clippers/scissors/file
Sea Breeze for sensitive skin – good to use as an antiseptic if have a cut
Small cotton balls/cotton pads
Small first aid kit
Athletes foot powder/spray 
Small tube of aquaphor for dry/cracked skin
Sunscreen & chapstick
Shower shoes for the communal shower
Lighted mirror
Hanging Full Length Mirror


Bedding and Bath:

2 -4 bath towels, 2-4 hand towels and a few washcloths
Robe (if will be used)
Clip on lamp for bed
Bedside caddy for phone and a few things
Twin XL Sheets, 2 sets ~ Wash before packing.
Blanket that is washable
Comforter and 2 hypoallergenic pillows
Pillow cases – 100 % cotton; 2 sets
Allergenic Pillow case covers – prevents bed bugs
Mattress cover – seals the mattress and prevents bed bugs
Twin XL mattress pad
Mattress topper – for softer mattress
Extra washable blanket




Decorative pillows
Wall décor items available at Bed Bath Beyond, Target, and online at PBdorm, dormify, Leighdeuxdorm, etc.
String lights to brighten the room
Things to hang on the wall (photos, posters, white board or memo board) with 3M hangers or whatever is allowed
Here’s our post on Locally Made Gifts at Our CLT Shops if you want to be sure to send yours off with some great mementos of home



For School Work

Apple TV
Small tool kit for putting things together
Back pack
Surgeprotector (2)
Lamp for desk
Batteries for everything
Extension cords
Extra phone charging cords and charging station
Desk accessories (pen/pencil cup, blotter, trays for the desk drawers, book stands)
Notebooks, dividers and loose leaf paper
Pens, pencils, calculator, highlighters
Glue stick
Paper clips, rubber bands
Index cards, post it notes



For the Room

COMMAND HOOKS for hanging things on the walls
Plastic bins for storage
Over the door shoe holder for shoes
Mini fridge
Brita water filter and extra filters
A great water bottle/thermos
Snacks/basket for the snacks
Alarm clock
Speaker for music
TV if not using computer to watch tv shows
Handvac if not provided by school
Garbage bags (big and waste basket size)
Ziploc bags
Duct tape
TP (a couple rolls)
Paper towels (a couple rolls)
Clorox wipes
Small safe for valuables and medicine
Airpurifier (great if student has allergies)
Assorted baskets and organizers for drawers and room to keep things neat / organized
Extra folding seat for guests or folding step stool
Twin blow up mattress for guests (if there’s room to store it)
Loft the bed or use Bed Lifts to provide more storage with under bed storage options
Bike with bike lock
Overnight bag for quick trips



Clothing You Might Not Think About

Hangers for clothes
Iron or steamer
Laundry basket
Detergent, dryer sheets and oxyclean, spray & wash and bleach pen
Gym shorts/shirts, bathing suit or workout wear
Dress shoes, belts
Blazer/dress pants/button downs/ties (Boys)
Semi formal dresses or outfits for Girls
Winter coat, gloves, boots, scarf and hat (if in colder weather)
Comfortable loungewear