College Packing List – What to Bring on Move in Day

college move in day

Heading off to college is an exciting time filled with new experiences and challenges. One of the first tasks you’ll face is deciding what to bring with you. While it’s important to bring items that will make your dorm room feel like home, it’s equally important to remember that space is limited.

Do note that each school is different and this is a general list to start off. We have also included Amazon links to where to purchase these items to make things easier for you. College students can sign up for a free 6 Month Amazon Prime Trial. Make sure to take advantage of this!

As an Amazon Associate, we may receive compensation from purchases made through the links in this post.

Here’s a list of essentials that you may need, as well as a list of items that are typically not allowed in dorm rooms.

Bedroom Essentials:

  1. Bedding (sheets, pillowcases, comforter) – Check if the dorms have Twin or Twin XL beds.
  2. Pillows
  3. Mattress topper
  4. Laundry basket or bag
  5. Hangers
  6. Desk lamp
  7. Alarm clock
  8. Fan

Kitchen Essentials:

  1. Mini fridge – Check if your dorm allows this.
  2. Microwave – Again, check if this is allowed.
  3. Utensils, plates, and bowls
  4. Cups and mugs
  5. Snacks


  1. Casual clothes
  2. Workout clothes
  3. One or two formal outfits
  4. Pajamas
  5. Underwear and socks
  6. Shoes (casual, athletic, formal)
  7. Swimsuit
  8. Rain jacket and umbrella


  1. ID, debit/credit card, insurance cards
  2. Prescription medications
  3. First aid kit
  4. Power strip (may not be allowed for some schools)
  5. Chargers for electronics
  6. Decorations to personalize your space
  7. A few favorite books or games for downtime

For parents – make sure to prepare your legal documents such as Power of Attorney. These documents are something you hope you’ll never use, but if your adult student has an unexpected health or financial emergency, these documents ensure that you have the power to help. You can get it done through Mama Bear Legal Form.

Items Not to Bring:

  1. Candles or incense – Fire safety is a big concern in dorms.
  2. Pets – Most dorms do not allow pets, with the exception of fish in a small tank and approved service animals.
  3. Large furniture – Space is limited in dorm rooms.
  4. Halogen lamps – These can be a fire hazard.
  5. Weapons – This includes items that can be used as weapons, like certain types of knives.
  6. Expensive jewelry or other valuables – It’s best to leave these at home to avoid potential theft.
  7. Large sound systems – Noise levels are a common complaint in dorms, so it’s best to stick with headphones.

Remember, it’s better to underpack than overpack. You can always buy what you need once you’re there. Also, check with your roommate(s) to avoid duplicating items. And finally, be sure to check your college’s specific rules about what is and isn’t allowed in the dorms.

Finally, get a cute mug to remind your kids to call you when they are in college!

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