Going to College – A Checklist

Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by David Michael

Going to College – A Checklist

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Going to college is an incredible and transformative experience in life. It’s a time of exploration, growth, and learning, not only academically but also personally. For many, it’s the first taste of independence and the freedom to live on their own. The journey of pursuing higher education and embracing newfound responsibilities makes college an exciting and pivotal chapter in one’s life.

Whether you’re a first-time college student stepping into the unknown or a returning student eager to continue your educational journey, the anticipation of going back to school is always filled with excitement. The prospect of reuniting with friends, engaging in stimulating classes, and immersing yourself in campus life creates a palpable buzz of enthusiasm.

We’ll help make sure you get all the school supplies needed for college.

Our checklist will also help in getting your dorm ready. Setting up your dorm room is essential since you’ll be living there starting the day you move in. Our checklist will help ensure you remember everything.

School Supplies for College / Desk Supplies

College is school after all, so you’ll need notebooks, pens, folders, etc. Printer paper if you’re bringing a printer. I like the magnetic whiteboards that you can use to write down important things, leave notes for your roommate and such.

A daily planner helps you organize classes and free time. You may find an academic planner useful as they are geared towards the school year.

  • Notebooks
  • Pens / Pencils
  • Folders
  • Printer Paper
  • Magnetic Whiteboard
  • Daily Planner – see our picks for best academic planners.

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Bedding for College

You’re going to need sheets. And guys, you’re going to need more than one set of sheets. If your dorm supplies the bed, make sure you get sheets that fit. I recommend sheet sets that come with a top sheet, bottom sheet, and pillow cases.

A comforter and a blanket or two should keep you covered. Get a washable blanket for easy clean up after any mishaps, and if you want to take a blanket outdoors on the lawn. Pillows are an essential, and a mattress topper can make even a bad mattress comfortable.

  • Sheets
  • Comforter
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Mattress Topper

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A laptop computer is an essential in school today. A printer is just about as necessary, unless you have easy access to printing on campus. I strongly recommend a backup drive and an external hard drive – I’ve heard too many horror stories of weeks of hard work vanishing because of a crashed drive.

Speakers turn your computer into an entertainment system for your room, and headphones let you enjoy music without disturbing your roommate. Remember a power strip and some extension cords. You should pack all of the chargers for your mobile phone and other portables along with batteries for anything that requires them.

  • Laptop
  • Backup Drive / USB drive
  • Printer
  • Headphones
  • Speakers
  • Mobile Phone
  • Power Strip / Extension Cords
  • Charging Cables
  • Batteries

Shop For College Electronics at Amazon

Clothing for College

Needless to say, you’re going to need to bring some clothes. More underwear and socks are better, finding the time and motivation to do laundry is just a symptom of college life. Most days you’ll be in everyday clothes: jeans, sweats, tee shirts. Pack something that can get you through an interview or special occasion where something more dressy is required.

A backpack will help keep your books and notes and laptop with you and should not be overlooked.

  • Underwear
  • Jeans
  • Activewear
  • Sneakers
  • Dress Shoes
  • Something Dressy
  • Backpack

Shop For College Clothing at Amazon

Bath & Laundry Supplies for College

You need to keep yourself and your clothing / bedding clean. Towels seem to be one of those things most people forget when packing for school. Flip flops and a shower caddy to organize and carry your soap, shampoo, and other items.

A laundry bag that can double as a hamper is a space saver. Remember to bring detergent and dryer sheets or fabric softener.

  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Bath Mat
  • Flip Flops
  • Shower Caddy
  • Shampoo / Conditioner
  • Soap / Body Wash
  • Laundry Bag
  • Laundry Supply Detergent / Softener

Shop For College Bath and Laundry at Amazon

College Decor

With decor you have an opportunity to show off your personal style. A mirror is an essential – check yourself before leaving to make sure all is in order. A small rug is great if you have the room for it. A lamp is important especially if your dorm doesn’t have any lighting in it.

Storage boxes are super useful. Underbed storage can help keep your space neat and tidy.

The coffee maker was the most valuable thing in my dorm. A 12 cup coffee maker may sound large, but you’ll usually go through that pretty quickly. A hot plate or microwave comes in handy, but check your dorms regulations to make sure these items are ok.

  • Mirror
  • Rug
  • Lamp
  • Storage – Underbed Storage
  • Coffee Maker
  • Hot Plate / Microwave

Shop For College Decor at Amazon

College Furniture

Some dorms come partially furnished, others are bare bones. Make sure what yours does or doesn’t come with to make sure you have a few things. A desk and desk chair are important. A bookcase is great if you have the space for it.

A bed frame and mattress are essential and not all dorms supply these. Check with your school to see if you need to supply these or not. If you have room for a small sofa or settee the extra seating will come in handy when you have guests.

A mini fridge, like the coffee maker can make dorm life so much better, make sure they’re allowed before bringing one with you.

  • Desk
  • Desk Chair
  • Bookcase
  • Settee if room
  • Bed Frame if needed
  • Mattress if needed
  • Mini Fridge

Shop For College Furniture at Amazon

Download a printable Going To College Checklist to help you pack up for your move.

Used Textbooks

You can save a lot of money with used textbooks. Check if any of your required textbooks are available in previously owned editions. Not only to you get a great value, but it’s also a great low impact environmental choice.

Shop For Used Textbooks at Amazon

Congratulations, and best of luck in school!

With a little preparation you’ll have all your school supplies needed for college, and your dorm will be comfortable and efficient, and even stylish. We love the fall and hope this helps prepare you for going to, or going back to school.

The gift of Amazon Prime allows your student to get the benefits of prime membership like free 2 day shipping with no minimums.

Shop for these and more College Supplies at Amazon.

Shop Amazon for College Supplies

For school supplies be sure to check out our guide to Back To School supplies.

If you’re traveling, be sure to see our Travel Essentials post.

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