Jul 27 2020

Checklist: What to Pack for College Freshman Year

Adela Belin photo Adela Belin Content strategist and writer
Study Effectively

Are you excited to head off to college for the first time this fall?

Ah, freshman year! The first step of college life, the first step of living independently, the first step to adulthood -- a lifetime of memories.

It is an abundantly exhilarating time – picking out your classes, getting to know your dorm roommates, buying new clothes, making new friends. Adding to that are long assignment papers, late nights, and tons and tons of junk food.

It is a crazy time, but it is also very nerve-racking – as you are moving away from home to a brand-new place, living with people you don’t know, and taking care of yourself completely. There are so many things to keep in mind during this transition phase of your life.

Original: Source118 Packing Essentials for College Freshman Year

As you enter college life, your dorm room is basically everything for you: a place you cook, clean, shower, sleep, exercise, study, and chill with your friends or your roommate – it’s all in one, your safe space. So, make use of every little inch of your dorm room.

As someone who’s been there, done that, let me tell you, the most stressful part about this entire venture is packing and moving to your dorm rooms.

Everyone knows the basic essentials that need to be packed, but it is difficult to think of everything. What if you miss something out? That’s why the rule of thumb – always make a checklist!

Categorize your checklist to make it easier to understand what you have, what you need, and tick off all that you have already packed. Doing this ensures you don’t leave anything important behind.

So, let us put pen to paper and jot down what one should pack for college freshman year.

Bedding and Bath

Being in freshman year, you realize how little you’ll get to sleep due to assignments and projects, and extracurricular activities. Oh, and let’s not forget about the parties you’ll go to.

You need a good night’s sleep, whenever you can get it. A warm, comfortable, clean bed is all that you will yearn for at the end of the day.

There will be times when you might just be too lazy to shower but know that a nice hot bath in a clean, scented bathroom will fix everything. about anything. Remember to check these essentials off the list for the perfect bed and bathroom:

  1. Comforter and/or quilts
  2. Throw blankets
  3. Bedsheets
  4. Pillows and pillowcases
  5. Alarm clock
  6. Clothes hanger
  7. Wastebasket
  8. Bedside lamp
  9. Table fan
  10. Tissues
  11. Bathroom mat
  12. Shower curtains (..and add a pop of color to your bathroom)
  13. Bath and hand towels
  14. Shower Caddy (for all those important bathroom necessities that would normally be all over the sink)
  15. Flip flops
  16. Shampoo and conditioner
  17. Hair styling products
  18. Toothpaste and toothbrush
  19. Hairdryer/straightener
  20. Shower gel
  21. Comb/Brush
  22. Nail clippers
  23. Q-tips
  24. Lotion/Face Moisturizer
  25. Deodorant
  26. Razor and shaving cream
  27. Cotton Swabs

Laundry & Storage

Original: SourceAnything that would help make laundry day easier would be a godsend, so here are a few necessary laundry and storage items that would make life a little easier and keep all your clothes off that chair in your room.

  1. Laundry basket
  2. Laundry detergent
  3. Fabric softener
  4. Under-the-bed plastic storage boxes
  5. Drying rack
  6. Iron and ironing board
  7. Removable adhesive wall hooks (Most schools do not allow you put nails on the wall so here’s second-best, cost-effective option)
  8. Stain remover
  9. Storage bins
  10. Lint remover

School and Study Supplies

Possibly the most important category in this entire article.

You are a freshman in college, you need your study supplies and stationery. This list contains everything that’s required in college for your assignments, essays and projects. I assure you, as months go by, there will be more supplies getting added to this list.

  1. Backpack
  2. Folders/binders
  3. Notebooks
  4. Calculator
  5. Flash drives
  6. Highlighter
  7. Pens/pencils/ruler/erasers
  8. Sticky notes
  9. Stapler and stapler pins
  10. Calendar (helpful for noting down important events and dates. Put it on your study desk and make sure it’s accessible)
  11. Pen holder
  12. Scotch tape
  13. Scissors
  14. Paper clips
  15. Rubber bands
  16. Planner


Can you imagine college students in this digital age generation without their gadgets and gizmos? No one can!

Electronics and technology bring convenience, comfort, and information and are critical requirements for a college student’s quality of life and education.

  1. Laptop
  2. Portable speakers (lifesavers!)
  3. Extension cord
  4. Headphones
  5. Camera (if you are a photography enthusiast)
  6. Cellphones
  7. WiFi Dongle/router (if the Internet goes out and you’re working on a last-minute essay, these will come to the rescue)
  8. Small appliances (hot plates, electric kettles, microwave)
  9. Extra charging cables
  10. Mini vacuum cleaner
  11. Portable charger
  12. Mouse and mouse pad
  13. Extra batteries
  14. Gaming Systems (All you gamer girls and boys – these are for you)
  15. Converters
  16. Coffee maker


Sometimes college can be tough, and college cafeterias can have the same boring food on repeat. Luckily for you, you have a stash of delicious and on-the-go snacks waiting. So, stack up your favorite food items.

  1. Ramen Noodles (who doesn’t love this good ol’ quick fix)
  2. Soup packets
  3. Coffee (every college goer’s morning alarm)
  4. Tea
  5. Cookies, crackers and biscuits
  6. Microwavable ready-to-eat food (for those long and tiring days, just warm it up and voila!)
  7. Candy/Chocolates
  8. Cereal
  9. Peanut butter (You can add it to anything)
  10. Popcorn
  11. Condiments

Kitchen Utilities

What is a kitchen without its utilities? You will require almost all the things on the list below. Make sure to add any other utilities that you would need to complete your kitchen because ultimately this is the place that will give you food for thought.

  1. Mugs and cups
  2. Dishes and bowls
  3. Knives, spoons, forks, ladles and graters
  4. Water bottles
  5. Ziplock bags
  6. Paper towels
  7. Dish soap
  8. Dishtowel
  9. Air freshener
  10. Bottle/can opener
  11. Sponges
  12. Travel mugs
  13. Microwave-safe food containers
  14. Pots and pans
  15. Trash bags
  16. All-purpose cleaner
  17. Wet wipes
  18. Beverage glasses
  19. Bag clips
  20. Aluminum foil wrap


Your dorm room will most likely be a small space but it is going to be your home for the next 3-4 years. Decorate it like you would decorate your own home. Add personality to your room, make it cozy and it’s sure to start feeling like home soon.

  1. Throw cushions (make your dorm colorful and comfortable by adding these decorative cushions on your bed)
  2. Fairy lights (it brings that beautiful, warm glow in the room that can brighten up any body’s day)
  3. Wall tapestry
  4. Picture frames of family and friends
  5. Full-length mirror
  6. Favorite novels
  7. Bulletin board
  8. Wall art (this is on you -- whatever defines you be it your favorite band, paintings, movies, quotes or anything else)
  9. Small potted plants (dorm-Friendly, low-maintenance decorative plants that add a touch of green to your room)
  10. Curtains
  11. Bean bags

Medical Supplies

You can never be too careful. You might slip, fall, get unwell, burn your finger while cooking, and now that you are living on your own, you have got to take care of yourself.

Original: SourceThis is where medical supplies come into play. Keep all your medicines and other medical supplies in one place for immediate relief.

  1. First aid kit (for easy access during emergencies)
  2. Thermometer
  3. Prescription medicines
  4. Antiseptic creams/gels
  5. Cough drops
  6. Bandaids and bandages
  7. Aspirin or other pain relievers

Conclusion: Pack for College Freshman Year

So, here’s what makes the ultimate checklist for what to pack for college freshman year.

This may not help in calming your first-day jitters but at least you are well prepared for the times ahead. Go set sail on a new journey with all your ammunition handy!

last edit at Sep 20 2022