Love Your Lanes

2020-2021 Packing List for College

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Packing correctly for college is important every year. There is nothing more annoying than making up on the first cool morning in fall to realize that you only packed summer clothes. Packing correctly will help ensure that you are comfortable in your dorm or off-campus apartment. This year’s packing list contains a few unusual items.

2020-2021 Specific Items

  • 7 Masks/face coverings. Masks/face coverings are recommended or required in public spaces across the country. Many people are recommending 2 masks. But, I’d recommend at least 7 because you don’t want to wear a dirty mask AND you don’t want to have to do laundry every other day.
  • Hand sanitizer. Small bottles to carry and a large bottle for your room.
  • Thermometer. Most colleges will ask that you perform daily temperature checks.
  • Disinfecting wipes or spray. Carry a few wipes in a zip-lock bag to clean surfaces in common spaces or classrooms. Keep wipes and spray in your room for quick clean-up.
  • Gloves. You will likely have to clean classrooms and other common areas. You may want to have some gloves to handle the cleaning supplies.
  • Small air purifier. If you have to share a room or just want cleaner air, you may want to pick up a small air purifier with a UV-C lamp. Remember to never shine UV light on you directly.
  • UV-C sanitizing box. Additionally, you might want a UV-C box to sanitize your phone, keys and other small objects that you carry to class each day. Use as directed by the manufacturer.

General Packing Lists


Dorms have limited space. Most likely you will have a dresser and small closet. You’ll want to minimize the amount of clothing that you bring, but realize that seasons can change quickly.

  • At least one week of clothes appropriate for the current season.
  • At least 2-3 days worth of closes for the upcoming season.
  • A minimum of 1 pair of long pants
  • A dress outfit that is appropriate for an interview
  • A light jacket or sweaters
  • Winter jacket, gloves, boots
  • Pajamas (especially if you will have a roommate)
  • Bathrobe (especially if you will share a common bathroom)
  • Don’t forget at least a week’s worth of undergarments
  • Exercise clothes
  • Bathing suit
  • Tennis shoes
  • Stylish or dress shoes
  • Flip flops or sandal
  • Jewelry
  • Hangers
  • Closet organizer

Room items

  • Bedding
  • Two pairs of sheets for your bed. Note: most dorm rooms have XL twin beds. Be sure to check your college’s website to find out the side of your bed.
  • Mattress Pad. Let’s be real, the mattresses are old, and the extra support is needed.
  • Blanket or comforter
  • Pillows with pillowcases
  • Backrest pillow
    • Desk chair. If you are provided one, it won’t be nice.
    • Backpack
    • Calculator
    • Scissors
    • Pens and pencils
    • 3-hole punch
    • Stapler
    • A small lock box for valuables
    • Tape
    • Post-It notes
    • Note cards
    • Desk lamp
      • Laundry basket or bag. I always liked using a bag for dirty clothes and a basket for clean clothes.
      • Laundry detergent
      • Fabric softener/dryer sheets
      • Quarters or money for laundry card
      • Hangers
      • Iron and small ironing board
        • Clock with alarm
        • Phone
        • Flashlight
        • Earbuds or headphones
        • Batteries
        • Extension cord
        • Fan
        • Available on campus, but you may want your own
        • TV/Cable
        • Movie player
        • Computer/laptop/tablet
        • Gaming Device
        • Printer
          • Prescriptions
          • Basic first aid kit
          • Over the counter medications such as tylenol and allergy medication as needed
          • Vitamins
          • Kleenex
            • Glasses, contact lens, contact lens solution, etc.
            • Sunglasses
            • Night mask
            • Ear plugs
              • Posters
              • Pictures
                • ATM card
                • Checkbook
                • Credit card
                • Money
                  • Driver’s license
                  • Passport
                  • Social security card
                  • Official copy of birth certificate
                    • Cleaning supplies
                    • Vacuum
                    • Wet wipes
                    • Paper towels
                    • All surface cleaner
                    • Duster


                    • All bathroom set-ups
                    • At least 2 towels, 2 hand towels and 2 washcloths (or shower poof)
                    • Beach towel
                    • Shampoo/Conditioner
                    • Body Wash or Soap
                    • Razor (or shaving system) and shaving cream
                    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash
                    • Hairbrush or comb
                    • Hair spray, gel or mousse
                    • Shower cap
                    • Hair dryer
                    • Other hair accessories - ties, curling iron, etc.
                    • Sunscreen and after sun lotion
                    • Make up
                    • Moisturizer
                    • Deodorant
                    • Small mirror
                    • Cotton balls
                    • Q-tips
                    • Fingernail clippers/file
                      • Bath robe
                      • Flip flops or shower shoes
                      • Shower caddy
                      • Bath mat (if desired) and way to carry it after use
                        • Hand soap
                        • Shower curtain
                        • Bath floor mat
                        • Toilet paper
                        • Paper towels
                        • Cleaning supplies
                        • Small trash can and trash bags

                        Kitchen Items

                        Most dorms have a shared kitchen. Some rooms may have a kitchenette. Either way there are a few items you’ll always want.

                        • Small fridge and microwave (Check with your university to be sure that your fridge and microwave are allowed)
                        • Storage containers
                        • Plates
                        • Cups
                        • Silverware
                        • A few pots and pans
                        • Liquid dish soap (Dishwashers are very unusual, but if have one - don’t forget dish detergent)
                        • Dish towel or sponge
                        • Dishwashing gloves
                        • Small dish drying rack
                        • Snacks and non-alcoholic drinks (vending machines are expensive)
                        • A few easy meals
                        • Water purifier
                        • Paper towels or napkins
                        • Can opener
                        • Reusable water bottle
                        • Mini-cooler
                        • Lunch box
                        • Ice packs
                        • Aluminum foil

                        A few “don'ts”

                        The following items are typically not allowed in college dorms.

                        • Hot plate
                        • Toasters
                        • Alcoholic drinks
                        • Pets (Some colleges have pet friendly dorms or rooms. Typically, the rules around pets are very strict so check with your college before bringing your cat or fish with you.)
                        • Large furniture
                        • Curtains (If you are allowed curtain, you may want to check out Blackout Curtains for better sleep)
                        • Nails - you can’t use nails to hang things on walls

                        If you are looking for more college tips, visit us at our home page here.

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