College Packing List

No, I'm not packing up and heading out to college but The Oldest is (cue the mom tears)

Actually, I'm pretty ok with my boy moving into this first college apartment because it gives me an excuse to look up dorm decor! I didn't go away for college when I was young but I always enjoyed shopping the dorm sections in stores, especially Target. Something about new bedding and stationary just gets me pumped for the remainder of the year. It's like that line from You've Got Mail "I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils..."

If you're headed off to college, have a child headed there, or just looking for some back to school inspiration, this college packing list is for you! Yes you will need a bed and a desk (if not already provided) so let's focus on some other things that would make college life easy(ier)

what to buy for college

Small appliances

Checklist: Keurig and your favourite coffee pods, kettle, toaster oven, vacuum, blender, microwave, bar/mini fridge, George Foreman Grill, fabric steamer

If you're (or the student in your life) moving into a dorm or res, check what appliances you are allowed to bring before buying. Some residences allow coffee makers and hot plates, others do not. This is one of the most asked questions from students so it should be easy to find on your school's website. If you're living off campus there should be no restrictions.

And a quick note about a fabric steamer, this is a much better option to an iron. You may find that you need to give presentations in your program and one of the first things the Prof will tell you is to look the part. This means you will be giving the presentation in business professional clothing. The best way to keep your blazer, pants or dress looking good on the day of is to blast any wrinkles with steam.


Checklist: Two sets of bed sheets, pillows, comforter, throw blanket, laundry hamper, towels (3), hangers, alarm clock (best to get one that plugs into the wall and has backup battery power), bedside lamp, bath robe

I stress getting two sets of bedsheets because you will need to have one on your bed while the other is being washed (you should be changing and washing your sheets once a week) nobody wants to sleep on a bare mattress waiting for your only set of sheets to dry.

Kitchen and miscellaneous

Checklist: Plates and cutlery, can/bottle opener, oven mitt, Brita water filter, travel mug, water bottle, laundry stain stick (I wrote a whole blog post on my fave stain remover), disinfecting wipes

There are many places to pick up nice and cheap kitchen items. Target is always my first stop but you can also have good luck at dollar stores or second hand shops like Goodwill.

School supplies

Checklist: Laptop, cellphone and all power cords, USB (for sharing presentations and such) bulletin board, dry erase board, notebooks (get them on campus to show that school spirit!), pens & pencils and any other supplies based on your program

You can either print or save the JPEG above to your phone and have your shopping checklist at your fingertips!

Happy shopping and here's to a successful college year!

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