College Corner / Lifestyle

The ULTIMATE College Packing List for 2020 (Detailed)

Find out what you need to pack for college in our ULTIMATE packing list for 2020. We’ve also included a FREE PDF for your convenience!

With most universities requiring students to leave campus and quarantine due to COVID-19. We can all agree that Fall 2020 has definitely creeped up on us.

We’re giving you all the deets on exactly what to bring to bring with you to college in 2020. 

This list is literally everything you need and more to make sure you don’t forget a thing when it comes to packing everything you need for college.

To be clear, this list is pretty general but will give you everything you need in order to spark ideas for specific items that you may need.

We’re going over every category so you don’t forget a thing! The last thing you want to happen is to be on your way to college and realizing that you forgot something (when it’s too late).

The only packing list students need

How exciting is it that you are entering a new chapter in your life? You’re in for a heck of a ride in college. You’re basically packing up your whole life to start a new chapter in a new state or city. 

Everything that you could possibly need is on this list. There are many articles out there that offer advice on how to prepare for college, what to expect, what to bring, you name it. Some of these articles are dated and advise students to bring items they probably will never need.

Our list gets straight to the point so that you don’t waste time or money (because, who doesn’t love saving money?).

All of this information is provided so that you and your parents can make the best decision possible for what needs to be packed in the car and what’s better left at home. Our packing list can be used for boys and girls but there is some added information for girls because we tend to need more.

You’ll find that the list includes dorm room essentials, toiletries, electronics, bathroom items, cleaning supplies and important documents that you may need.

College Packing List 2020

Alright, before we get to the nitty gritty, remember that every college is different and there are certain items that will not be allowed in your dorm. Also, as a freshman, it’s important to read everything so that you do not show up to campus looking crazy with items that were on the list of things not to bring.

Dorm Room

  • Sheets 
  • Comforter
  • Pillows
  • Pillow case
  • Extra blanket
  • Desk lamp
  • Hangers
  • Small trash can
  • Wall calendar
  • Laundry basket
  • Wall art
  • Mini fridge
  • Extra storage
  • Full length mirror
  • Coffee maker


  • Shower shoes
  • Shower cap
  • Robe 
  • Wash clothes
  • Towels
  • Shower caddy
  • Loofah (optional)

If you have an apartment or separate bathroom..

  • Hand soap
  • Bathroom rugs
  • Hand towels
  • Shower curtains
  • Curtain rings
  • Shower liner
  • Toilet plunger
  • Toilet scrubber
  • Toilet paper
  • Sponge
  • Air freshener 

Cleaning Supplies

  • Clorox wipes
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Clorox spray
  • Fabuloso 
  • Glass cleaner
  • Surface cleaner
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Small trash bags
  • Paper towels 
  • Laundry detergent  


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste 
  • Mouthwash
  • Floss 
  • Tweezers
  • Face wash
  • Face moisturizer
  • Body wash and or soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Additional hair products
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Hair dryer
  • Flat iron
  • Deodorant 
  • Nail clippers
  • Q-tips
  • Razor
  • Shaving cream
  • Band aids
  • Vitamins
  • Medicine
  • Eyeglasses
  • Contacts and solution
  • Lip balm
  • Lotion 

College packing list – Girl Specific things to bring

  • Blow dryer
  • Curling iron
  • Flat iron
  • Lipgloss/chapstick 
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • tweezers
  • Cotton rounds
  • Facial scrub
  • Toner 
  • Makeup
  • Makeup remover
  • Face mask
  • Hair ties and accessories
  • Hair mask, leave-in conditioner, oil etc.
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover 
  • Nail filer
  • Cuticle oil
  • Wax strips
  • Body scrub
  • Lotion
  • Body oil

School Items

Note: Read through your syllabus for each class to give you the items that you’ll specifically need. Especially when it pertains to the books you will need because you’ll need these to begin studying.

  • Backpack
  • Notebooks
  • Notebook paper
  • Binder
  • Folders
  • Pens and pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Sticky notes
  • Planner 
  • Index cards
  • Stapler and staples
  • Paperclips and binder clips
  • Wall calendar
  • Desk organizer
  • Laptop
  • Laptop charger
  • Laptop case
  • Phone charger

Important documents and ID’s

  • Student ID
  • Drivers license
  • Birth certificate
  • Social security card
  • Debit and credit card
  • Checks
  • Passport
  • Banking information
  • Medical and dental card
  • Car registration and insurance

What not to bring

This list is subjective and will depend on the student and the school. Listed below you will find a couple of things that we believe are better left behind.

Textbooks professors understand that most students are waiting for their financial aid to kick in in order to afford the required materials. With this in mind, do not worry about ordering books before you get on campus. Opt for buying your books from the school book store or, order them from Amazon or wherever you can find them online.

Bed risers the beds in your dorm will more often than not will already be raised. Because schools know that students will need as much space as possible.

Alarm clock its 2020, most students are using their phone as an alarm clock, a separate one is not necessary.

TV to save money and space, do not worry about buying a TV. It’s 2020 and most students are streaming their favorite shows from their laptop or tablet.

Pets many colleges do not allow pets on campus.

How to use this college packing list

There are many ways to get the most out of our packing list and we’re going to tell you how. While the list has just about everything you will need to successfully pack everything you’ll need to take with you to college. You may also want to take off and add to the list. Do this at your will.

We suggest that you go through the list with a parent/child and discuss all of the items that we have listed. Make note of everything that you will need while crossing out things that you may not use.

Having a list of everything you’ll need before you go shopping makes list that much easier. When you go to the store, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for. Instead of walking around the store aimlessly, you’ll have your list with you. 

Schedule a day to go shopping so that you are not rushing. You can even go online to make sure certain stores have what you need. In addition to having your college packing list. Make not of all the stores you need to go to. Keep in mind that you are shopping for probably the biggest move of your life. Be patient and keep that list handy!

College packing list final thoughts

As we mentioned earlier, we know you’re super excited to embark on this new journey in college! We believe our college packing list is everything you need in more. It’ll help you when you’re scrambling trying to figure out exactly what to bring to college.

You can get the FREE PDF here. Keeping good news to yourself is no good. So make sure to share this post on Pinterest or wherever and let your friends know that we’ve got them covered with the ultimate packing list for college.

Download the FREE PDF to The ULTIMATE College Packing List, here.

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