The Complete College Packing List Every Girl Needs In 2021

This post is all about the complete college packing list for 2021.

college packing list

Deciding what to bring to college and what to leave out of your college packing list is not an easy task. There are so many dorm room essentials and unexpected things to bring to college that you always end up forgetting something.

I remember packing for my freshmen year at college and being so confused about what to add to my college packing list and what to leave out of it that I ended up not bringing half of the things I actually needed.

This is why I decided to create a college packing list that shows you EXACTLY everything you need to bring to college. This is the college checklist I wish I had when I started college!

I also included a free PDF college packing list that you can download and print at home, so you can use it while packing.

The Complete College Packing List For 2021

1. Dorm Room Essentials

  • Mattress pad
  • Mattress protector
  • Pillowcases
  • Twin XL sheets
  • Throw blanket
  • Throw pillows
  • Duvet
  • Comforter
  • Laundry basket
  • Hangers
  • Shoe organizers
  • Small trash can
  • Command hooks
  • Full-length mirror
  • Drawer organizers
  • Storage ottoman
  • Humidifier
  • Fan
  • Dorm snacks (in case it’s allowed on your campus)

2. Dorm Decor

3. Desk / School Items

As you get started with your college classes you’ll figure out what school supplies you need. But: here are some general items that are commonly used.

I like being prepared in advance so here is what I bought:

  • Backpack or big handbag (a lot of girls wore this at my college)
  • Notebook
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Academic planner
  • Binders
  • Highlighter
  • Sticky notes
  • Paper clips and binder clips
  • USB drive
  • Laptop or iPad (I used my iPad to take notes and it was a game-changer)
  • Desk lamp (for your dorm desk)

4. Bathroom Supplies

Whether you have a separate bathroom from your dorm, or your own, here are all the college bathroom essentials you will need:

  • Bath towels
  • Towel wrap
  • Shower flip-flops
  • Shower caddy (mesh shower caddies work best!)
  • Makeup bag
  • Makeup mirror
  • Makeup remover
  • Hair wraps
  • Shaving cream
  • Razor
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairspray
  • Deodorant
  • Tissues
  • Sunscreen
  • Tampons & pads/ menstrual cup
  • Toilet paper
  • Shower cap (not super necessary but might be helpful)
  • Bathroom organizer
  • Bathroom cart (especially helpful if you’re sharing your bathroom with other girls)
  • Bath mat
  • Shower curtain
  • Air freshener

5. Cosmetics

  • Lotion
  • Mouthwash
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Makeup
  • Makeup brushes
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Perfume
  • Hand soap
  • Body wash or soap
  • Face moisturizer
  • Face wash
  • Hair products
  • Straightener
  • Curling iron
  • Face masks
  • Tanner
  • Wax strips
  • Vitamins
  • Eyeglasses
  • Eyeglass cleaning wipes
  • Contacts and contact solution
  • Chapstick/ lip balm
  • Birth control/ condoms
  • First aid kit
  • Medicines

6. Electronics

  • Laptop and charger
  • Headphones
  • Phone charger/ charging station
  • Power strip
  • Surge protector
  • Camera
  • Printer (this isn’t a must-have but will make your life so much easier)
  • Calculator
  • Kindle reader/ tablet
  • Extension cord
  • USB drive
  • Hard drive
  • 6ft+ charger

7. Cleaning Supplies

  • Laundry detergent
  • Trash bags
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Small broom and dustpan
  • Dryer sheets
  • Small vacuum
  • Disinfectant spray/ wipes
  • Air fresheners
  • Wrinkle release spray

8. Clothing, Shoes and Accessories

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Bras
  • Jeans
  • Pants
  • Sweatpants
  • Pj’s
  • Slippers
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Formal tops
  • 1 professional attire
  • Belt
  • Coat
  • Sweatshirts/ hoodies
  • Light jacket
  • Dresses
  • Casual everyday shoes
  • Sandals
  • Boots
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Scarves
  • Jewelry
  • Purse
  • Heels
  • Swimsuit

If you’re planning to stay active in college, don’t forget to bring your workout clothes and accessories:

9. Documents

  • ID card
  • Driver license
  • Social security card
  • Debit/credit card
  • Student ID
  • Medical and dental cards

College Packing List: Unexpected Things To Bring To College

10. First Aid Kit

college packing list for girls

Make sure to include a first aid kit in your college packing list. It has all the basics you might need for small cuts, bruises, or burns, so you should definitely bring one to college.

11. Mirror

college packing list pdf

Most people don’t think about it, but dorms don’t have any mirrors, hence why a full-length mirror is one of the most unexpected things to bring to college.

If you want to see how your outfit looks before leaving your dorm, make sure you bring one!

12. Umbrella

college packing list for guys

Checking out how the weather will be where you’re going to school is super important. You’ll basically be going to plan all your outfits depending on the weather.

I remember getting soaked more than once because I forgot to bring an umbrella. Make sure you get one before going to college.

13. Tool Kit

college packing list girl

A tool kit will come in handy especially during move-in, but also throughout the year in case you need to make a quick fix.

14. Portable Charger

girls college packing list

A portable charger is something you must add to your college packing list.

These days we use so many electronic devices that it’s easy to run out of battery or forget to charge one of them. Make sure you always have a portable charger with you and you’ll be fine!

15. Mini Fan

A mini fan is one of my favorite college essentials because it literally changed my life.

Dorms can get super hot during the Summer heat that it’s almost impossible to focus while doing your homework or studying.

I started college in September and lasted less than 3 weeks without a fan, so I 100% recommend you get one.

16. Bedside Tray

Dorm rooms are small and the chances are most likely you’re not going to have enough space to put a table. Instead, get a bedside tray to put your essentials like your phone, charger or books.

17. Command Hooks

In most dorm rooms you won’t be allowed to use anything on the walls that could damage them, that’s why command hooks are the best option.

Make sure you bring a pack of these if you’re planning to decorate your dorm walls!

18. Halloween Costumes

Halloween parties and themed events are an important part of the college experience, so make sure you bring a costume! Here are some college Halloween costume ideas to get inspired.

College Packing List: Tips For Packing

19. Use Vacuum Storage Bags

Vacuum storage bags are super helpful when it comes to packing, especially bigger items like bedding and larger pieces of clothing.

They will help you save so much space and you can reuse them as much as you want. 

20. Bring a Personalized Makeup Bag

how to pack for college

Whether you use it to keep your cosmetics or your makeup, a personalized bag will come in handy if you share your dorm and bathroom with other girls.

It can be easy to confuse each others’ stuff by accident, so having a bag with your name is a great way to avoid it.

21. Storage Bags Under Your Bed

As you have probably realized by now, college dorms are small, so you’ll have to take advantage of every inch of space.

The space under your bed is great to store things like bedding and seasonal clothing like coats and jackets. These storage bags are literally life-savers!

22. Put Your Cosmetics in Ziploc Bags

Before you pack all your cosmetics, make sure you put all the items that contain liquids like shampoo and lotion in Ziploc bags.

This is to prevent anything from spilling into your suitcase or clothing.

23. Use Shoe Organizers In Your Closet

I didn’t want to storage my shoes under the bed because it wasn’t practical at all every time I wanted to grab a different pair of shoes, so I did this instead.

I got a shoe organizer for my closet. It’s super easy to hang and you can put all your shoes in the different compartments. Everything is at sight and easier to grab.

24. Don’t Overpack: Stick To Your College Packing List

This might seem pretty obvious, but in situations of stress, we tend to overpack.

You don’t know what is going to be like to live on your own in a dorm room, so you constantly feel like you’re forgetting something.

Calm down, don’t panic. I highly suggest you only bring the essentials, and get complimentary things along the way, otherwise, you’re going to end up with a ton of unnecessary stuff that will take all your space.

25. Carry A Little Backpack With The Essentials

When packing for college, make sure you put all the main essentials like your documents, phone, wallet, and other things you want to have on hand in a little backpack or bag.

This way it will be easier to grab them in case you need them!

Moving into your college dorm can be a bit scary, but it’s also exciting and a very important part of the college experience. I hope this college packing list is super helpful to you, good luck!


college packing list

This post was all about the complete college packing list for 2021

Other posts about how to pack for college:

What To Bring To College: 10 Essentials You Must Have

10 Dorm Essentials Every College Student Needs in 2021

15 Unexpected Things To Bring To College You’ll Actually Need

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