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The Ultimate College Packing List

The Ultimate College Packing List

The Ultimate College Packing List

by Zach Wheeler on July 17, 2019

College Move-in Day can be one of the most fun yet stressful times in your life, especially if you have no idea what you really need to bring to make a dorm room into your comfy getaway. SWU provides a Housing Checklist for the basics; but lucky for you, I have also compiled a more comprehensive list of the necessities (and some extra little fun things) based on my three years' experience as a resident student. With this list, I hope you can make your new room feel like a "home away from home."

Bedding/Bed Stuff

  • Twin XL Sheet Set - make sure you get Twin XL. Normal Twin is too short!
  • Comforter/Blanket
  • Pillows


  • Mattress Topper - these provide some extra cushion and comfort but… they do make it harder to get out of bed in the morning…
  • Mattress cover - depending on where you live on campus, SWU might provide one, but these are great to have.
  • Bedside shelf
  • Reading lamp

Desk/School Supplies

  • Planner - gotta keep yourself organized!
  • Notebooks
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Stapler - yes…you’ll have that professor that wants everything turned in by hand.
  • Tape dispenser
  • Index Cards
  • Scissors
  • Paper Clips
  • Push Pins
  • Sticky Notes
  • Power Strips/Extension Cords

Cooking/Kitchen Supplies

  • Minifridge - trust me…this isn’t an “extra.” It’s a necessity!
  • Microwave
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Small Dishware Set
  • Silverware
  • Dish Soap
  • Paper Towels
  • Trash Bags, Trash Bags, Trash Bags!
  • Trash Can


  • Hangers
  • Clothes Hamper
  • Detergent/Dryer Sheets
  • Ironing Board/Iron or Steamer

Personal Items/Toiletries

  • Towel and Washcloth Set
  • Shower Caddy - when you’re sharing a space with three or more people, there’s really not enough room for everyone to keep their personal items in the shower. This just helps you keep yours separate and organized.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Shower Curtains - SWU doesn’t always provide shower curtains
  • Toilet Paper - this can be worked out between you and your roommates. Try to set up a system for who buys when.
  • Curling Iron/Hair Dryer/Straightener


  • Backpack - from all the textbooks you’ll be carrying around, you’ll have back issues by the time you’re 30.
  • Tool Set - trust me, you never really know when you’ll need it!
  • Vacuum
  • Broom/Dust Pan
  • Umbrella/Rain Jacket


  • Posters
  • Command Strips/Hooks - THESE WILL BE YOUR BEST FRIEND!
  • Full-Length Mirror
  • Curtains

Fun Stuff/Extras

This is a special section of things that you can wait until after move-in day for. These things would probably be best to plan with your roommate(s).

  • Area Rug - these can add so much color and life to a room!
  • Television
  • Sofa/Futon
  • Plants
  • Games/Board Games

Learn more about your SWU's residence halls on our Housing and Dining page!

Tags: supplies, housing, checklist, shopping, orientation, freshman, packing, roommate, residence hall, dorm