Organized College Packing (& A List)



blue ikea bag for college packing

Get Organized For College Packing

Getting organized when packing for college, especially as a freshman, can be a challenge especially if it’s your first one heading off to school. As a professional organizer, when I sent my only child off to college, of course I did research and made lists and learned quite a bit along the way. Getting organized for college shouldn’t be super stressful so read on for tips to make it simpler. Our biggest tip? Start as soon as humanly possible! Scroll down for our packing list as a place to jump start your journey!

Prepping for college packing

Things to think about....

There’s a lot that goes into making the decisions about what to bring and what not to bring. Sometimes it’s the location, gender of the student, type of school, field of study, size of dorm room, and if we have roommates involved. There are a lot of moving parts but what to bring shouldn’t be a roadblock. For example, my daughters college was in Florida so we had to think about things like sunburn relief, rain gear, and beach towels!

The prep work...things to do asap

Sometimes it’s really hard to wrangle your kid to prepare ahead of time and it falls to the parents or guardians to give them a push but either way, there’s prep work involved to make sure getting organized for college is smooth and straightforward! 

Ikea bags for college packing
Stanley water bottle

What's on the list?

Your packing list for college...

Everyone’s packing list will be slightly different but a dorm room is a dorm room and there’s not a lot of space especially if you have more than one roommate. Expect a desk, a wardrobe or closet, and under the bed for places to keep your stuff. You can also add a 3 tier cart or some sort of drawer unit like Elfa to maximize space. 

Pro tip: check the rules for the dorms before purchasing or packing! 

What's on your list?

  • think about the seasonal needs with heat, rain, etc. and if you are near a beach or there are snow storms.
  • will you be able to bring items home and back during holidays so you can reduce what you bring to start?
  • unless you are planning to completely revamp your personal style, bring what makes you feel comfortable.
  • are you flying or driving?
  • how technology driven is the school that may impact devices vs traditional school supplies?

Pro tip: remember that dorm rooms are SMALL! Don’t bring the books, the games, the throw pillows, all the clothes & shoes, etc. Keep it fairly minimal to start and you can add as is appropriate once you settle in. And remember – Amazon delivers to dorm rooms!

Get the list!

Our last tips...and the list

Get our updated college packing list: 2024 College Packing List & check out our favorite products below—>

Ikea bags for college packing
Ikea blue bags
Brita water pitcher
Brita water pitcher
mattress topper
compact microwave
Stanley water bottle
space bags
bed riser
3 tier cart

What's on your own list?

You’ll always bring more than you need and end up not having something you want but it’s not the end of the world! Luckily most things are a click away and you can bring what you need next time you go home. We also recommend keeping the list updated with what you’ll need for next year so you don’t need to recreate the wheel! 

More Posts