A College Packing List of Essentials: Moving to College Checklist

One of a lifetime unforgettable experiences is your move into your new dorm or off-campus apartment. It’s a unique experience that comes with a special feeling. You get excited by making a home away from home as well as being away from home. Seeing other students carrying their moving boxes, and getting to move in a day before classes commence are all gonna happen on a moving day.

A College Packing List of Essentials: Moving to College Checklist

In this article

Students put on the same face of nerves and exhilaration. For years to come, the same terrifying face they made while you first catch a glimpse at them turns out to be the first sights of your best friends.

Make sure you make a good impression while saying hi to someone you are just meeting for the first time. Many freshmen experience many nerves in addition to the level of excitement that goes with a college move, although this is understandable.

It is so challenging living away from home for the first time. It involves doing your own laundry, sharing a room with strangers, and meeting new people. Moving into a college dorm room requires a prospective college student to be fully prepared. You will feel lesser stress during the move-in process once you are more prepared than otherwise.

In addition, remember that it gets to a stage when you need to leave the campus for one reason or the other; either for holiday or at the end of your study. At these times, students may not be ready to move but they must leave the rooms for fresher to move in. Hence, they find a means to store their belongings temporarily during their final move.

Luckily, there are some companies that offer this service. This guide aims to discuss the moving and storage needs of college students. We will start by discussing the college moving checklist.

Moving to College Checklist

The rooms in colleges are generally tiny and mostly come with only a desk and a bed. Sharing a large bathroom with the students living in the same hallway is also required by some college dorms.

A college freshman will need to bring in a few extra bathroom supplies such as flip flops, a bathrobe, and a portable caddy in this situation.

Supplies and tools for cooking will also be required by a college freshman who is to share a kitchenette with roommates.

The university’s housing department’s policy on prohibited and hazardous dorm room items must be checked over and over by all students before packing, so, you don’t fall victim to the violation.

Small items that can be folded and stored away on a shelf or under a bed should be the focus of those moving into a college dorm room while packing. There will not be much space for keeping non-essential items considering the size of a college room.

When packing your items, you will need to make some compromises except you are able to rent a storage unit to store some of your items during the year.

Ensure you check the list of dorm room needs with your roommates and offer for splitting room necessities if the roommate will agree to avoid bringing everything. With this, you will not end up having similar items choking up the little space in your dorm room.

Take a look at our helpful checklist of what to bring along when moving into a college dorm before you begin to pack your belongings.


  • Over the door storage or Shoe Rack
  • Seasonal clothing
  • Raincoat
  • Sweaters, winter coat, and fleeces
  • Rain-boots
  • Sneakers
  • Shoes for all occasions
  • Dressy, semi-formal outfits
  • T-shirts
  • Athletic clothing
  • Jeans
  • Leggings
  • Shorts
  • Extra blankets

School supplies

  • Sling bag or Bookbag
  • Lap desk
  • Pencils
  • File folders and cabinet (if needed)
  • Calculator
  • Loose-leaf and printing paper
  • Binders
  • Professional clothing for class presentations and internships

Makeup (if you are a female)

  • Makeup remover
  • Face Wash
  • Hairdryer
  • Hair curling iron
  • Hair straightening iron
  • Bath mats


  • Can opener
  • Coffee pot
  • Clips for potato chip bags, etc.
  • Ice bucket
  • Tea kettle for boiling water
  • Instant coffee
  • Creamer
  • Disinfecting wipes and spray
  • Ramen
  • Canned foods
  • Bottled water or the water filter
  • Snacks
  • Minimum of two sets of twin sheet sets and ensure you find out if there is the need for Mini-fridge (if allowed)

Tech necessities

  • Power strip
  • Laptop
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Ink for printer
  • Camera
  • TV
  • Tablet with keyboard
  • HDMI cable and Ethernet cable
  • Adapter
  • Flashlight
  • Extension cord
  • Router for internet
  • Apple TV
  • All chargers


  • Extra-long twin sheets for the bed.
  • Pillowcases
  • Pillows
  • Quilt or bedspread
  • Duvet
  • Mattress pad

Reading and documentation

  • Notepads and notebooks
  • Paper clips
  • Stapler and staples
  • Puncher
  • Folders
  • Pouches for pens and supplies
  • Closet
  • Desk organizer
  • Attachable reading light
  • Blue Black and red pens
  • White-out
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • New and used textbooks
  • Pouches for pens and supplies
  • Sharpie markers
  • Post-it notes

Cleaning and toiletries

  • Hair gel or mousse
  • Hairspray
  • Moisturizer
  • Razor
  • Toilet paper
  • Shaving kit
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Tweezers
  • Bobby pins
  • Hair ties
  • Mirrors


  • Bookcase
  • Books


  • All important documents including Passport, AAA cards, and health insurance cards
  • First-aid kit with thermometer, decongestant, Band-Aids, Advil, Neosporin, and antiseptic wipes
  • Vitamins and prescription medicine
  • Sleep mask
  • Earplugs
  • Workout equipment and yoga mat
  • Luggage
  • Games and books
  • Bike or moped
  • Bike helmet
  • Hand-held vacuum for cleaning
  • Comb
  • Eyeglass cleaner and contact solution


  • Laundry hamper for dirty laundry
  • Quarters for coin laundry (optional)
  • Foldable ironing board
  • Laundry detergent
  • Clothing hangers
  • Fabric softeners
  • Dryer sheets
  • Lint brush
  • Stain removing spray or pen
  • Drying rack for clothes that can’t be put in the dryer
  • Iron

Living room

  • Décor
  • Floor lamp
  • Curtains
  • Curtain rods
  • TV stand
  • A comfortable chair, couch or futon for lounging
  • Desk chair
  • Decor Pillows
  • Flower Vase
  • Nightstand
  • Table lamp, lampshade, and extra bulbs
  • Coffee table or ottoman
  • Poufs
  • Living room rug
  • Small dining room table and chairs (if there’s a room)


  • If you are not using a phone, including a clock radio or alarm clock
  • White noise machine
  • Extra fan
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Wastebasket
  • Coat hanger
  • Scissors
  • Sports equipment
  • Backrest pillow for sitting up
  • Throw pillows
  • Sewing kit
  • Umbrella
  • Storage boxes for under the bed
  • Space-saving vacuum sealed storage bags
  • Space heater
  • Jewelry box
  • Shower curtain, curtain liner, and rod
  • Soap and/or body wash
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Portable shower caddy
  • If you share a hallway bathroom with others, include waterproof flip flops for showering
  • Changing role
  • Bathroom cleaning supplies
  • Hairbrush
  • Mouthwash
  • Sunscreen
  • Makeup
  • Chopstick
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper towels
  • Cooking and baking sheets
  • Frying pan
  • Oven mitt
  • Utensils
  • Plates and bowls
  • Cups
  • Mugs
  • Paper napkins
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tupperware
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Sponge
  • Trash bags
  • Headphones
  • Batteries
  • Wall art
  • Tops
  • Socks
  • Bathing suits
  • Sunglasses
  • Picture frames
  • Bulletin boards
  • Plants
  • Extra baskets for holding things

Transporting your Belongings to the College

A parent’s mini-van simply won’t be enough for many students. You will need to rent a moving truck or trailer to move your belongings to your college dorm or rented apartment if you are moving a lot of items in the upcoming college move.

There are many quality and reputable moving truck rental companies to select for the move. Check movingfeedback.com’s moving truck rental center to find the one that perfectly fits your moving day needs and budget or read our post on our best rental trucks.

You will find information and discounts on different moving truck rental companies within our truck rental center. We also provide you with extra moving labor in case you are looking to hire one.

We have an extensive network of reliable and reputable national moving companies that can handle college move. You can rest assured your relocation will be in good hands as all moving companies in our network are licensed and properly insured.

So feel free to enjoy your move. Having talked about college move, there is also a time when college students need to store their items for holidays or temporary final moving back home. This will be discussed next in this post.

A Guide to College Summer Storage

It is easy to find affordable summer storage for college students. The efficient way for college students to store all their apartment and dorm room belongings is by renting a self-storage.

A list of self-storage facilities to check out this summer as well as all you need to know regarding summer storage for college students has been included below.

Why do College Students need Summer Storage?

The perfect amount of storage space for apartment-size and dorm room’s belongings is typically provided by the storage units.

The student will be able to move in and out, as they will get the chance to store their belongings near campus. During the summer months, they can easily drop their belongings off at a self-storage unit for safe-keeping instead of hauling it home every summer.

This will not only make their move off campus a smooth and stress-free experience but also prevents their parent’s garage from temporary junking.

What Size of Storage Unit is Ideal for College Students?

At least one room of furniture can be held by most storage units. The storage unit that is large enough to contain more furnishings is also available for students living in a 2- or 3-bedroom apartment.

A storage unit size of 5 by 5 or 5 by 10 is still acceptable for rent by the majority of college students. A home décor, boxes, and love seat can all be contained by a 5 by 5 storage unit while a 5 by 10 is capable of accommodating décor, smaller furnishings as well as a twin bed or sofa.

Who will enjoy the Most from Renting a Storage Unit?

Students who are staying far from home and studying abroad during fall months or summer are the ones who benefit the most from renting a storage unit — renting a self-storage unit while you are gone is a very good idea if this sounds like your situation.

It will not only save you time and stress on packing and moving your belongings across the country, renting a summer storage unit near campus makes moving back home easier and smooth for you.

Cost of Summer Storage for College Students

The sizes of storage unit needed and as well as the length of time required to rent it are the two deciding factors for the cost of summer storage.

The most common contract basis for self-storage facilities is monthly, and the price is in between $12 – $100 a month or more.

There are, however, many special student discounts being offered by many storage companies to students.

Where to Find Affordable Self-Storage Services for College Students

Storage companies that specialize in summer storage for college students are many in number. Below are a few of the storage companies to consider:

1. U-Haul College Boxes

U-Haul offers storage facilities throughout the country together with moving truck rentals. Ship-to-school services, study abroad shipping, and summer shipping and storage are provided by U-Haul according to their website.

Your storage boxes will be delivered to your doorstep and also picked up after you are done with the packing, the company will then store your items in one of their many secure storage facilities.

U-Haul will deliver your items to your dorm once you resume back to school.

Website: www.uhaul.com/CollegeBoxes/

2. Two Men and a Truck Student Storage

The moving and storage services basically made for college students is provided by the labor-only moving companies. From the You Ship, You Pick up Plan, You Ship, We Deliver Plan, to the All-Inclusive Plan, those looking for storage can choose from the several storage plans.

The All-Inclusive Plan where the moving company will pick up your belongings, store them and then deliver them back to you in the summer is the easiest services provided by Two Men and a Truck student storage plan.

Website: www.twomenandatruck.com/student-storage

3. Dorm2Dorm

All the supplies needed by students for storage are being shipped by this company. The storage company will pick up the student’s packed and prepared boxes and store them over the study abroad period or summer and deliver all belongings back to your new dorm or apartment once school resumes back.

Dorm2dorm serves many schools in Washington DC, Virginia, New York City, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and California.

Website: www.dorm2dorm.com

4. Dorm Room Movers

This company operates just like Dorm2Dorm only to serve specific areas of the country. All packing supplies necessary for boxing in student’s dorm will be sent to the students by the storage service.

The perfectly packed belongings will be picked and delivered to a secure and climate-controlled storage facility by the Dorm Room Movers, and the pickup and delivery don’t attract any fee.

Website: www.dormroommovers.com

5. SMARTBOX College Student Storage

A SMARTBOX storage unit will be delivered to the student’s campus dorm room by this Company. SMARTBOX will pick up the storage unit after the student might have loaded the unit themselves and deliver it to a storage center.

A one-time bundled fee payment that covers everything is made available for a college student at the very beginning so as to make it easy. Each unit can accommodate up to 3,000 pounds of items.

Website: www.smartboxmovingandstorage.com

Other Affordable Self-Storage Options include

1. CubeSmart

This self-storage company is easy to find and readily available across the country with its over 800 facilities nationwide. Self-storage discounts are being offered to students during the summer by this company. Storage contracts are on a monthly basis, and there is no minimum stay in the contract.

Website: www.cubesmart.com

2. Public Storage

One of the most convenient and easy-to-locate storage centers available to students is Public Storage with its heavy presence across the country, having thousands of locations nationwide.

Multiple size units, monthly storage plans, and climate control units are some of the offers provided by this storage facility.

Website: www.publicstorage.com

3. Extra Space Storage

This company has over 800 locations across the country, making it possible to offer student storage services with ease. Their storage units come in various sizes. Both climates controlled storage facilities, and monthly rental contracts are being offered by Extra Space Storage.

Website: www.extraspace.com


Are you planning to store your belongings this summer? With Moving Feedback’s storage service finder, it is easy to locate nearby storage units. You are only required to moving quote form to get quotes from various cross country movers. Quotes from different nearby storage unit facilities will be pulled by Moving Feedback for comparison. Either by filtering them by features such as drive-up access, 24-hour access, and climate control, or by their price, distances from your home or campus, and star ratings from previous customers, you can sort them out before you make your final decision.  Do you have an idea about college move and storage? Share it with us!

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