What You ACTUALLY Need For College

It’s back to school season so that means there’s only a few weeks until the college kiddos like myself head back. Last year when I was getting ready to leave for Chicago I was a nervous wreck about what to pack and how many of what and what I could and couldn’t live without. There are endless lists on Pinterest of what you need and don’t need to take with you to college. I am here today to tell you what you REALLY need. Because I definitely overpacked last year and you probably will too. And all of that EXTRA stuff is the LAST thing you need in that oh so tiny dorm room cramped with not only your stuff but also your roommate’s. So here it goes:



I got almost everything from Target

  • mattress topper
  • mattress pad
  • 2 sets of sheets (perfect for when you need to wash one set)
  • comforter
  • throw blanket
  • fun accent pillows


  • at least 2 body towels
  • 2 hand towels
  • shower caddy
  • hair dryer
  • curling iron
  • straightener
  • shampoo & conditioner
  • face wash
  • makeup remover
  • razor & shaving cream
  • moisturizer
  • hair products
  • cotton rounds
  • makeup brushes
  • perfume..my absolute fave lately has been Laila by Geir Ness it’s slightly floral but a super clean & fresh scent
  • toothbrush & toothpaste
  • lotion
  • retainer
  • tweezers
  • deodorant..I’ve been going for a more natural one from Sephora the Lavanila vanilla summer with no aluminum
  • tissues
  • any medicines you may need..allergy medicine, cold, vitamins, etc.
  • Kopari coconut sheer oil (I’m obsessed! Use my link to check out their AMAZING products!!)


  • laptop & charger
  • extension cords
  • surge protector
  • calculator
  • chargers
  • speaker
  • batteries
  • headphones


  • storage bins
  • desk organizers
  • closet organizers


  • clorox wipes
  • paper towels
  • trash bags (I just use left over target bags)
  • laundry basket or bag
  • laundry detergent..really recommend the Tide pods!
  • hand soap
  • trash can
  • dish sponge & soap


  • mini fridge
  • microwave
  • keurig & k cups
  • mugs
  • cups
  • brita water filter, I used the pitcher
  • ziploc bags
  • paper plates
  • silverware
  • reusable water bottles


  • lamp
  • printer
  • printer paper
  • tape
  • stapler
  • scissors
  • writing utensils

Another BIG tip I can give is to REALLY try and think about what clothes and how many to bring. I WAY overpacked and wore maybe half of what I brought with me. Think realistically. You won’t really wear that dress to class, you’ll wear sweatpants.

Once you have all of the essentials it is super fun to customize the room to make it your style. I had a big picture collage made, some string lights above my bed, and different wall art. I also had a ton of framed pictures on my desk of my friends and family from back home.

Moving away to college is SUCH a fun, exciting, nerve wracking, exhausting, and scary process all in one. Don’t make it any harder by bringing stuff you don’t need and taking up space you don’t have.

Good luck to all of the bright and talented people heading into college you will do amazing!!!

xoxo Anna


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