The Ultimate Packing List

Categories: General Information, News

Figuring out what to bring to college can be a hassle.

It feels like every store comes out with their own “back to college” packing list and it can be hard to tell if something is essential or will just take up space.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of things that I personally consider essential for any dorm.

Bedroom Needs

  • Bedding (Tip: Pack two sets of sheets.)
  • Foam Mattress Pad (Tip: The thicker the better.)
  • Curtains (Tip: Blackout curtains are best!)
  • White Noise Machine
  • Bedside Lamp
  • Alarm Clock
  • Pictures (Tip: Command strips work great for hanging wall frames.)
  • Corkboard or Whiteboard
  • Wall Decor (Tip: Tapestry is a simple way to personalize your space.)
  • Additional Lights
  • Storage Bins
  • Cart-on-Wheels
  • Full-Length Mirror


  • Clothes (Tip: Bring what you need for the season or until a break.)
  • Swimsuit
  • Business-Casual Clothes
  • Light & Heavy Jackets
  • Shoes
  • Clothing Hangers
  • Iron & Mini Ironing Board
  • Laundry Detergent, Dryer Sheets, Stain Remover
  • Laundry Basket/Bag

Desk Supplies

  • Extension Cord (Tip: No multi-plug extension cords.)
  • Desk Lamp
  • Printer with Ink and Paper
  • Desk Organizer
  • Drawer Organizers
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pushpins
  • Laptop
  • Notebooks
  • Pens, Pencils, Highlighters
  • Backpack
  • Calculator (Tip: Required calculators may differ based on courses and professors.)
  • Whiteout
  • Sticky Notes & Index Cards
  • Folders/Binders (Tip: Have one for each class.)
  • Planner

Bathroom & Toiletries

  • Towels
  • Scale
  • Shower Curtain
  • Bath Mats
  • Shower Caddy
  • Shower Shoes (Tip: Use cheap Flip Flops.)
  • Toilet Paper
  • Hairbrush/Comb
  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Mouthwash, Dental Floss
  • Regular Products (ie. Makeup, Hair, Deodorant, etc.)
  • Baby Wipes
  • Compact Mirror
  • Cotton Swabs and Cotton Balls

Household & Kitchen Items

  • Small Trash Can
  • Trash Bags
  • Clorox Wipes
  • Windex
  • Shower Cleaner
  • Toilet Wand
  • Paper Towels
  • Air Freshener
  • Hand Soap
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Swiffer Sweeper with Refills
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Individually Packaged Drinks & Snacks
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Paper Plates
  • Plastic Silverware
  • Plastic Cups

Shared Items with Roommates

  • Area Rug
  • Mini Fridge (Tip: to rent a compact refrigerator/freezer, visit the MicroFridge Rental website.)
  • Microwave
  • Coffee Maker
  • Wall Decor for Common Area


  • Lint Roller
  • Headphones
  • Reusable Shopping Bags
  • Additional Storage Bins
  • Umbrella
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Gym Bag
  • First Aid Kit
  • Mini Toolkit

Pro Tips

  • If you are unsure about an appliance or item to bring on campus, visit Housing and Residence Life’s list of packing and prohibited items.
  • Depending on the type of housing you’re assigned, some of the items above may be provided.
  • Target has a dorm registry that provides you with discounts on many dorm supplies.
  • Keep the receipts and packaging of the items you bought, that way you can get a refund if you need to return something.
  • Consult with your roommates on common or shared items.
  • Bring a dolly on move-in day, your back will thank you.
  • Be prepared to unload everything out of your car within 15 minutes. This helps keep the traffic to a minimum when the residence halls open.
  • Note: Unloading your car doesn’t mean carrying everything to your dorm room, instead, you’ll unload your belongings onto the sidewalk near your building and then begin making trips inside.
  • Buying generic brands of items will save you a lot of money.
  • Take pictures while moving in, they are great memories to look back on.
  • Take advantage of the free t-shirts given out on move-in day. You can never have too many UNC Charlotte t-shirts, especially with #WearGreenWednesday.
  • Thank your parents and anyone else who helped you move in. It is hard work!