College Living

The Ultimate College Packing List for Guys

Heading off to college for your first semester? Here are seven things all guys should bring to college. Our packing list will ensure you’re completely prepared!

When you graduated high school, you thought the hard part was over. But for many guys, the real challenge is packing for college!

There’s no mathematical formula or textbook that can get you through this chapter in your life. But a lot of other people have been there before you, and you can learn from their experiences.

Decide what you need to take or leave behind based on their mistakes and successes. Their suggestions have helped us to compile the ultimate list for guys heading off to college.

Run through this list, pack your stuff, and then go enjoy the rest of the time you have with your family. Before you know it, you’ll be a “college student,” whether you remember to bring your toothbrush or not!

1.‌ ‌Proper Hygiene Essentials for College Guys

It sounds like common sense, but those little necessities are exactly what gets forgotten. The worst part is that you don’t remember you forgot them until you need them!

Clean underwear isn’t something you want to borrow from your roommate. Go ahead and throw enough pairs in your suitcase to last you a week right now. It might be the most important thing you pack.

Beyond checking that uber-crucial item off of your list, hit up your local drugstore for these hygiene essentials:

There may be towels in your dorm, but if you don’t want to share, bring your own. Before you zip up your suitcase, label everything, especially if you’re rooming with someone else.

2. Comfy Bedding

Getting a good night’s rest is everything for a college student. Without enough sleep, your grades will suffer.

It’s hard enough to fit quality sleep into your schedule, but an uncomfortable bed makes it even more difficult.

Dorm bed mattresses are more functional than form-fitting. Your sleep style may not conform well to the bed you end up with. But, you can use a few extra accessories to make it softer.

Find a comforter, sheets, and pillowcases that help you relax. Bring your favorite blanket if it gives you sounder slumber. Just as important, though, is a mattress topper and cover. You don’t know who slept on your bed before, and you probably don’t want to know.

Don’t worry; it won’t make you look more like a princess than a king if you spruce up your bed to get better sleep!

Related: College Housing Alternatives: Renting a House with Friends

3. Electronics for College

For most people, forgetting their electronics is on the same level as leaving behind their arm or leg. It just won’t happen.

Depending on your lifestyle, you may want to bring any number of devices. To keep this list short, we’ll stick to the two most important ones:

A smartphone and a laptop.

Both of these are not only approved by most college professors, but they’re also expected. Almost all assignments are turned in via an electronic dropbox. Syllabi are accessible online. And research work is expected to be completed — you guessed it — using the web.

Computer accessories such as a keyboard, mouse, and surge protector are also suggested. Printers aren’t a requirement, but if you have one, you may be the most popular student on your floor when research papers are due.

P.S. Don’t forget the chargers!

4. Kitchen Essentials

Unless you plan on eating pizza for every meal (which, honestly, might be the case), you should bring some silverware. You don’t have to grab the full-course dinner set from the department store, but you should have a few utensils around.

You should also bring the following:

Be sure to bring at two of everything. It’s easy to say that you’re going to wash your dish after every meal. But as a former college guy myself, I can say it doesn’t work that way.

Storing and cooking your own goods is an added bonus, but not allowed everywhere. Check to see if your dorm allows you to bring a mini-fridge or microwave. They’re splurges, but you’ll save money in the long run.

Related: 53 Kitchen Essentials for Your New Apartment

5. School Supplies


Textbooks may be available on campus, but you don’t want to be stuck paying college prices for your supplies.

Dollar stores and discount department stores will be your best bet for supplies like:

Pencil sharpeners, scientific calculators, and a 3-ring hole punch are not necessities but are highly suggested.

Related: Your Full Guide to Moving Out for the First Time

6. Cleaning Gear

Maybe at home you were able to get away with skipping chores, but at college, the burden of cleanliness falls on you.

Bring a lightweight vacuum, a broom and dustpan, and cleaning detergent.

Throw a mesh hamper in your bag to keep your dirty clothes contained until laundry day. And bring some rolls of quarters, too, because the laundromat probably has coin-operated machines.

7. General Stuff

You should have just enough clothes to make it through the week, with a laundry day scheduled regularly.

You are also now responsible for your important documents. Get a lockbox and store your birth certificate, ID, passport, and any health insurance cards in it. Keep the key someplace safe.

Don’t forget about your health, either.

Pack any prescription medications you take along with a small first aid kit with some basic cold and headache remedies.

Whether you plan on taking a physical education class or not, pack some gym clothes and shoes. You never know when you might want to get some exercise.

Related: Our List of the Best Dorm Room TV Stands


Going away to college is exciting, but it’s also nerve-wracking.

With this comprehensive list of things to stuff in your suitcase, you’ve got control of your gear. Now you can focus less on what to pack and more on spending time with those you’re leaving behind before you go.

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