College Packing List for Guys Dorm at BYU Idaho {free printable}

Free college packing list for guys moving into a dorm or his first apartment. This checklist is for boys (or guys) in every category you will need to move into your first apartment or dorm.  My college packing list for guys covers the dorm room, desk and school supplies, laundry and cleaning supplies. It also includes a packing list for clothing, toiletries, and miscellaneous items.

Everything you need to pack for college in one place that is also FREE and editable on Google Drive!

If your apartment or dorm has a personal bathroom and/or kitchen then you are in luck because this packing list covers those room as well.  This college packing list for guys is free and editable!

RELATED:  College Dorm Checklist for Guys

packing list advice for college freshmen moving into a dorm
Jason and I moving Dylan into his first dorm room!

I’ve even included the important documents you will need to gather in addition to organizational ideas to be prepare for possible issues your freshman might have.  Lastly, the packing list includes a list of shared items that you will only need one of and are ideal for sharing the responsibility of buying with roommates.

From a mom’s perspective, this packing list for guys is all of my research that I did to prepare for my son to move out on his own his freshman year of college.  I didn’t want to forget my lessons learned and great freshman advice that I got along the way.

I spent a LOT of time of the college packing list for guys showing you specific products that I purchased in an effort to save you all that time and research.  Which made the packing list section really long.  Here’s a list of all the other topics I cover that you might need to know.

Click any link below to “jump” directly to that topic in this article:

1. College Packing List for Guys
2.  Items NOT On Dorm Packing List
3. Family Bonding Traditions
4. How to Pack Your Clothes
5. How to Pack Your Car

Feel free to click any link above to be taken directly to that section.    After those great tips I suggest you head over to learn what to expect during College Move In Day  I’ll give you another free printable with a college dorm checklist as well as Questions To Ask The Dorm.

Ready for a lot of great college hacks, freshman advice, and tips?  Let’s get started.

1. Print College Packing List for Guys

Free College Packing List for Guys for Dorm or Apartment

EHprint Download File Here:
College Packing List for Guys (351 downloads) , not editable
College Packing List for Guys on Google Drive ~ copy to edit
College Packing List for Guys on Google Drive ~ view only

I created this free printable packing list for guys onto google drive so you can SAVE A COPY and then edit the checklist to your own needs.

I hope it doesn’t confuse you, but I added several copies of the SAME file depending on how you want to use it.

  • PDF version, instant download, printer ready, can not edit.
  • A copy you can edit and personalize for yourself ~ click “make a copy” to the prompt to copy this file to your Google Drive.
  • View only version of the list ~ see what you are downloading before you download it.

I couldn’t let you edit the original life because it would permanently change the file for everyone.  Which would be a bummer.  So hopefully one of these options is what you’ve been searching for.

Yep, it really is a free file and for personal use only.  This checklist works for anyone moving into a dorm with or without a kitchen or personal bathroom. Enjoy!

I found a bunch of great packing lists for guys online but none that were editable and organized in the categories that I like to shop in.  So hopefully you’ll be able to download the free file and make it work for your college dorm.

This packing list for guys will focus only on the checklist items and packing the car to move to college.  If you’re looking for buying advice and tips moving into the dorm freshman advice then you’ll also want to check out  College Dorm Checklist for Guys.

Freshman Tip ~ Pack Light!

Seriously.  Pack and bring as little as possible.  Only bring what you need and when you need it.  I know we’ve been telling you all your life to “be prepared” but this is not the time to impulse buy or go overboard with “what ifs”.  Know what you need and only bring that.  This packing list will help you do just that.  Print it and use it.

Packing light will save you time and money but most importantly it will help you keep a clean and organized dorm room and apartment.  Which will decrease your clutter, stress, and cleaning.  Thus keeping healthier relationships with roommates and yourself.

Editable Free College Packing List for Guys on Google Drive

The college packing list for guys is 3 pages and if you use it on Google Drive it has interactive checklists you can mark things off and add or delete items as needed.  Moving our son into college for the first time had so many unknowns that I wish I had a detailed list with tips and tricks.  So I decided to make one!  {giggle}  I hope it helps answer your question

Dylan at Center Square at BYU Idaho
I may have shipped 16 packages to Dylan’s dorm room which made moving in a breeze.

To save you TONS of time and research, I’ve included links to the exact products I used when moving in my own son, Dylan, into his college dorm.   These links contain affiliate links and you can Click here for my disclosure policy. Those links help support the site as I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  {knuckle bumps}

College Prep For Guys

College Freshman Face Tshirt Dylans Clan from Laurie Turk
Dylan’s Clan! Our family a couple days before Dylan left for his freshman year of college.

Shop:  College Dorm Room Shopping List  on Amazon

Just like in life, you can do as much or as little as you want. There’s not a “right” way.  I will say that preparing all of this for you has really helped me process my son moving out on his own.  It’s been a really wonderful experience for Jason and me.  We will miss him desperately…. can you tell?!?  {bwaahaa!}  Then being able to re-live those moments by preparing these free printables for YOU has brought me great joy. So thank you for letting me share.

Preparing for College w/ Bundles

College Dorm Bedding Pack Twin XL Bundle to Buy on Amazon
College Dorm Bedding Pack on Amazon {link below}

Before we get to the checklist, let me give you a heads up on something that I wish I had known.

Dude… did you know you can buy kits or bundles?  At the end of my research {grown} I found a few bundles or packs of things that you can buy together to help save on shipping, space, etc.  I thought I’d let you know up front in case that option works best for you and your college freshman.

I didn’t want these options to get lost with all the individual items which is why I’m adding them first.  I hope they help! {knuckle bumps}  I didn’t use these options because I found them after I had already made several purchases and my son didn’t need everything in the bundle.

However, these are great options if your college freshman already knows their roommates and can split some of these up between them.  That’s more money and time for you to process this huge life change.  {wink}

BYU Idaho Center Square Dorm

College Packing List for Guys at BYU Idaho Centre SquareEHprint Download File Here:
BYU Idaho Centre Square Packing List on Google Drive ~ copy to edit
BYU Idaho Centre Square Packing List on Google Drive ~ view only

If you found this post from a Google Search of “center square” or “BYU Idaho housing” then you might be interested in my specific list of what I purchased for Dylan’s Center Square dorm at BYU Idaho in Rexburg.

I hope it doesn’t confuse you, but I added several copies of the SAME file depending on how you want to use it.

  • A copy you can edit and personalize for yourself ~ click “make a copy” to the prompt to copy this file to your Google Drive
  • View only version of the list ~ see what I purchased

Feel free to use whatever version that works for you.  I couldn’t let you edit the original life because it would permanently change the file for everyone.  Which would be a bummer and not as effective.

Yep, it really is a free file and for personal use only.

Items NOT Included in Packing List

Dylan in Empty Dorm Center Square BYU Idaho
Dylan in Empty Dorm Center Square BYU Idaho

This college packing list for guys assumes that your dorm room or apartment has the following items already as they are NOT included:

  • bed frame
  • mattress
  • dresser
  • desk
  • desk chair
  • wall shelf

Therefore, if your college dorm or university apartment does not have any of these items then you will need to edit the packing list and add them.  {wink}

college dorm room ideas for guys AFTER
This is what Dylan’s dorm room looks like all decorated!

If your dorm or apartment does NOT have a dresser, then I would suggest buying storage bins with drawers:

If you add bed risers then they should fit perfectly as under bed storage AND leave you plenty of room to store your luggage and off-season clothing.  If your dorm bed measures 38″ x 38″ inches like Dylan’s did then you should have 16″ left over under your bed and behind these Sterlite drawers for storage space.

free college dorm checklist for the first apartment free printable

College Dorm Shopping List

Here is a list of the items that you should get for a college dorm room or apartment bedroom.  As you can see I’ve broken it down into several sub-categories so you can disregard any that don’t apply to your college freshman.

Shared and Optional Items

Just a heads up, as you’re looking over the college dorm packing lists I’ve highlighted several items in two different colors.  Light teal is for optional items that you can buy.  The darker teal is for shared items that you only need one of so it’s best to coordinate with your roommates on who’s going to bring it.

Bedding Packing List:

Freshman Tip:

Twin XL Bedding ~ In my research, I found that most college dorms require Twin XL bedding.  So make sure you get all your mattress cover, pad, sheets, etc the TWIN XL size.

I made that mistake and wasted a lot of money.  There was a sale on Dylan’s favorite sheets his Senior year and I bought regular twin sheets.  {do’h!}  So, hopefully you’ll learn from my mistake.  Watching for sales is great… but ask other moms of college students on mistakes they made or what they wish they had known.  I promise you it will be worth that extra step in time and money.

Lap Desk ~ I bought Dylan’s grey plastic lap desk or bed tray at Ikea for cheap and it’s so durable. It’s one of his favorite things.

Helpful Links:

In case you don’t like what I purchased, here are some best seller products from Amazon that might help with your research.

This is how I made my decision on what to buy and then I consulted friends who’s kids are at college.

college dorm room ideas for guys AFTER
This is what Dylan’s dorm room looks like all decorated!

Decorating Packing List:

For details on all my decorations which were super cheap and easy to DIY be sure to check out my post Texas College Dorm Room Ideas for Guys for my Dylan!  They are Texas and boy themed but you can tweak the ideas to any theme or color scheme.  I give you a lot of practical DIY advice.

Everything Else:

Desk Packing List:

Freshman Tips:

Less is More ~ When planning out the dorm desk, really think about how it will be used everyday.  I have all boys and let’s face it, my boys are messy.  Maybe you{rs} isn’t.  However, adding a bunch of decor and organizers will probably be a waste of money and space.

For the dorm desk, I would focus on organization, practicality, and charging stations.  How can you cut the clutter?  Is there a multi-purpose charging station or way to minimize cords?  Can you add an extension cord and then a USP port multi-plug to make charging easier?  I love these cord clips. If you want the desk to be the best place to study ~ then make it that way.  No distractions.

free college dorm checklist for desk and school supplies free printable

School Supplies Packing List:

Um… good thing I had school supplies on the list.  I was getting so distracted by other logistics that I totally forgot about supplies.  I think we take for granted that we have so many around the house already.  Here’s a basic list of school supplies they need their freshman year of college.

Freshman Tip:

Just Wait  ~ I didn’t buy very many school supplies. I grabbed things we had around the house like scissors, stapler, ruler, tape, etc.  Now is the perfect time to use your stash of stuff that has built up over the years.  Get rid of it and save yourself some time and money.  {high fives}

I also figured Dylan could get what he needed at the bookstore once classes began.  At a last resort, I could Amazon Prime him anything they didn’t have on campus, right.  So don’t stress or waste the packing space.

Electronics Packing List:

Freshman Tip:

Know Your Son  ~ My son’s a gamer and tech guy.  He loves his video games. I get it, I like my video games too. {giggle}  So electronics was important to him.  However, it was also important to his dad and me that we help him transition to limiting his gaming on his own.  Which he does a great job.

So my advice is get them what they need to enjoy their hobbies but this is where you do NOT need to go overboard or make them too comfortable.  If the dorm has a community TV, don’t get them a personal one.  If they need a laptop, get them one that won’t run all the games they enjoy.  {evil laugh}  Of course I want my boy to enjoy his downtime and play.  However, college is a time to learn, get out and be social, and struggle.

The struggle is real.  Let them do it.

free college dorm checklist for the bathroom and laundry free printable

I’m jumping off my soap box now.   We’re moving on to the bathroom packing list and supplies.  Please note that there is an asterisk* after some of the packing list items for this specific list.

* dorms with a personal bathroom

I added the asterisk* as not every dorm will have a personal bathroom and/or a kitchen like my son’s dorm at BYU Idaho does.  Therefore, I wanted to signify specific items that you can omit if it doesn’t apply to you.


Freshman Tip:

Storage  ~ This may be a no-brainer for you.  However for some reason my son is super modest.  Honestly all my boys are. It’s weird.  I’ve tried to shake it out of them but failed.  Yes, I’m super annoyed by it.  Whatever.  Here is where you should know your son {or yourself}.  If you are super modest then you should use a shower caddy!

Make sure you get a shower caddy, bin, tote, or whatever to take everything you need into the shower {stall, bathroom} with you.  Everything. The caddy needs to be able to drain water to prevent mildew and weird smells, it needs to fit in it’s assigned place for retrieval, and it needs to be something that you won’t be embarrassed carting around with you.

This way showering is easy, no stress, and mechanical.  As it should be.

Laundry with Wii Controller Wipe On Off Board_TipJunkie
Dylan’s dorm has a washer & dryer. I got them a wipe on/off board so they could label their laundry or leave messages.

Laundry & Cleaning Supplies

Next up is laundry and cleaning supplies.  Please note that there is an asterisk* after some of the packing list items for this specific list.

* dorms with a personal bathroom or kitchen

I added the asterisk* as not every dorm will have a personal bathroom and/or a kitchen like my son’s dorm at BYU Idaho does.  Therefore, I wanted to signify specific items that you can omit if it doesn’t apply to you.

Laundry Packing List:

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Laundry Basket
  • Color Catcher    (optional)
  • Fabric softener   (optional)
  • Febreeze   (optional)
  • Stain Remover   (optional)
  • Wrinkle Release Spray   (optional)
  • Clothes Drying Rack (shared item)
  • Steamer / Iron (shared item)

Freshman Tip:

Pick a Day ~ When my son lived on his own this summer, one of his roommates mentioned that he hasn’t washed his sheets yet.  I get it, life gets busy and it’s not something he’s done before.  So my advice is to pick a day to do laundry and add it to your school schedule and do it.  You can also get these disposable sheets if washing bed sheets is an issue.

That’s all I got.  Leave me a comment if you have any suggestions, tips or tricks for laundry.  {high fives}

Dorm Cleaning Packing List:

  • 409 *
  • Cleaning Rags *
  • Dish Washing Scrubber *
  • Paper Towels *
  • Magic Eraser *   (optional)
  • Broom & Dustpan *  (shared item)
  • Dustbuster  (shared item)
  • Mop & Bucket / Swiffer *   (shared item)
  • Vacuum   (shared item)

Freshman Tip:

Don’t Worry ~ My son’s dorm is super strict about cleaning and hopefully yours is too.  I taught Dylan the basics, bought him my favorite cleaning products, and “favorited” my favorite cleaning products in his Walmart Grocery app.  He’s got this.

Bathroom Cleaning Packing List:

  • Disinfecting Wipes *
  • Toilet Cleaner *
  • Windex *
  • Toilet Scrubber *    (shared item)
  • Bathtub Scrubber *    (shared item)
  • Plunger *    (shared item)

Freshman Tip:

Buy These Day 1 ~ I don’t know why, but I was a little shocked that the dorm was completely empty when we arrived.  Like no one had ever lived there before.  No toilet paper, no hand soap, nothing.  It’s like walking into a brand new apartment no one has ever lived in before… it’s empty.  I logically knew that would be the case but seeing it threw me off a little.

Luckily we already had a Walmart grocery order scheduled for pickup and we had everything we needed.  So the FIRST thing you should do when you arrive to your dorm is put out the toilet paper, hand soap, and paper towels into the bathroom.

Yep.  Stocking the bathroom with the necessities should be your first priority and #1 to do on your list.  For obvious reasons.  {cheezy grin}  You and everyone around you will be grateful you did.

College Packing List for Guys with Clothing and Kitchen Items

Freshman Advice:  What Clothing to Pack?

Next up is the clothing packing list for your college freshman.  As you’re buying items and accessories for your clothing packing list consider a few things:

  1. Term time and length
  2. Weather
  3. When will they come home to visit?
  4. Dorm and closet space

1.  Term time and length will factor into what clothing, outfits, and accessories your college freshman will need to pack.

  • What seasons will they need clothes for?
  • What occasions or holidays will they need to dress for?

2. Weather is a big consideration especially if it’s not the same weather patterns that you are used to at home.  For instance, Dylan is going to Brigham Young University in Idaho where it starts to get cold the end of September and by October they are wearing coats.  {eek!}  However, he will be home at Christmas so won’t need the arctic minus-20 degrees type clothing and normal winter wear will work great.

3.  When will your freshman be home?  For those who come home for Thanksgiving, consider not packing any winter clothing.  During their Thanksgiving break they can bring home their fall clothes and get their winter clothing to take back to college.

Do the same with Christmas and Spring Break.  They can bring home what they won’t need and get what they do.  You can also pack a box or two during that time and ship it to them when they will actually need that season of clothing.  They can then use that same box to ship back what they are no long wearing.  This way their dorm room doesn’t get cluttered with what they don’t need.

4.  Dorm and closet space is also a key factor when preparing your freshman packing list.  If you’re able to use under the bed storage then you have a lot of options.

They key is making it super easy for your college student to access what they need quickly so it makes cleaning up and getting dressed efficient and less time consuming.

free college dorm checklist for clothing free printable

Keep in mind this list is for boys and guys.  You won’t find anything for girls or any special grooming or accessories.  So if you have any of those particular needs then you’ll need to add them.  Which is why I created this file to be editable.  So you can customize it to your college student.

Clothing Packing List

  • Belt (casual)
  • PJ’s
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Workout Clothing
  • Robe   (optional)
  • Professional Attire for interviews (optional)

Accessory Packing List:

  • Eye Glasses, Case, Cloth
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Watch

Tops Packing List:

  • Tank Top
  • T-shirt
  • Long Sleeve
  • Sweatshirt & Hoodies
  • Formal Top   (optional)

Bottoms Packing List:

  • Jeans
  • Pants
  • Sweatpants
  • Shorts
  • Swim Suit  (optional)
  • Formal Bottom  (optional)

Church Packing List:

  • Belt (dressy)
  • Dressy Socks
  • Suit & Tie
  • Dress Shirt

Shoes Packing List:

  • Everyday Shoes
  • Shower Flip Flops
  • Flip Flops
  • Church Shoes
  • Slippers  (optional)
  • Rain Boots  (optional)
  • Running Shoes    (optional)

Jackets Packing List:

Winter Packing List:

(store in ottoman}

  • Winter Clothing
  • Winter Snow Cap
  • Ear Muffs
  • Gloves / Mittens
  • Hand Warmers  (optional)


  • Waterproof Snow Boots  (optional)
  • Socks for Boots    (optional)

Freshman Tip:

School Uniform Requirements ~ Dylan’s college requires specific university work out clothing to be worn at the university gym.  I don’t know if this is common for other colleges or not.  So it’s worth it to find out if the university has any specific school uniform requirements regarding clothing.

free college dorm checklist for toiletries free printable

Toiletries Packing List:

Feel free to add all of your beauty products, hair products, and shaving products to this edible list on Google Drive as I only added the basics.

  • Chapstick
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Tweezers
  • Razors
  • Shaving Cream
  • Aftershave / Moisturizer
  • Body Wash / Soap
  • Face Wash
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Lotion
  • Nail Clippers
  • Q-tips
  • Band-aids
  • First Aid Kit
  • Contacts & Solution (optional)
  • Cotton Balls  (optional)
  • Kleenex  (optional)
  • Lint Roller  (optional)
  • Loofa  (optional)

Hair Product Packing List:

  • Hair Brush / Comb
  • Hair Gel
  • Hairspray
  • Hair Dryer

Medicine Packing List:

Freshman Tips:

Cold & Flu Box ~ Buying a bunch of medicine that you might not use can feel like a waste of money. I get it.  I struggled with this one. However, when you child is sick and away from home you can feel helpless and unprepared.  Which is why {on the next page} I added a couple kits that you can put together so the will have what they need, when they need it.  Amazon Prime can feel like FOREVER when you’re sick and waiting on cold and flu medication.

Prescription Medication ~ If your college freshman takes his medication twice a day, get him a pill container on a key chain.  Add two alarms to on his phone to “take your pill”.  And then another alarm on Sunday to refill his pill key chain once a week at a time and day when he’s usually home.

My son takes his medication twice a day, which can be a pain.  Therefore, I ordered him a Pill container on a key chain so he can take his afternoon medication no matter where he is without having to have a lot in his backpack.

Miscellaneous Packing List

  • Gym Duffel Bag
  • Luggage
  • Cinch Sack
  • Totes or Ikea Zipper Bags
  • Umbrella
  • Board games
  • Flashlight
  • Humidifier
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sports Equipment

Car Packing List:

If you or your son will not have a car at the dorm, then disregard this section.

  • Tire Gage
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Ice Scraper
  • RainX
  • Dorm Door Mat

free college dorm checklist for kitchen free printable

Kitchen Packing List:

This kitchen packing list is for dorms with a kitchen. If your son is in a dorm that does not have it’s own kitchen then you can skip this section.  However, I would recommend getting a water bottle and Insulated tumbler.


  • Cup
  • Bowls and Plates
  • Mug
  • Silverware
  • Silverware Divider
  • Kitchen Hand Towels
  • Water Bottle
  • Insulated Tumbler  (optional)
  • Plastic Food Storage  (optional)


Freshman Tip:

1st Week Use Disposable ~ I decided to get Dylan some consumable products for his first month living on his own.  At home we eat on paper plates most of the time and so this is also something that he’s used to doing at home.  Therefore, I thought this convenience item would be worth it.  However, if this doesn’t work for your college freshman then you can skip this consumable section.

Only Need 1:

The items in this “only need 1” sub-category is for you to see what items you can split up among your college dorm and roommates.   This will save you time and money as well as keep the kitchen more organized and less cluttered with redundant kitchen supplies.

  • Bowls (large),  (shared item)
  • Colander (collapsing),    (shared item)
  • Can Opener   (shared item)
  • Cookie Sheet   (shared item)
  • Cutting Board    (shared item)
  • Dish Washing Scrubber   (shared item)
  • Hot Pads for Counter    (shared item)
  • Oven Mitt  (shared item)
  • Ice Cream Scoop    (shared item)
  • Ice Trays    (shared item)
  • Large Serving Utensils    (shared item)
  • Measuring Spoons etc.   (shared item)
  • Paper Towel Holder    (shared item)
  • Pizza Cutter  (shared item)
  • Spatula   (shared item)

Larger Items:

Again these are larger kitchen items and small appliances that as a college student you will only need one of.  Therefore, this is also a great place to split up on who’s going to bring what to save time shopping, money, and dorm or apartment space.

Just think how miserable it will be in the kitchen if all 6 of your roommates bought a full set of pots and pans.  Ooof!  That would fill up all your cupboards and make it hard find space for the other things you need.

Condiments & Basics:

Feel free to make a copy of my list by saving a copy to your Google Drive so you can edit the file.  If you or your son has condiments or other basics that they need then feel free to add them.

  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Jelly
  • Ketchup
  • Mayo
  • Microwave Popcorn
  • Milk
  • Peanut Butter
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Salsa
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Syrup

Freshman Tip:

A Good Start ~ Knowing Dylan’s school does not have a meal plan and he would have to cook most of his meals, I wanted to give him a good head start by buying him basic condiments and a few things he enjoys.  Move-in day was pretty hectic for everyone and we were glad we moved him in with all of these things on day 1.  I didn’t worry about him at all knowing he was fully stocked and ready!

College Packing List for Guys_Documents and Shared Items to Buy

Document Packing List

I have outlined everything you’ll need in my College Life Binder which prompts you to gather all these items into one place for storage and an easy way to find them later.  However, if you’re wanting a basic rundown of what information your college freshman will need here’s a quick list of documents.

College Life Binder:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Drivers license
  • Student ID
  • Social Security Card
  • Passport  (optional)
  • Banking Info & App
  • Checks  (optional)
  • Debit & Credit Card
  • Safe or Lock Box
  • Car Insurance
  • Car Registration
  • Car Title
  • Medical Insurance Card
  • Dental Insurance Card
  • Pharmacy Contact
  • Medication List & Refill Log (free printable)
  • Doctor Contacts
  • Menu & Shopping List  (free printable)
  • Student Budget  (free printable)

This is my favorite section of the entire list.  I truly enjoyed creating all these free printables and making the files about things that I’ve learned and what I wanted Dylan to have now that he’s living on his own.  They were a labor of love and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did making them.

Organizational Ideas

We are moving onto organizational ideas. These are ALL optional.  Since my college freshman is far away, I wanted him to have a few comfort items as well as try to prepare ahead of time as much as possible.

Under bed storage for college apartment decor_TipJunkie

Please note that there is an asterisk* after some of these items for this specific list.

* previously listed

I added the asterisk* as some of these items are already listed and I don’t want you to buy multiple things that you don’t need.  Therefore, I wanted to signify specific items that are previously listed above on the list to avoid purchasing duplicate products.

Pain Relief Box:

Add into the box any medications or pain relief items that you or your college freshman might need. Think about what activities and hobbies they will be participating in while they are away at college.  Then tailor this pain relief box to those requirements.

This would also be a great place for seasonal allergies medications, nasal sprays, and other things that might be needed.

Cold & Flu Box:


Shared Items with Roommates

When Dylan and I were preparing him for college, we had wished that there was a “shared items with roommates”  list in one place, so here you go!

College Life Shared Items with Roommates

ALL items are previously listed. This last section of the packing list is to be used for coordination with roommates and not a shopping list.  To avoid buying duplicate items use this list to facilitate discussions with roommates on what’s needed and what assignments need to be made.

Dorm Room Shared Items:

  • Wireless Printer & Ink
  • Bedroom Rug  (optional)
  • Blackout Curtains  (optional)
  • Clothes Drying Rack   (optional)
  • Dorm Door Mat   (optional)
  • Microwave  (optional)
  • Mini Fridge  (optional)
  • Steamer / Iron  (optional)
  • TV  (optional)

Cleaning Supplies Shared Items:

  • 409
  • Broom & Dustpan
  • Dustbuster
  • Mop & Bucket / Swiffer
  • Vacuum
  • Windex

Bathroom Shared Items:

Kitchen Shared Items:

  • Bowls (large)
  • Collender (collapsing)
  • Can Opener
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Cutting Board
  • Dish Scrubber
  • Electric Kettle  (optional)
  • Food Thermometer  (optional)
  • Hot Pads for Counter
  • Oven Mitt
  • Ice Cream Scoop
  • Ice Trays  (optional)
  • Kitchen Dish Towels
  • Large Serving Utensils
  • Measuring Spoons etc.
  • Microwave Safe Dishes
  • Paper Towel Holder
  • Pizza Baking Sheet
  • Spatula

Kitchen Large Items to Share:

That’s it.  This is the full college packing list with all the essentials that they’ll need for their first year or freshman year.  Feel free to add what I missed in the comments.  I’m happy to update the list, as needed.  Also, if you have a favorite product you can also add the link into the comments for everyone to benefit from it.

I don’t like having to re-invent the wheel. I’m sure you don’t either.  So I’m hoping that we’ll all be able to share each others experiences and make this list even better!

Cool Things To Buy for College

My son is a very practical guy and didn’t want any extra luxury items.  However, I kept these on my College Amazon List as they would make great care packages when he needs a pick-me-up or later when he’s an upperclassman.

Riyidecor Ocean Sunrise Tapestry

I couldn’t resist showing them to you so here are the links in case your college freshman might want or need them.

Cool But Practical College Gift Ideas:

These are things a college student probably won’t purchase themselves on a budget.  However, they would add value and make life a little more comfortable.

College Dorm Storage and Organizers

Storage & Organizers:

Space is an issue and storage and organization is the answer.  For instance, if you need a mini-fridge and/or microwave in your dorm but you don’t have the space here are some some cool storage options.

Freshman Tip:

Multi-Purpose ~ They key to great organization is using 1 item for multiple purposes!  Don’t buy anything you won’t use and make sure everything has a place to be stored.

Dorm Items I Bought at Ikea:

Since we’re talking about packing and shopping I thought it’d take it a little personal and share our shopping trip to Ikea.  It was hands down my fastest visit to Ikea ever.  Dylan is no-fuss or frills.  {snicker}

College Dorm Essentials Purchased at Ikea

Dylan and I had a fun day at Ikea getting his college dorm room organizational items. Here’s what we ended up getting from his list.

  • Lap Desk ~ I found a grey one at Ikea that Dylan loves and says he uses every day.
  • Grey Trash Can
  • Black Storage Cubes ~ They can in a pack with several different collapsible sizes as the bottoms zip.
  • Blue Zipper Backpack Bags ~ Dude!!  If there’s one tip you need to know is to use Ikea blue zipper backpack bags for everything!!  Packing, transporting up to the 3rd floor, grocery shopping, storing off-weather clothing… you name it these Ikea bags can do it.. Dylan is even keeping a few in his trunk for when he grocery shops.  He can wear one on his back and carry the other two bags up to this third floor and get everything done in one trip.  Incredible.

dorm room black storage cubes from Ikea

Kitchen Stuff ~ I also purchased a bunch of random kitchen things for Dylan’s new apartment.

  • utensil organizer, hot pads, can opener, dish scrubber, plunger, headphone stand, lint roller, large utensil holder, bathroom clock, and a few other small things.

I did over-buy that day at Ikea.  I wish I had this final list when I was shopping.  My advice is to only get what’s on your list.  {snicker}

2. Items NOT On Dorm Packing List

Texas wall decor dorm ideas for guys_TipJunkie

College Dorm Room Ideas for Comfort

There were a couple things we ended up buy Dylan for his BYU Idaho Centre Square dorm that I did NOT add to the list.  Hmm… maybe I should?  You’ll have to let me know in the comments.

  1. Linenspa Shredded Foam Reading Pillow
  2. Acer 21.5″ Monitor and Monitor Stand Riser
  3. Candy for the roommates welcoming them home

These added a little extra comfort to Dylan’s dorm room as well as his roommates.

Linenspa Shredded Foam Reading Pillow for College Dorm Room

Dylan also said that he LOVES his reading pillow and uses it a lot.  If you get the Linenspa Shredded Foam Reading Pillow then be sure to read the comments and follow the instructions on how to get it super puffed up and full.  We followed the unpacking instructions and didn’t have any issues.

Dorm Room Ideas for Guys

shelf decorating dorm ideas for boys

You can learn more about college room decor ideas over Texas Dorm Room Ideas post. I’ll show you how to quickly great two dorm wall decor for guys in under $10.  {squeal in delight}

Here’s a quick list of dorm room decor I purchased:

I purchased the big D and the clock isle at Hobby Lobby while shopping for his other supplies.  The big D is seriously heavy but that’s the one he wanted.  Dylan bought the black Bull Head at Walmart a while ago.  He loves it and originally it was the only dorm wall decor he wanted hung on his walls.

Items We Brought From Home:

Everything we could!  We brought a few things to decorate his dorm room from home like his scriptures, Dungeons and Dragons dice and dice holder.  We already had the octagon pens & pencil holder which I think I also got at Home Goods years ago.

Since Dylan lived in an apartment while selling pest control over the summer we had most of the basic dishes, knives, and kitchen items which I purchased at Walmart.

TIP:  Bring as much from home as you can!  Don’t feel like you need to buy everything brand new.  It turns out bringing supplies and decor from home helps make their new apartment dorm room feel more homey and remind them of good memories and how much you love them.  YAY!

3.  Family Bonding Traditions

Even though our child is going off to college doesn’t mean the celebrations stop.  We are entering in a new phase of adult children with FIRSTS again.  First apartment, first holiday away from home, first time we get to send car packages… I could go on and on.

College Freshman Face Tshirt Dylans Clan from Laurie Turk
Dylan’s Clan tshirts for our freshman going off to college

Therefore, I decided to make these “Dylan’s Clan” tshirts that we could all wear as a family to show Dylan that we support him no matter where he is.  I image us wearing them when he gets his mission call to serve for our church, during finals week, when he gets engaged {hopefully a decade from now}.  Oh the possibilities.

We first wore our Dylan’s Clan tshirts the night before Dylan left for college.  It was exciting.

The second time we wore then is when we moved Dylan into his dorm.  Yep!  Jason and I wore them on College Move In Day.  {giggle}  Dylan wore an I’m With Them tshirt  with his first name ironed on the back. I ironed on our last name on the back of mine and Jason’s shirt.

So if you saw us walking on campus it said TURK DYLAN TURK.  {bwaahaa!}  I wish I had a picture of it.  It was so much fun.  As we were moving in and walking around campus people would yell HI to Dylan.  For me it made the day really fun and we got to meet tons of new people.  For Dylan, he started out the day totally embarrassed and a little mad at me.

However, by the end of the day I think it really helped us assimilate and model to Dylan that you get what you give.  The power of reciprocity is real!  If you give people a reason to talk to you ~ they will!  It was important to me that I showed my introvert son that he can do simple things and get a big result.  It just takes a little out of the box thinking and an act on your part.  Mission accomplished.

College Freshman Face Ties for Family Turk
The 1st Sunday of every month we will all wear our family ties

Another thing I had custom made were these face neck ties.  I debated if we should only put Dylan’s face on the ties or each of our families faces.  In the end, I felt it would be more efficient and cost effective to have all of our families faces put onto the ties.

Since the purpose is to celebrate being together while we are apart, having all of our faces felt more inclusive and loving.  We will all wear them the first Sunday of every month to church.  This will help us stay connected but also not forget how important we are to one another individually and as a family.

4. How to Pack Your Clothes

Stressing about how you’re going to fit everything into the car to take to college is not going to be a problem.  You are prepared. You didn’t over buy.  You made sure things are efficient.  So this is going to be fun.

Dorm Hack Moving Tips Pack Clothes on Hangers and Trash Bags
Pack clothes on hangers inside kitchen trash bags

Shoes ~ The bulkiest items on the packing list for guys is definitely the clothing and shoes.  I wrapped my son’s shoes in his towels and put those in the Ikea blue zipper bags.  Dylan packed everything but his hanging clothing into one extra large duffel bag.

Duffel Bag ~ We chose a duffel bag instead of luggage because it’s soft, collapsible, and can be used for many purposes.  He could use it to carry groceries, sports equipment, camping, a weekend away, really for anything.  Storing it would not be an issue as it will fit under his bed behind his bins.

Even though the duffel bag doesn’t have the convenience of wheels, over the long term we felt it was a better choice than a suit case. It worked great.

Hangers & Trash Bags ~  If you are driving your car to college or moving withing driving distance then consider packing your clothes on their current hanger.  I had read this on 20 Hacks & Tips To Make College Move In Day A Breeze and saw so many freshman had done this as well.

My suggestion is to do it where you can wrap the yellow “handles” around the hangers to secure them in place so they won’t slip out.  If they still slip, use zip ties.

As you can see from the photo above, we did it the opposite of what everyone else did.  I had remembered the college hack wrong.  {d’oh!}  Dylan and I poked a hole into the bottom of the trash bag for the hanger to go through.  The problem was the bags were not long enough.  That wasn’t a big deal for us.

However, it caused another other problem of the hangers slipping out.  So I grabbed zip ties and threaded them through the middle of the hanger {which had a hole} and it secured them all in place.  Thank heaven for the zip ties!

Whichever way you use the kitchen trash bags ~ use them!  It saved us having to make room from all those hangers {or forgetting to pack them} and it made the most efficient space for his hanging clothes as they packed flat in his trunk.

5. How to Pack Your Car

This brings me to packing the car.  Jason, Dylan and I took such a fun road trip from Texas to Idaho.  We used a couple apps RoadTrippers and Roadside America to stop along the way and enjoy the time together.

Freshman Tip:  If you are driving with your parents in your car to college be sure to pack the couple days clothing and toiletries you will need for the road trip in your PARENTS luggage.  This way you won’t need to open up your trunk for any reason.  All wall decor will remain undamaged and your road trip will be stress free for mom.  {giggle}

What NOT to Pack:

I would NOT pack any big plastic bins in your car.  If you must use them I would suggest shipping them directly to the dorm.

Dorm Moving Tips Pack Car with Ikea Zipper Bags on Bottom

When you are packing the car trunk, we found that it is best to pack this in a specific order.
Step 1 is to pack the base or foundation of your trunk.  With the goal of keeping things as flat as possible.

  • Duffel bag to one side
  • Ikea blue bags in the remaining space

Hopefully when you packed your Ikea blue bags you tried to pack them as rectangle as possible keeping their natural shape.

The great thing about the Ikea blue bags is that they don’t have to be completely full to retain their rectangle shape.  In addition, they make packing odd shaped items like pots and pans and kitchen stuff so easy!

Dorm Moving Tips Pack Car with Clothes on Top then Decor

Now that you have a flat base thanks to the handy dandy Ikea blue bags, step 2 is to lay all of your clothing on hangers.  As you pack your clothing keep things as flat as possible.

  • Clothing on hangers
  • Wall Decor on top

If you have chosen to tie the kitchen trash bags, you might need to poke a hole in them to release the air inside so they will lay completely flat.

Next up is packing your wall decor on top.  Again the goal here is to keep it flat and so that it doesn’t get bent.  To keep Dylan’s big Texas shape wall decor from bending or getting damaged on the ends I packed it in-between two giant folded fabric bins from Ikea.  Granted we didn’t end up using the bins as they were too big to fit anywhere.  But they did a great job keeping my DIY Texas Shape wall decor perfectly flat during our 2 day travels.  {snicker}

I kept Dylan’s vinyl headboard in it’s round container which also helped to keep his clothes in place and from rolling around.  It also prevented the trash bags from getting caught in the trunk mechanism.

This should fill your car trunk to the top.  If you have any extra random things, you can pack them on the sides of the trunk where needed.

Jason Laurie and Dylan driving to BYU Idaho College

Mom and Dad’s Suitcase ~ Since three of us were driving in a five passenger vehicle for two days from Texas to Rexburg, Idaho we had some extra luggage to deal with.  This actually was not a problem at all thanks to our expert packing.

We had Dylan put his toiletries and two-day clothing in our suitcase.  Our large suitcase {mom and dad’s luggage} was packed in the backseat.  Even though was extra large, it fit perfectly in the floorboard behind the drivers seat.

Jason and I flew home to Texas and took our suitcase with us.  Therefore, that didn’t become a storage issue for Dylan later at the dorm.

What was in the backseat? 

Putting our suit case on the floor, gave the backseat it’s full space for lounging, pillows, Dylan’s backpack, and travel day packs with electronics, snacks, etc.

I wish I had taken a picture.  I was in the backseat the two days and it was really nice to have so much space and not feel claustrophobic.

Packing Advice for Freshman:

  • Pre-wash all of your bedding.  Make sure it’s able to be the first to unpack when you arrive.
  • Pack an overnight bag with clothing and toiletries so you have what you need on hand.
  • If you are bringing bins or plastic dressers, pack your bins beforehand to use the space and make move in easier.  Tape your drawers shut!
  • If your dorm does not have a kitchen or mini-fridge already cold then bring a cooler with drinks and snacks.

5. College Move In Day

College Prep Moving Day

I go into details on how to unpack your car with freshman advice and tips and tricks for moving into your first dorm room College Dorm Checklist for Guys. Click that link to check it out.

College Freshman Face Tshirt Turk Family on Tip Junkie

More College Prep For Guys

Since this was my first child I had to prepare for college I went a little overboard.  The great thing about these resources is that they are here if you need them.  So feel free to take what you need and disregard the rest. {wink}

Here’s the complete list of my college prep for guys how-to’s:

There are FREE printables with almost every post.  I wanted to you have what I wished I could have downloaded for free during our college prep.

Free College Planner for Freshman Year from Tip Junkie

Free College Life Planner to Organize Your Freshman Year ~ The College Life Planner is it’s a place for you to gather all of your important papers, documents, memorabilia, awards, certificates and/or journal ideas that are important to you.

Laurie Turk the Tip Junkie

What Did I Miss?

I’d love to know what college schedule ideas and freshman advice you have. Leave a comment below. I also take requests, so if you’re looking for something specific let me know in the comments.


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~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}

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