Originally published August 1, 2014. Updated July 9, 2020.
Getting ready for your student’s first year is easier with this back-to-college shopping list. It’s a free printable you can use now to know exactly the things you’ll need for college.
I’ve sent two of my “babies” off to college and we created this back to school shopping list to make our shopping much easier. Easier is good because then you can spend quality family time together rather than stress shopping time.
There is so much to think about when it comes to packing your child for college. It can be overwhelming and emotional, making it easy to forget something.
The last thing you want is for your child to get to the dorm and realize something important was forgotten. The Back to College Shopping List will help you make sure you don’t forget any of the things you need for college.
Back to College Shopping List
Using the Back to College Shopping List helped us shop sales and save money, which is a huge help with the college budget.
How to print the college shopping List
- Print out your own copy of this Back to College Shopping List.
- Click on the link above.
- Right click on the college shopping list pdf and print the document or save it to your computer.
- Print it off for your personal use as many times as you’d like.
How to use the back to college shopping list
- Go through the list with your college student and determine how many of each item you have and how many of each item you need to buy.
- Scratch off items that don’t apply to you and add items that you’ll want.
- Then go through and determine which items you already have and check them off.
- We staged college dorm items in the guest room as we acquired them. It kept the rest of the house organized and it was easy to pack the items since they were all in one place.
Things You Need for College
When it comes time for your child to start asking this question, it may seem daunting to gather all the things you need for college. The Back to College Shopping List will make it easier for you and your college student to know what to purchase and pack for college life.
Items everyone needs for college that you’ll want to make sure your student has:
- Bedding – Your student will need bed sheets, a pillow case, a mattress pad, and a quilt, blanket, or comforter for the bed.
- Linens – Make sure your student has bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, dish towels, and dish cloths.
- School Supplies – The school supplies your student will need will vary depending on what classes he or she is taking and personal preference, but these items are a good starting point: a notepad, pencils, pens, a USB drive, a pencil sharpener, a stapler, scissors, paper clips, and a 3 hole punch.
- Technology – Technology is crucial for every college student in today’s world. Make sure your student has a calculator, a laptop, and an ethernet cable for school, as well as a surge protector for their dorm room. This free College Technology Shopping List will help you make sure all of your student’s technology needs are taken care of.
- Storage Items – Bed risers, under-the-bed storage, and over-the-door hangers are great ways to utilize the tiny space in a dorm room.
- Bathroom Supplies – Whatever bathroom situation your student’s dorm has, a shower tote, toothbrush holder, and soap holder are all necessary items. You can find more tips specifically for the shower caddy and personal care items.
- Kitchen Supplies – Your student will need a set of plates, bowls, cups, and silverware for meals in his or her dorm. A sharp knife, can opener, and hot pad will come in handy too.
- Dorm Room Items. These are items every dorm room should have: hangers, mirrors (having both a full-length and a countertop mirror is nice), a collapsible laundry bag, a mesh laundry bag for delicates, a desk lamp, and a trash can.
- Other Items that you may not think about – until your student really needs them:
- Dorm Move-in Day Tips
- 10 Tips to Prepare for College
- 7 Simple Tips for College Students
- Creative College Care Packages
Pin for later so you can find this back to college shopping list whenever you need it.