The Ultimate Dorm Packing List

+ Advice about College Life

Y'all I am about to be a senior in college, which means I have had my fair share of decorating dorms and sorority house rooms. Now that I am on my final lap around SMU, I am updating my "Ultimate Dorm Room Packing List" to provide you with new shop-able links and some advice about college life.

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Advice about College Life

  • This is the time to find or solidify your values, morals, and beliefs. You are going to change more in these four years than any other four years of your life. Try new things, put yourself out there, meet new people.

  • It is ok say to no. I know I just said to try new things, but don't say yes to something if it makes you uncomfortable or strays from your values.

  • Eat well overall, but still indulge every now and then. It is all about balance.

  • Your friend group will change and that is OK!

  • Friendships should be mutual. If you start making friends and realize you are the only one putting in effort, it is not a good friendship. Find friends who put as much energy into the friendship as you do!

  • Sororities are great for meeting people, but do not think that it is your only way to meet people.

  • Join clubs that benefit your social life and your professional life.

  • Sleep is a much safer friend than coffee.

  • Call your family back home. When you get homesick, a FaceTime call goes a long way.

  • Take time for yourself. College is stressful. Life is stressful. Pay attention to your needs and treat yourself before you try to please others.

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What to Pack For College


  • Sheets XL

  • Comforter XL

  • Pillows

  • Mattress pad XL

  • 3’ inch foam mattress cover XL

  • Clip on reading light

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  • Hanging shoe organizer

  • Baskets for shoes, toiletries, purses, etc.

  • Skinny felt hangers

  • Hanging jewelry storage with clear pockets

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Under the Bed

  • Clear storage drawers/carts

  • I recommend raising your bed up enough to fit storage carts and the dresser provided by your school underneath your bed

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  • Bath robe

  • Shower shoes (replace these every few months)

  • Towels

  • Wash cloths

  • Hand towels (I had a sink in the room so these were helpful for drying my hands)

  • Shower caddy

  • Hair dryer

  • Straightener

  • Curling iron

  • Three tiered roller cart (holds makeup, hair accessories, and toiletries)

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  • Loofa

  • Hand soap

  • Face wash

  • Bar of soap

  • Face lotion

  • Body lotion

  • Shampoo

  • Conditioner

  • Body wash

  • Bobby pins

  • Q-tips

  • Contacts

  • Contact solution

  • Contact case

  • Floss

  • Deodorant

  • Eye drops

  • Reading glasses

  • Hair brush

  • Makeup

  • Nail clippers

  • Nail filer

  • Perfume

  • Razor

  • Sunscreen

  • Tissues

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Tweezers

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  • Stapler

  • Hole Punch

  • Sticky Notes

  • Pens

  • Pencils

  • Eraser

  • Clear organizer

  • Drawer liner paper (desks can be worn out or dirty so lay down cute paper before filling drawers with your belongings)

  • Paper clips

  • Tape dispenser

  • Tape

  • Lined note cards

  • Scissors

  • Highlighters

  • Flash drive

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  • Portable mini fan

  • Refrigerator (3.1 cubic feet max)

  • Desk lamp with LED bulb

  • Power strip (UL approved with on-off switch)

  • Small TV (I personally never used a TV, I had Netflix on my computer)

  • Laptop

  • Printer (very helpful to have your own in your room rather than walking to the library to print at midnight)

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  • Cactus or mini plant for fresh oxygen in the room

  • Full body mirror

  • Storage cube to sit on, step up onto your bed, and put stuff in

  • 2 Tension rods to hand curtains above windows (this varies depending on amount of windows)

  • 2 Sets of matching curtains

  • White sticky-tac to hang pictures

  • Picture hooks (20 lb limit for SMU)

  • Stand alone air freshener (no plug ins)

  • Rug (**Shaggy rugs will end up very gross and filled with hair if you’re a girl, buy a rug with a flat weave or short pile that will be easy to vacuum)

  • Laundry basket with handles

  • Laundry detergent

  • Stain remover

  • Dryer softeners

  • Mini Steamer found at Target or TJ Maxx

  • Mini Umbrella to fit in backpack

  • Waterproof Backpack

  • Headphones

  • Hand vacuum

  • Disinfectant wipes

  • Glass cleaner

  • Lint roller

  • Sunglasses

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(This is for Texas which has weather ranging from 40 degrees to 110)

*I brought all of my summer clothes with me and brought half my winter clothes with me at Fall Break in October, and the other half at Thanksgiving

  • Light weight dresses

  • Thin tops

  • Rain jacket/Wind breaker with hood

  • Thick jacket for night

  • Thick jacket for winter

  • Shorts

  • Skirts

  • Jeans

  • Belt

  • Heels

  • Flats

  • Sneakers

  • Running shoes

  • Flip flops

  • Hats

  • Jewelry

  • Pajamas

  • Underwear

  • Bras

  • Rain boots

  • Bean boots

  • Socks

  • Sweaters

  • Swimsuit

  • Workout clothes

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  • Advil

  • Band-Aids

  • Tums

  • Cold medicine

  • Benadryl

  • Anti-itch cream for bug bites

  • Neosporin

  • ZQuil

  • Feminine Products

  • Bug Spray, Essential Oils, or Bug Repellant Bracelets

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  • Granola bars

  • Skinny Pop

  • Peanut butter

  • Hummus

  • Veggies

  • Fruit, especially berries

  • Trail Mix

  • Nuts

  • Dried fruit

  • String cheese

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  • Brita filter for water

  • Travel mug

  • Hydro flask, Yeti, or Stainless Steel Cup with a lid

  • Honey

  • Favorite grab n go drink powder (I always had matcha, tea bags, and green tea latte mix from Trader Joe's)

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Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear about your college experience. Comment below one of your favorite college memories or something you're excited for when you go off to college.

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