What to Bring When Moving to College

Moving to college can be daunting and exciting at the same time. New space, new people, new responsibilities. You can make your move easier by being prepared for what you'll need when you move in. Here's Top Dog's tips for what to bring when moving to college.


Bring clothes that are appropriate for the weather. If you're moving to a place in the middle of winter and it's going to be cold, bring coats, sweaters and gloves (as well as scarves and hats). If it's hot where you're heading, bring shorts and swimsuits.

Bring clothes that are suitable for your new home. For example, if your new area is known for having an extremely humid climate year-round, then it might be best to avoid wearing wool or cotton clothing—those fabrics absorb moisture from the air around them and will make you feel more uncomfortable than usual while they're on your body!

Bring clothes that wont wear out quickly. College is a time to adventure and get out of your comfort zone, which can mean doing high energy activities, hiking outdoors, or sports. High quality clothes that are made for those occasions will ensure you don't burn through your closet within the first semester.

School Supplies

  • Backpack: You need a backpack to hold your books and other school supplies.
  • Notebook: Buy one or two notebooks for each class you will be taking. College classes are often lectures and seminars, so note taking is a must.
  • Pens, pencils, highlighters and erasers: These are essential items for taking notes in classes!
  • Measuring Tape: A measuring tape can help you measure things like the dimensions of your dorm room for pieces of furniture that you want to buy online.
  • Calculator: Calculators are great tools to help with math problems at school, but they can also come in handy when making budgets, doing taxes or figuring out how much money there is left on a gift card before it expires! A calculator is another must-have item on this list because it’ll come in handy more than once throughout freshman year (and beyond).
  • Whiteboard + markers: A white board that you can write out your schedule or to-do lists can make you feel more organized and on top of your assignments


  • Bring a copy of your prescription.
  • Bring a list of all the medications you take, including those that are over-the-counter.
  • Bring a list of all medications you have ever taken, even if they are no longer being given to you by a doctor. No matter how long ago it was that your last allergy test was completed, this information will be helpful to your new insurance company as they assess whether or not they need to require additional testing in order for them to cover costs related to any prescriptions on this list.
  • You should also bring any medication lists from previous health care providers who may have treated or prescribed for you in the past—this includes doctors and dentists who may have provided treatment or given prescriptions throughout high school and college years.


  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
  • Dish soap, hand soap and lotion
  • Shampoo, conditioner and body wash
  • Razors, shaving cream, deodorant
  • Contact lens solution and case


Electronics are a must. You'll need a laptop or tablet, printer, and maybe even a TV and stereo system. If you tend to play video games on your computer or smartphone, make sure you bring the right cables and/or adapters to connect them all together. Having these things set up in your dorm room will give you a sense of home and allow an opening to get to know your dorm mates!

If you're into photography or other visual arts (drawing, painting), don't forget your camera. And of course, don't forget your cellphone, but I'm sure you we don't have to remind you of that.


If you've ever lived in a dorm, you know what it's like to go to bed with scratchy sheets that aren't quite big enough for the mattress and wake up with a stiff back from sleeping on a too-thin pillow. At this point in your life, though, you deserve better than that!

If you're looking to upgrade your linen situation when moving into campus housing, here's what we recommend:

  • Research what size bed the college provides (if any) and buy sheets accordingly
  • Pillows and blankets (or just one big comforter)
  • Mattress pad/topper to make up for those hard mattresses

Food/kitchen items

If you're planning to be a student for more than a year, it's important to consider the cost of your food. The average college student spends $600 on groceries each semester, and that's without considering bills from restaurants and food delivery services (which many college students use). If you plan on eating out every day or ordering in every night, these costs can add up quickly.

If money is an issue for you, one way to save some cash is by bringing your own groceries from home. This will allow you to save money on food expenses by cooking your meals at home instead of eating out all the time or buying frozen dinners at the grocery store. When packing your bags for school, don't forget any necessary kitchen appliances like pots and pans (if you have an apartment with a kitchen). You may also want to bring some basic spices so that you can season whatever dishes come out of those pots!

What you bring to college can help with the transition

Your things are your own. You're used to them, and they're familiar. It's easier for you to settle in and feel at home when you have items that are familiar, even if you're only going to be in the space for a few months.

You'll also have everything you need—and nothing more. No need for additional purchases until the next time around! When moving into college you don't want to be bringing things just because they were available or cheap at an estate sale (or worse: given away). That said, if something is truly important to your space or lifestyle, then by all means: bring it!


Moving to college is exciting and scary. You have to get all your stuff packed up and moved before you can move in. It’s important to keep track of what goes where so you don’t make any mistakes! We know it's not always easy, but we hope these tips help you out.

If you need help packing, organizing, and transporting your dorm room essentials to your new college, reach out and fetch a quote from Top Dog Movers. Let us take the stress out of your new adventure!