“Don't forget shower shoes and a shower caddy! It helps keep all your stuff together and makes bathroom trips easier!" - Melanie Moon '19  

What to pack for college

Do you know what you need?

Here is a helpful list to get you started on making sure you don't forget the essentials! 

Talk to your roommate before you make any major packing decisions!

 Also, here's what NOT to bring to campus with you.


Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your first year at college. These are just suggestions; you should adapt this list to suit your own situation.

  • Bedside lamp
  • Mini trash can
  • Storage bins
  • Under the bed storage trays
  • Desk lamp
  • Lighted desk mirror
  • Fan
  • Picture hangers (double-sided tape for concrete walls)
  • Alarm clock
  • Posters/art
  • Clothes hangers
  • Laundry bag/basket
  • Shower bucket/basket/caddy to carry items
  • Sticky wall mounts and removable adhesive hooks
  • Decorative area rug
  • Additional seating for guests (Futon, bean bag, pouf)
  • Bed risers/lofts
  • Bulletin board
  • Dry-erase markers

  • 2 sets sheets/pillowcases – Twin XL
  • Towels (three of each, bath, hand, face)
  • Mattress pad – Twin XL
  • 2 blankets
  • Comforter/bedspread
  • Pillows
  • Laundry detergent/fabric softener/stain remover
  • Fabric steamer
  • Lint brush
  • Mini sewing kit

  • Electronic storage media (memory cards, USB flash drives)
  • Stapler and staples
  • Printer paper (If you bring a printer. You can print for free in the Tech Center.)
  • Pens and pencils
  • Pencil holder and sharpener
  • Notebooks
  • Folders
  • Labels of various sizes
  • 3x5 index cards
  • Sticky notes
  • Paper clips and binder clips
  • Rubber bands
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Highlighter pens (multiple colors)
  • Stackable desk trays
  • Stamps and envelopes
  • A sturdy backpack or book bag for everyday use
  • Calendar or planner
  • Ruler
  • Calculator
  • Whiteout
  • Hole punch

  • Computer and any necessary supplies/accessories (Printer is optional. You can print in the Tech Center and residents hall lobbies)
  • Earphones / Noise canceling headphones
  • Extension cord
  • Portable speakers (if you want to play music)
  • HDMI cord (All Bluffton resident halls have wireless internet.)
  • Surge protector/power strip
  • 3 prong adapter
  • MP3 player

  • TV
  • Audio equipment
  • DVD player
  • Game systems
  • Coffeemaker/hot pot/microwave
  • Area rug
  • Small refrigerator - 3.5 cu. ft. max.
  • Small microwave
  • Electric kettle

  • First aid kit (Antacid/aspirin or other pain relievers/vitamins/antidiarrheal medicine/adhesive bandages/antibiotic ointment/cough drops, etc)
  • Prescription medicines and copies of each prescription
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hairstyling products
  • Shower gel, bath and face soap
  • Loofah
  • Travel soap container(s)
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss
  • Hair grooming tools (Comb/brush/Hair dryer/straightener/curling iron)
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Lotion and/or facial moisturizer
  • Cosmetics
  • Cotton swabs
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Bathrobe (Especially important since the shower is down the hall!)
  • Air freshener
  • Scale
  • Thermometer
  • Heating pad
  • Air purifier

Your space will be limited, so only bring what you think you will wear.

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Pants/jeans
  • Shirts/blouses
  • Sweats
  • Shorts
  • Pajamas
  • Slippers 
  • Shower shoes/flip-flops (community showers)
  • Sweaters
  • Sunglasses
  • Belt
  • Light/heavy jackets (You will be walking to class; be sure your coat or jacket is right for the climate)
  • Gloves/scarf/hat
  • Face mask
  • Rain/snow boots
  • 2 pair of sneakers or comfortable walking shoes
  • 1 set of business-casual clothes
  • 1 pair of dress shoes
  • 1 swimsuit

  • Trash bags
  • Wet wipes
  • Tissues
  • Microwave-safe bowl, plate
  • Plastic cups
  • Coffee mug
  • Water bottle
  • Can/bottle opener
  • Food storage containers
  • Foil
  • Disposable forks and spoons
  • Pots/pans/kitchen utensils
  • Ziplock bags
  • Popcorn/chips/snacks
  • Cereal/granola bars/pop tarts/fruit snacks

  • Quarters (For when the vending machines call.)
  • Umbrella
  • Sports equipment
  • A small and inexpensive toolkit
  • Car registration and insurance card
  • Medical insurance card
  • Driver’s license
  • Student ID
  • Emergency contacts
  • Safety pins
  • Flashlight
  • Board games
  • Dolly (you’ll need it for moving boxes and furniture from your car to your room. Send it home with Dad after you’ve moved in)

Having trouble finding extra-long bedding to fit Bluffton's mattresses?
The office of residence life has partnered with Residence Hall Linens to provide our students and families with a convenient, affordable way to ensure you have sheets that will fit all of the beds on campus. The Residence Hall Linens program has all your campus living needs, from extra long twin sheets and comforters to matching towels and storage items.

A portion of the proceeds from this program are used for programming in the residence halls. Shipping is free for all Value Pak orders, and there are more than 40 color combinations available. Plus, linens are delivered to your home during the summer so you don t have to worry about waiting in line at the store.  Order now for the best selection as popular colors can sell out quickly!
>>> order linens

What not to bring

Safety is our number one priority at Bluffton University in residence life. We try to create an environment that is safe for everyone to comfortably live. 

The following items are NOT ALLOWED in the Bluffton University residence halls:

  • window air conditioners
  • space heaters
  • animals/pets (with the exception of fish and emotional support animals)
  • water beds
  • halogen lamps
  • toaster/indoor grill/waffle iron
  • partitions
  • incense/candles/lanterns
  • electric iron
  • charcoal/lighter fluid