Do you have a daughter heading to college? This dorm packing list for girls includes everything she needs for an organized and stylish space. Help her prepare for this exciting milestone.
We’ve helped all of our Simply2Moms kiddos prepare for their first year of college.
And believe us there was a big difference between our boys and girls.
Both of us helped our boys get ready for college dorm life first and found it kinda hard because they didn’t seem to care as much.
With our oldest, we were trying to balance giving them space with the urge to go skipping through the aisles of Walmart with them buying everything in sight.
But with our girls…now that’s when we started having a little more fun because our girls were planners.
They made their own shopping lists on Amazon that they shared with us.
And sent us TikToks of the latest must-have college dorm room necessities.
I think both guys and girls are nervous and excited and apprehensive and just not sure exactly what they really actually need.
Then they deal with all those feelings in different ways.
Our boys avoided preparing for college and our girls over-prepared.
However, you may find the opposite is true of your student as we’ve experienced.
But we moms have to stick together and help each other!
And today we’re going to help you get your child ready for this bittersweet milestone!
One of the most important things you can do to help her transition to college is to help her pack.
There are so many things to think about, and you want to make sure she has everything she needs to feel comfortable and confident in her new space.
That’s why we’ve put together the perfect college packing list for girls.
We even have a free printable PDF packing list to help keep you organized!
- What Should Girls Pack for College?
- How Many Clothes Will Girls Need to Pack for College Life?
- What Do You Need to Organize a Girl's Dorm Room?
- How to Decorate a Girl's Dorm Room
- What Bathroom Essentials Should You Pack for College?
- What Bedding Must Haves Do You Need in a Dorm Room?
- Extra Items Girls Will Appreciate Having for College
- Other Dorm Room Supplies: Kitchen, Laundry, Cleaning
- School Supplies Needed for College
- Resources and Shopping Links
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What Should Girls Pack for College?
Girls tend to want to bring a ton of stuff with them to their new home away from home.
As we all know college dorm rooms are notoriously small.
You want her to be comfortable but also make sure that everything fits in the limited space she has.
Before you go shopping or order anything online check with your student’s college to see what’s included in their dorm rooms, as well as anything that isn’t allowed.
You can usually find the dimensions of the dorm room as well as the furniture provided on the college website.
This information is really helpful to know ahead of making any purchases.
Your student can also coordinate with roommates for things that may be shared in their room.
A refrigerator, microwave, TV, area rug, vacuum, and extra seating are items that she probably can share the cost of with a roommate.
This guide is just that…it’s a guide.
You know your daughter best and as with any checklist, modifications can be made based on what your student prefers.
We want you to be able to help your daughter make sure she has a comfortable and stress-free start to her college experience.
How Many Clothes Will Girls Need to Pack for College Life?
How many clothes your daughter needs depends on a lot of different things.
But remember if the rooms are small so are the closets.
If your student is an athlete or likes to work out she’ll need clothing and equipment for that.
Is she joining a sorority? If so, then she’ll need dressier outfits. Possibly even formal wear..so don’t sell that prom dress just yet!
She will need to determine what types of clothing to bring.
However, she may not need her winter clothes just yet.
My daughter started with a couple of hoodies and light jackets and then packed sweaters and her heavier gear to take back to campus after fall and Thanksgiving break.
Using organizers in closets and drawers is a great idea to make the best use of space.
We found these organizers were great for clothing:
- clothing drawer divider bins
- hanging clothing shelves (good for bulky clothing)
- hanging shoe storage (not only for shoes…roll a pair of sweats in each compartment)
- over the door shoe rack (shoes but also anything you can think of from electronics to accessories to food storage)
What Do You Need to Organize a Girl’s Dorm Room?
In a small space it’s so important to be organized otherwise your student will be living in chaos all year.
I shared my best tips for organizing a dorm room, when Gavin, my middle son, lived in an extra small room!
Girls may have a few extra needs. LOL
If possible purchase items that are multipurpose like shelves or carts that can also be used as a bedside table.
These are some of our favorite organizing items for gals:
- cube shelf with fabric bins (if space allows)
- 3-tier metal rolling cart
- fabric drawer rolling cart
- over the door hooks (great for towels, jackets & backpacks)
- cosmetic organizer
- desk drawer organizers
- desk top shelf (if the desk doesn’t have one already)
- assorted Command hooks (for decorating and organizing)
Get our complete printable packing list here so you can check it off as you shop and pack.
How to Decorate a Girl’s Dorm Room
You want your daughter to feel comfortable in her new space so bringing a few decor items from her room at home is an excellent idea.
Another way to decorate a girl’s dorm room is with photos of family and friends.
Just be sure to check with housing about the best way to hang any wall decor because you don’t want to pay a damage fee at the end of the year.
There are lots of lightweight wall decor ideas such as posters, flags, tapestries, LED lights, or even removable wallpaper.
Students spend lots of time in their rooms so why not make them as cozy as possible?
Since the bed is the biggest furniture piece in a small room make it a feature with pretty bedding, throw blankets, and pillows.
Lots of activities happen in these spaces from hanging out with friends to studying to eating and sleeping.
Other ways to make a girl’s dorm room stylish and comfortable are:
- pretty bedding sets
- throw blanket
- a cozy chair
- storage ottoman cube (for extra seating, storage, and a step up to a higher bed)
- bedrest pillow
- curtains (lightweight are best and can be hung on a tension rod)
- over the bed shelves
Anne’s daughter came up with a super cute boho look for her college apartment and lots of her ideas would work great in a dorm room too!
Here are some more ideas for making a small dorm room feel cozy and more like home.
What Bathroom Essentials Should You Pack for College?
Before getting bathroom items you’ll need to figure out what style bathroom your daughter will have in her dorm.
Some dorms have suite-style rooms with a bathroom that’s shared with suitemates.
Others are set up more traditionally with a hallway-style bathroom area that a bunch of rooms share.
And some lucky freshmen get a single with their own bathroom.
Once you know the type of bathroom then be sure to check out if your daughter will need a shower curtain and hooks or any other necessities that are not provided by the school.
Here’s a list of bathroom things she’ll need:
- shower caddy
- desk vanity mirror (helpful when sharing a bathroom)
- shower shoes
- set of towels
- trash can (this can be used in her room also)
In addition to their toiletries, we both put together a first aid kit/medicine chest with everything they might need.
Get more details about what to include in a portable first aid kit here.
What Bedding Must Haves Do You Need in a Dorm Room?
College students spend a lot of time on their beds.
Not only do they sleep there but they study, read, or watch tv on their beds too since their dorm rooms leave little space for those other activities.
All of our Simply2Moms kids agreed making sure your bed is comfortable is super important.
Those dorm mattresses aren’t the best quality so don’t skip any of these must-have items to make your daughter’s bed cozy:
- mattress protector (keep all those germs away if the mattress isn’t vinyl)
- memory foam mattress topper
- mattress pad cover (add this over the protector and topper)
- twin xl sheets
- twin xl comforter or blanket
- pillows (or bring them from home)
- throw blanket
- long bed skirt (great way to hide storage under the bed)
Extra Items Girls Will Appreciate Having for College
Small dorm rooms tend to get stuffy so having a fan is really helpful.
Tower fans are great because they take up little floor space or a clip-on fan would be fantastic too. (see what I did there?) LOL
A power strip surge protector is a must-have because college students have lots of electronics in one tiny room.
An overnight duffel bag is convenient for weekend trips home or visiting friends.
Having the right supplies is the key to making sure life in the dorms is comfortable and organized.
Other Dorm Room Supplies: Kitchen, Laundry, Cleaning
Most freshmen are required to get a meal plan and eat in the cafeteria or other places on campus.
But that doesn’t mean they won’t want to make a quick meal while studying or grab breakfast on the go.
Depending on the space in your daughter’s dorm, you might also want to set up a small kitchen space using this inexpensive hack.
Here are some other dorm supplies that may be needed:
- set of plastic dinnerware and utensils
- Brita water pitcher (if the dorm doesn’t have a water refill station)
- dishwashing wand
- coffee maker
- air freshener (small spaces = big smells)
- stick vacuum
- cleaning supplies (disinfecting wipes are perfect)
- laundry supplies (laundry detergent, stain spray, and dryer sheets)
School Supplies Needed for College
We recommend holding off on getting any school supplies other than their laptop until they’ve attended their first classes.
Professors are notorious for changing textbooks from what’s listed on the class syllabus.
Ask us how we know.
I may have spent $700 on books for my first son before he started classes his freshman year only to find out he only used one of them!
Here is a list of school supplies to buy before classes begin:
- pencils and pens
- lapdesk (if your student likes studying in bed)
- desk light (if not provided by the university)
- planner or calendar
- power strip surge protector (need to protect that expensive laptop)
We’ve included some common school supplies in our free printable PDF packing list, but every student and college is different when it comes to this category.
Preparing for college can be overwhelming, but with this packing list, you can help set your daughter up for success and create a comfortable living space that reflects her style and personality.
Resources and Shopping Links
Or for specific items, shop from the images below.
Click on any image to shop items from this post
Sources: refillable dish wand | plugin air freshener | storage bags | garbage can | cosmetic organizer | bed rest pillow | dorm cleaning kit | box fan | set of slim hangers | plastic dishware set | silverware set with caddy | shower shoes | memory foam mattress topper | hamper | twin xl comforter set | throw blanket | fabric drawer rolling cart
Sources: 3-tier metal rolling cart | extra long bed skirt | mattress protector | power strip surge protector | stick vacuum | desk drawer organizers | shower caddy | laundry kit | over-the-door hook | weekly planner | desk lamp | overnight duffel bag | twin xl sheets | desk vanity mirror | towel set | command hooks | dresser drawer organizers | Brita water dispenser
Happy packing! Please share our packing tips with friends and family who are also getting ready for college.
If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!
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