The Ultimate College School Supply List

The Ultimate College School Supply List

They gave us one of these things for elementary school every year, so why not have one for college?

Shopping for college may seem like a huge chore, and since you're moving away from home, you may not even know where to start. Fortunately for you and me, Linda Durbin, senior Mizzou student Sara Durbin's mother, has created this master list of everything you could possibly have to purchase. This list you are about to read has been used by college freshmen for the past three years and has everything you need, and maybe even more, to prepare yourself to be on your own for the first time or maybe even a second, third, or fourth time if you're starting another year at college.

Let's start with Bathroom products and toiletries:

  • Toothbrush
  • Tooth paste
  • Dental floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Retainer and retainer case (Make sure you keep this in a safe place so you don't lose it for 3 months like I did!)
  • Bandaids
  • Medications (Daily meds, Aspirin/Tylenol, Vitamins, Mucinex, etc.)
  • Kleenex
  • Q-Tips/Cotton balls
  • Any hair products you use (Gel, Mousse, Hair Spray, Heat Protectant, Moroccan Oil, etc.)
  • Hair accessories (ponytail holders, clips, bobby pins, headbands, etc.)
  • Hairbrush/Comb/Hair Pick...If your hair is hard to detangle, think about investing in a Wet Brush. It makes it 10 times easier to brush out your hair after showering in the weird Mizzou water.

The Wet Brush 2 Pack! Blue & Pink, Value Pack!

  • Nail polish and nail polish remover
  • Nail clippers
  • Body wash and face wash
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer to keep in your room.
    • Bath and Body Works has some really awesome scents to choose from!



  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Lotion
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Glasses and case, sunglasses and case, contact lenses, solution, and case
  • Shower caddy
  • Deodorant (or as I like to say, "Deo fo da BO"
  • Towel wrap or robe
    • Make sure it's a cute one in case you have a tornado drill while you're in the shower like I did.
  • Chapstick
  • Around 2-3 sets of towels...I never really needed more than 2 but if you wanna play it safe, bring more! Make sure you have a couple hand towels and wash cloths too. As long as you do your laundry regularly, you won't need any more than that.
  • Hairdryer
  • Curling iron/straightener
  • Neosporin
  • Makeup
  • Makeup removing wipes
    • The best ones I have ever used are made by Garnier. You can find them at Target, Walgreens, and Wal Mart.



Next up, we have Cleaning Items:

  • Paper towels (lots of them)
  • Clorox wipes
  • Vacuum
    • You'll want one that works good enough on tile floors and carpet, but is small enough to fit in your closet.
  • Small bottle of liquid dish detergent

Moving on to Laundry Supplies:

  • Detergent
    • If you've never done laundry before and are worried about how to use detergent, the little detergent pods may work perfectly for you. You just throw one in and it's already pre-portioned out.
  • Dryer sheets
  • Stain remover
  • Laundry bag or basket
  • LOTS OF HANGERS
    • The velvet covered ones are the best because they take up less room and stuff doesn't fall off of them.

Generic Items:

  • Desk lamp
    • Don't forget the bulbs or batteries if it doesn't already come with them!

  • Umbrella, rain boots, and a rain coat
    • Yes, I promise you will get use out of all three!

  • Snow boots for the Winter
    • Don't bring these to school with you until November...you'll want to leave everything that you don't absolutely need at home and you won't need them until it snows!

  • Ziploc plastic bags (large and small)
  • Plastic cups, utensils, plates, and bowls
    • Disposable ones will be much easier to deal with.

  • Tervis cup or water bottle
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Microwave safe bowl and plate for if you ever run out of paper plates
  • Ottoman with storage inside
  • It makes it so much easier for you to get into your bed when it's raised and it makes for extra storage space!

  • Cube with a lid
    • These are great to store stuff in and stack in your closet or under your bed.

  • Lots and lots of extension cords
  • Surge protector
  • A really long USB cord for your computer to plug into the wall for internet (Ethernet Cable)
  • Laptop
    • Apple is the best because they don't get hacked and all the professors use them.

  • Flash drive
  • Lap caddy/desk for resting your laptop on you when you're in bed.
    • It keeps your laptop from overheating and is great to use when you're in your bed doing homework...or binge watching Friends on Netflix...




  • TV, DVD Player, DVD's, Xbox, etc.
  • Snack food and a bin to keep your food in
  • Chip clips
  • Checkbook, debit card, credit card
  • Small wallet to keep on you at all times
    • Since you need your ID to get into the dorms and dining halls, it is nice to keep it in a safe place so you don't lose it when you're out and about.

  • Alarm clock if your phone isn't loud enough to wake you up
  • Phone Charger
    • A portable charger is great to have for those long days of sorority recruitment and football tailgating so your phone never dies.
  • Laptop Charger
  • Book bag
    • Keep a small hand sanitizer in there, it will come in handy.
  • Kleenex
  • Permanent markers
  • 2 sets of bed sheets
  • Mattress cover
    • Invest in one that zips and keeps bed bugs out...you never know.
  • Mattress pad
  • Pillows
  • Back study pillow



  • Extra blanket for when people spend the night or to bring to football games
  • Comforter/Duvet and cover
  • Chair cushion for desk chair
  • Posters/pictures/canvas paintings/decorations for your walls
    • A lot of girls buy 20 12x12 pieces of scrapbook paper or fabric to put on the bulletin board.
  • At least 4 packs of Command strips to put stuff on your wall
  • Baseball hats
  • Storage crates/bins/drawers for under the bed
  • First Aid Kit
  • Stamps and address labels
  • Swimsuit
  • Area rug
  • Fan
  • Bin for shoes
  • Belts
  • Health insurance info, car insurance, driver's license


Desk Supplies (Most of this stuff you can wait to buy until you know what you need for classes):

  • Loose leaf paper
  • Desk drawer organizer
  • 3 hole punch
  • Stapler and staples
  • Scissors
  • Notebooks
  • Highlighters
  • Binders
  • Paper Clips
  • Stationary
  • A container to hold pens and pencils on desk
  • Index cards
  • Tape and dispenser
  • Envelopes
  • Calculator
  • Page tabs

Miscellaneous:

  • Shower shoes
  • Trash can liners
  • Can opener
  • Lights look great in dorm rooms but you'll need a lot of Command strips to hang them.
  • Lockable safe
  • Lockable trunk
  • Thumb tacks


Quick Tips for Dorm Life:

  1. Make a habit of washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, and using Clorox wipes often. Pink Eye goes around a couple times a year and it spreads from surface contact to hands and it's very common for a majority of a floor to get it at the same time. Be diligent and have good hygiene!
  2. Talk to your roommate and come to an agreement about keeping your door locked when you are not in there. Theft is an issue in the residence halls.
  3. Do not leave money, jewelry, iPod, phones, or computers in plain sight when you leave your room.
  4. Always bring your laptop home with you when you go home for the weekend.
  5. Don't keep any sentimental expensive valuables in your dorm room.
  6. Freshmen: When you fill out your dorm check list on move in day, WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. A scratch on the desk, a stain on the bulletin board, a crack on the mirror, a dent in the blinds, a mark on the walls, tape marks on the door, etc., are all things you can be charged for at the end of the year so take precautions.
  7. If you don't bunk the beds, raise them up to the top level of rungs. Do this first before you bring anything up or make the beds so you have room to move. For this you will probably need a hammer. Then, you can fit the fridge under one of the beds. You may also use bed risers if using the rungs does not bring your bed up high enough to your liking.
  8. Take your computer with you to Summer Welcome and if you are purchasing it at Summer Welcome, make sure you take the time to have Tiger Tech set it up for you. They will set up your email account among many other resources.
  9. Fill out the form for Earlybird Textbook orders. If you do, all you have to do in August is tell them your name and student ID number and they will already have all of your books for the semester boxed up and ready to take to your room.
  10. Remember, you will only have 2 1/2 drawers to use and one closet. Pack only what you absolutely need because you can always bring down more clothes later. Don't bring any winter stuff down until around Halloween.

If you have any questions about things listed above or need any advice on anything related to this list, feel free to email me at tnpyb5@mail.missouri.edu. Happy Shopping and good luck this school year!



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The video above was created by Hannah Zepeda.
Cover Image Credit: Ashley Krekovich

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