What to Pack for Boarding School

Packing for boarding school is very similar to packing for college. However, while lists for college are a good start, there are things you should consider when you decide to send your child to a boarding school that you do not need to for university. For starters, your child will not have that many opportunities to leave campus and therefore will not able to replace torn clothing, restock toiletries, or buy school supplies such as pencils and notebooks. Your best bet is to pack enough of these that your child will not run out of them before the end of the year. There are also some things that boarding school students are simply forbidden to have. Your school should have provided you with a list of recommended and prohibited items, but here is a list of the more common items you should pack for your child.


Your child will need an assortment of small appliances while in school. While appliances such as clocks and computers will be needed for school work and getting ready for classes, others are needed to keep your child occupied when classes and homework are done.

  • Alarm clock, fan, flashlight with batteries, desk, and reading lamps
  • Laptop computer, all essential CDs, DVDs, jump drive, printer, and any other computer accessory not provided by the school.
  • Smartphone with an appropriate nationwide calling plan. Make sure it meets your school’s cell phone provisions.
  • Phone adapters, earphones, and chargers.
  • Digital camera and extra batteries if your phone doesn’t have one or required by the school
  • A stereo or MP3 player if not provided by the phone. Don’t forget to pack the music system of your child’s choice.

Bedding and Personal Items

Your child will need toiletries as well sheets and pillows for bed. Packing a few personal items and medicines would be a good idea too.

  • Several washcloths and two bath towels, and a medium towel and/or throw rug
  • One or two Bed sheets, blankets, bedspread or comforter, and one or two pillows and pillow cases.
  • Aspirin, Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen, and a box of adhesive bandages.
  • Box of tissues, nail clippers, soap, toothbrush, and tooth paste.
  • Hair items such as shampoo, conditioner, combs, brushes, hair bands, and a hair dryer.
  • (Boys only) Razors
  • (Girls only) Cosmetics and feminine hygiene

Clothes and Shoes

You should pack enough clothing for a week or two. Also, you should include a few sets of good dress clothes for special occasions.

  • Several pairs of socks and undergarments and a belt or two
  • Bathrobe and pajamas.
  • Two sets of dress clothes
  • Special pairs of shows including dress shoes, athletic shoes, and sandals.
  • At least four Sweaters, lightweight jacket, raincoat, winter coat, boots, hat, and gloves depending on the school’s climate.
  • At least five T-shirts, jeans, shirts, sweatpants, and other casual clothing.


The stuff mentioned above is required. However, you may want to include some of the stuff below as well. These items should only be included if they are needed. If your school provides them or prohibits them, leave them home.

  • Bicycle, lock, and helmet
  • A chair or a bookcase, hangers, sewing kit, and water bottles
  • Several pencils, pens, highlighters, binders, notebooks, dry erase board and erasers, graphing calculator, paper clips, ruler, scissors, stapler, staples, envelopes, tape and stamps, and other school supplies
  • Credit and ATM cards provided that your child understands what they should be used for.
  • Quarters for laundry. Should be enough to last a month or two.
  • Sporting goods if your child participates in sports
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