Packing for college may seem like a daunting task and with hundreds of search results on Google for “college packing list”, it can be confusing to know what’s essential. We’ve compiled a list of 20 items that no college student should leave home without.
While it’s not fun to think about your roommate or new friends rifling through your stuff, it’s always best to be able to secure your belongings if you feel the need to. A small safe is ideal for small items like passports, car keys, small electronics, and other things you don’t want to leave out in the open.
A single use coffee maker is not only more affordable than a daily coffee at your local coffee shop, it’s convenient for fueling all-night study or paper writing sessions. If coffee isn’t your jam, there are single-use pod options for tea, hot chocolate, and cider! You could purchase reusable filters and put your favorite ground coffee in as well.
A charging pad is an easy way for multiple phones or devices at once. Wireless charging has been adopted by many smartphone companies, including Sony, Samsung, Apple, LG, and Blackberry.
In college, space is at a premium and chances are your dorm room closet won’t be as large as the closet you’re used to. Maximize your space with an organizer! Before you purchase anything, just make sure the organizer will fit. The dimensions of your new closet are likely available on your school’s website.
You wouldn’t want to carry your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, loofah, shaving cream, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and cleanser to the bathroom in multiple trips, would you? That’s where a bathroom caddy comes in handy! Many students leave theirs in the bathroom, but just make sure no one uses your toothbrush!
Shower shoes are an absolute must, no matter if you’re sharing a bathroom with one person or an entire floor. Quick drying shoes dedicated just for the shower will help your feet stay fungus free (gross!) and also look stylish!
You most likely won’t be able to open flame candles, candle warmers, or incense to freshen up your space in college. That’s where an essential oil diffuser comes in!
Let’s face it, you’re probably not going to vacuum your door room every week. But a cordless dust buster? That’s way more convenient and easier to shuffle around your room with. Cleaning up crumbs will keep ants and other bugs away, and you definitely don’t want those kinds of visitors!
Decorating your dorm room is the best part of move in week! No dorm room is complete without cool ambient lighting, whether from lamps or light strips. Control the color of the lights with an app or remote for convenience. You can even sync your music to the color-changing lights!
Convenient for leaving messages for your friends, testing out your stand-up comedy jokes, and sharing inspirational quotes is the trusty dry erase board. Students usually hang these boards up outside their dorm door, but you can find endless uses for them inside your dorm as well!
Feeling under the weather? Got a blister from your new shoes? A first aid kit that also comes with the most commonly used medicines will save you from late night or last minute trips to the drugstore to buy bandages, pain reliever cream, cold medicine, or cough drops! This is not a replacement for any medications you normally take, so make sure you pack those as well.
You’ll definitely need a few cups, plates, and bowls and a set of utensils, even if you think you’ll be eating in the cafeteria all the time. Even if you just plan on making popcorn or warming up leftover pizza, reusable plates will come in handy!
Finding a comfortable mattress in a college dorm is like finding a unicorn in the wild. With a comfy mattress topper, your bed will never be the source of an achy back!
These cute bean bags may be pricey, but they fold out into a full-size bed! This is perfect for friends that come to visit or if you just want more space to lounge and watch a movie. The best part? The cover is machine washable!
You’ll most likely have late night study sessions at the library, so having a personal safety alarm can help you feel safer as you walk home. You can never be too careful! Some colleges offer free shuttles around campus too, so check with your school to see if they offer this service.
It’s difficult to study in your room and your roommate is going to bed. A lamp that can clip-on the side of your desk or bed can come in handy when you want to keep working on a project but don’t want to have the main overhead light on.
To maximize space, a lot of built-in storage in a dorm may be higher up. Even if you’re tall, having a small folding step ladder will be nice to help your roommate or one of your shorter friends out when trying to reach something.
Plan on leaving your power saw at home, but you’ll want a small toolkit with essential tools: screwdriver, flashlight, duct tape, and tape measure. While you may not use everything your first year, a toolkit with a hammer, level, and pliers will be needed if you move off campus and can make semi-permanent changes to your space, like hanging up pictures.
You can never have too many outlets! A power strip with surge protection is a must have item. Not only will it provide many outlets for everything you and your roommate want to plug in, it’ll save your electronics from being fried if lightning hits a pole nearby and sends electricity surging through power lines to your dorm (it’s happened to me!).
A plush reading pillow is perfect for reading novels for pleasure or school or watching TV in bed. These pillows can provide a little more cushion when you’re working from your couch, futon, or desk chair too.