Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What Do I Need To Bring To College Dorm

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WHAT TO BRING TO COLLEGE: college dorm essentials (realistic helpful)

Once youve spent some time thinking about how your brain best processes and retains information, it will make more sense why a college planner doesnt have a one-fit-all approach. For example, students who like a rigorous schedule may want a college planner where they can map out their day-by-hourly time slots. Students who like to see upcoming assignments may want a weekly or monthly college planner, so they have an overview of all their upcoming deadlines in one place. Students who prefer to focus on what they need to get done that day may want a daily college planner with enough room to fit all their activities and to-dos for the day.

If the idea of using a college planner doesnt appeal to you, dont stress yourself out about leaving it off your college checklist. However, if you choose not to invest in a college planner, its still worthwhile to explore other options for keeping yourself organized and up-to-date on deadlines and activities. Talk to your mentors, or even your college advisor, to learn more about what kind of college planner or scheduling tools they used to successfully navigate their time in college. Maybe youll be inspired to start using your own college planner when you get to school!

Space Heaters And Electric Blankets

If your student likes to stay warm and cozy, they may think that bringing a space heater or electric blanket with them to college is a good idea. The issue is, these are also items that are usually banned.

Both space heaters and electric blankets are usually considered fire hazards. Since colleges need to ensure that all residents remain safe, they typically prohibit anything that introduces unnecessary risk, so itâs better if your student puts these on their âwhat not to bring to collegeâ list.

What To Bring To College: Dorm Bedding Essentials

Lets start our college packing list off with the most obvious category, bedding. Dont forget that most dorm beds are extra long, so regular twin-size sheets wont fit. Below is a complete list of college bedding essentials.

Also, for more bedding sets to fit every aesthetic, see our full guide to dorm bedding.

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Dorm Essentials To Put On Your List

We recommend that you read this post, Dorm Room Shopping: 50 Questions to Answer First, which will guide you through all the Q& As you want to discuss with your teen BEFORE you shop.

The next step is to gather as much insight as you can from their colleges dorm checklist on the website under Residence Life. Find out what things are provided for freshmen and what might be prohibited If your student is assigned a dorm with air conditioning, they wont need a fan. No need to load up on things that youll have to return.

Then your teen will want to coordinate with their roommate if they are planning compatible decor and/or want to share a mini-fridge, microwave, or coffee maker as most dorms are too small to accommodate duplicate appliances. An area rug is also popular, but no need to get more than one.

What To Pack For College Checklist: Amherst

What to Bring to a College Dorm: How to Survive Your First Dorm Experience

Amherst has separated their what to bring to college packing list into what to bring, things to consider, please leave at home, and prohibited items. If youre not sure how much you should be packing overall, Amherst recommends packing light and only bringing what you need for the semester ideally in just two suitcases.

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College Dorm Must Haves Updated

Ive just updated this college dorm must haves article for this years class of students going back to college soon. It includes 46 48 college dorm must haves.

Ive covered college dorm lists for guys as well as college dorm must haves for girls. In fact, there is quite a bit of overlap for dorm must haves whether youre sending someone to college.

In writing this article, Im sharing what I believe to be are dorm room essentials. Ive included products that can help with dorm storage ideas as well as dorm hacks and decorating ideas for dorm rooms.

Shopping For College Dorm Room Essentials

I still remember how helpless I felt the first time I had to go shopping for a dorm room. I wasnt sure how to make head or tails of the college dorm room essentials checklist. Since then, though, Ive learned a lot. After all, Id spent six years moving my daughters to college. Thats why I wanted to write this blog post about dorm must-haves.

Have you read my article with advice on paying for school?

This was what our car looked like moving our daughter to her college dorm her freshman year.

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Tips For Starting Your List

First of all, start with the list weve created here for you. It is a fully comprehensive list, so you can edit down based on your needs. Our list might also spark ideas for other items you may want to add, so start here and tweak it to make the perfect checklist just for you!

Check your college dorm or apartment rules for what kinds of things are allowed and what is explicitly forbidden. Examples may include pets, certain appliances, and making even temporary decor changes.

Make sure to check what is already included. New apartments sometimes come furnished, with kitchen appliances or basic furniture. Dorm rooms may include basic things such as a desk, chair, bed/mattress, and lamp.

Find out who your roommate or housemate is/are. Make a plan to meet them, either virtually or in person, to discuss similar interests, basic room rules, what each of you will be bringing.

Check with your program about specific items you may need for the program you are studying. You may need special software such as Adobe or Microsoft Office, or a headset for lectures.

Know your study preferences. Check in with yourself before making your desk checklist about what you need for studying, and what type of environment works best for you .

Find out what is already included. No need to buy double of anything!

Use what you already have. Remember you will likely only be studying for 9 months. Theres no need to buy all new things for only a portion of the year.

Unexpected Things To Bring To College


This post is here to make sure that any important college necessities arent accidentally left behind.


Knowing youve got it all taken care of will help take some of the stress out of the whole going to college process.

Start your semester off right by making sure you have everything you need!

I divided this article into three sections. The things to bring to college that you wouldnt think of are as follows

My easy solution wrinkle release spray.

This stuff works amazingly well, Im just mad I didnt discover it earlier in life!

It only takes minutes to get rid of wrinkles. And on those mornings when youre running behind, the spray is just way too convenient to have.


The spray is especially handy when it comes time to interview for jobs or internships. So cross the ironing board off your college packing list and add wrinkle release spray instead.

If youre going to school anywhere where theres even a chance of it raining

An umbrella is going to be a college essential youll regret to forget.

This is an item that often gets forgotten about in the rush of back to school. But its better to be safe than sorry. Cause on a day where its pouring, youll be glad to have one!

3. Dry Shampoo

Between classes, social outings, homework, and studying yeah, youre going to be a liiiiittle busy.

Showering often enough to have clean, manageable hair is gonna go by the wayside. Sorry its just the truth!

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Do: Trick Out Your Bed

Youll be surprised how much time youll spend there. Going in, I took college beds for grantedbut that was a mistake. Freshmen will quickly realize how important bed comfort is, said Christina Butan, a rising Junior at SUNY Purchase. A mattress pad and a back rest pillow seriously make a world of difference you will be in heaven.

Back rest pillow, $19.99 at

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Don’t: Bring Something That May Be Restricted

Mini fridges, microwaves, coffee makers, electric tea kettles, toasters and candles are often restricted, Cohen said. Each school shares a list of dorm-restricted items prior to students arriving on-campus. Take a look at what is on that list, as you dont want to bring items that are just going to be taken away or result in a fine for you if campus security comes by.

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Who knows where the power outlets will be located in your dorm, and who wants to crouch in a corner because your roommates using the outlet near the bed? A surge protector will give you plenty of power options, and, said Heffernan, one that has a USB port, too, will be a multitasking star.

Belkin outlet surge protector, $38.99 at

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Dorm Essentials: A Freshmans Dorm Checklist

College freshmen face the difficult task of transporting their entire lives to college dorms. Find out what you should bring and what you should leave at home.

College is often the first major move in a teens life. It can be difficult deciding what to bring and what to leave at home. To help you get organized, make a college checklist of various categories that will help you decide what you really need, and what will go untouched if you bring it to college.

In a small dorm room, its important to minimize clutter and keep the essentials handy while storing away items you wont use daily.

Also, if you know your roommate, it may help to check with them to find out which things they are planning on bringing. After all, in a crowded dorm room, do you really need two printers?

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Food Storage And Preparation

5 Things You CAN

Even if you have a meal plan, you’ll probably want snacks from time to time. The following items are great for dorm rooms.

  • A dorm refrigerator typically fits underneath a desk and can be used to store small food items, leftovers, and cold beverages.
  • A small microwave allows you to heat foods, pop popcorn, or prepare hot beverages.
  • Plastic food storage containers allow you to store foods in a sealed environment, which discourages pests and keeps foods fresher
  • A set or two of dishes and silverware allows you to eat the occasional meal in your room.
  • A travel mug allows you to carry your beverage of choice to class or around the dorms.
  • A water bottle is a great way to stay hydrated.
  • Chip clips can help you close opened packages.
  • A can opener allows you to make a quick meal or midnight snack such as a can of soup.

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Inexpensive Soft Sheets Duvet And Duvet Cover

Soft sheets and a washable duvet and cover will go a long way toward making your dorm room and your dorm bed feel more like home. The inexpensive sheets will be easy to care for and you wont feel too bad if you spill coffee or something on them. The duvet and duvet cover give you a comfy way to have the luxury of a comforter while still being extremely easy to clean .

College Packing List: What Should I Not Bring

Now that weve discussed what to pack for college, its time to go over what not to include on your college checklist. As you start thinking about what to pack for college, your first instinct might be to put everything you could possibly need onto your college checklist. However, there are certain things you just dont need to include when packing for college.

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College Packing List Things To Take To College Freshman Year

Heading off to college for the first time can be overwhelming. What do you bring with you? What cant you bring with you? How are you going to get all of your stuff there? If you live close to your school, youll more than likely need a car or two to help you move. If you live out of state, it can get a bit tricky. No worries, we got your College Packing List below! These are the things to take to college freshman year!

Most schools provide a list of approved and prohibited dorm items on their websites in the housing section. Youll want to print that list while youre packing to make sure youre in line with the given restrictions before you get to campus. If you show up with restricted items you may be asked to take them back home. Because weve been there, we can give you some tips on exactly what to pack for college.

What Not To Pack For College

What To Bring To College Dorm I College Essentials

We recommend that you dont pack anything that is:

  • Prohibited by your college
  • Too heavy and/or takes a lot of space
  • Not going to be needed right away
  • A shared item your roommate might be already bringing

College policies differ, but you typically will not be able to bring with you to the college dorm the following:

  • Fire hazards
  • Firearms, weapons and explosives. This includes weapons of any kind, fireworks, sparklers, and hazardous materials like propane, gasoline, paint thinner, charcoal and lighter fluid.
  • Water beds
  • Pets

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Get Your Light On Anywhere

Lightahead USB LED Desk Lamp, $13,

This adorable Lightahead USB LED desk lamp is also ridiculously functional, as its small, powerful, portable, and lightweight. Its got a swiveling neck, so you can point the light anywhere you need, and because its USB-rechargeable with three brightness settings and an included pen holder, its a great little lamp for your desk or bedside table.

College Packing List For Guys

If, instead of searching for a college packing list for girls you are looking for a college packing list for guys, you might be surprised to find they are very similar. Toiletries like moisturizer, deodorant, a hairbrush, toothpaste, and soap are things all students will need regardless of their gender.

Here are some items you might not typically find on a college dorm packing list or college packing list for girls that you may want to include in your college essentials list:

  • Beard/facial hair trimmer
  • Hair gel
  • Nail trimmer

As we mentioned when discussing the college packing list for girls, none of the items above are gender-specific or should only be on a college packing list for guys. Anyone, not just men, may want to have these items in their dorm rooms. The bottom line is, when making your college essentials list, make sure you are making the ultimate college packing list for you. That means bringing the items that make you happy, that youll use often, and thatll make your dorm feel like home.

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Lucy Eldridge Mug $12 At Nordstrom

Even if you dont have a kitchen in your dorm room, bring a mug with you to school. You can use it as a vessel for tea, microwave meals, and if you really have no desire to make any sort of food, this will make an adorable pencil holder on your desk. I like this one for the fun animal prints and sayings.

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Important Note About Dorm Room Shopping Sites

12 Things NOT Allowed In The IWU Dorms

An important note about places you might go for college dorm shopping. Do not, I repeat, do not shop off the stores list. Yes, these store lists tend to include what college students need to bring to college, to be sure.

But these lists also tend to include nice to haves which might actually be banned in your childs college dorm. For example, a slow cooker. Unless a slow cooker has a timer. chances are it is on the banned list. Slow cookers and other appliances overall might be banned.

Dont take any chances. Instead, have your child contact their colleges housing department and get the official college dorm shopping list from them.

OK, now that Ive got those caveats aside, let me explain how I put together this post on dorm must haves. What Ive included is based on my own experience sending two daughters to college as well as my years as a shopping expert.

I also picked the brains of friends with sons in college. Because I wanted to ensure that any dorm must haves list I put together wasnt daughter specific but also included what to bring to college for guys.

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What Not To Bring To College

Its understandable that you may want to bring everything you love, but there are some things best left behind.

  • Large electrical appliances: These are likely not allowed in dorms, and anyways you may not have the space.
  • Your beloved pet: Most colleges will not allow pets in dorms, and many apartments have no pets rules
  • A printer: Most colleges offer printing included in tuition
  • Your entire wardrobe: You will likely be switching out between seasons
  • All new decor: Remember, you will only be there for 9 months so there is no need to go all out with new things

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