With back to school sales beginning to populate TV commercials, it’s time to start talking about beginning (or returning to) college. When I was a first year student, I couldn’t wait to go to school, and spent a decent amount of time researching what I would need. As a Resident Advisor, I’m there when first year students move in to the residence halls for the first time, and I can assure you there is a variety of packing methods. Some people go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for every single item on their suggested list (I’m guilty of this). Some pack the bare minimum, and do a Target run later in the week for things they don’t have but discovered they need. Packing for college really depends on the student, and though every store offers it’s “must have” items, they usually contain way more items than are actually necessary, and often some of the items don’t even go with how you want your space. So , today I’m sharing my must haves, the items I deem must haves after four years in the dorms, and that I know I use regularly.
There are many items that I used everyday, but I often packed WAY more than necessary, and most of my stuff would end up shoved under my bed, never to be touched again until move out day. So, the following items are items I truly believe will benefit you in dorm living, but know that you should add more items as you live in the space, and get familiar with what’s missing.
Two sets of twin XL Sheets | One thing you’ll quickly discover is laundry is not as easy or convenient to do in college. You’ll likely be short on time, be fighting other students for machines, and you’ll probably put laundry off until the last minute. Having two sets of sheets will make doing laundry a bit easier.
A Mug | Coffee, coffee, coffee! or tea. or another drink of choice, whatever it is, having a travel mug will make your life easier, and the trips to the library more bearable.
Shower Caddy | A must! Communal showers are not the business, and having a shower caddy will make life 1000 times easier. Just trust me on this.
Lint Roller | This may seem odd, but you have no idea how many times I thought “ugh, where’d all this lint come from?” Just buy a small lint roller, and you’ll have fresher looking clothes.
Tons of Underwear | Honestly, the more underwear you have, the more you can put off laundry. Well, sort of. Most people try to laundry once a week, but having enough underwear definitely helps you push the laundry day a bit if needed (AKA finals).
An Excess of Toiletries | The worst thing during a very busy week is running out of toothpaste or deodorant or shower gel. I used to keep a little bin under my sink filled with extra toiletries so I could just restock in my room without having to run to Target or CVS.
A Coffee Maker | Typically, I suggest a Keurig. I like the Keurig because you can make hot coco, coffee, or tea! I used mine super regularly my first year of college, and throughout all my dorm years.
Mini Toolkit | This will surprise you in necessity. I bought a bookcase my second year of college, and had no way to assemble it (shout out to the friend that brought a toolkit, and let me us it). Also, it’s much easier to just repair things yourself if you can because going through the school can take a while.
First Aid Kit | Your mom won’t have that drawer filled with band aids and such, and your RA may or may not have a first aid kit. I bought a first aid kit, thinking I wouldn’t really use it. However, I actually used it a lot, and often lent a band aid to my friends.
For a complete version of items, check out my complete college packing list. If you have questions about certain items you hear you’ll need, let me know, and I’ll be sure to offer any advice I have!