The beginning of college is an exciting time in every student’s life. College brings advanced coursework, new friends from around the country, and independent living. Moving into a dorm room can be quite a bit of fun for your student, but you’ll need to plan ahead when you’re helping them pack. We want to help make your or your child’s first year at school a success, so we’ve put together a list of ten dorm essentials they need to bring with them to college.
1. Antibacterial cleaning supplies
Even if your child’s a neat freak, chances are they’ll have at least one roommate who isn’t as tidy. While you’ll want to plan on them having an assortment of basic cleaning supplies, don’t move your child into a dorm without antibacterial spray or wipes. There are all sorts of nasty things floating around college dorms and bathrooms, so they should make it a priority to disinfect their space at least once a week!
Even if your child doesn’t plan on cooking in their dorm room, it’s still smart to bring a microwave. Whether they’re re-heating pizza or heating up water to make coffee for late night study sessions, a compact microwave will quickly become their best friend at college.
3. Plates & silverware
Whether they plan on cooking in their dorm room or not, it’s always a smart move to pack a small amount of basic flatware, plates, and cups. Keeping these items in the room will help save money on food purchases!
4. Bath caddy
In most dorms, your new college student will be required to share a bathroom with either their roommates or the entire floor. Since the shower will be shared, it’s a smart move to keep personal bath items in their bedroom. A plastic bath caddy makes it easy to transport all of their hygiene products to the shower!
5. Extra storage
Dorm rooms are infamously tiny, and they’re almost always lacking in the storage department. Add extra storage in the closet or underneath the bed with a set of stacking plastic drawers. These small drawers are fairly inexpensive, and the extra storage will keep their room neat and tidy.
6. Rolling cart
Rolling carts aren’t on most college packing lists, but owning one will certainly make it easier for them to move things around. Whether they’re moving into their dorm room, bringing in groceries, or lugging textbooks home from the bookstore, a small rolling cart will save a lot of time and energy.
7. Mini fridge
The mini fridge is an absolute necessity for dorm rooms. If your child is hoping to share one with their roommate, think again. Individual mini fridges keep things organized and ensure that favorite food items don’t mysteriously disappear. Research dorm policies on mini fridges since each college has a different policy on the size of fridge allowed in dorm rooms.
8. First aid kit
Accidents are guaranteed to happen while they’re at college. Bug bites, paper cuts, and small burns are minor injuries, but they can quickly become irritated or infected without the proper care. Pack a basic first aid kit with bandages, antibiotic ointment, rubbing alcohol wipes, gauze, and common medications to prepare for small injuries and illnesses.
9. Laundry bag backpack
Laundry can easily become a disastrous affair in college dorms. The laundry room could be located across campus, and it’s harder than you might think to transport dirty clothes and laundry detergent across even short distances. Investing in a laundry bag with backpack straps makes it easier to carry large amounts of clothing, and your child’s hands will be free to hold their laundry supplies.
10. Closet extender
Closet extenders are simple devices that add an extra row of hanging space to small closets, and they’re extremely inexpensive. This small change to their closet will allow your child to store double the amount of clothes in the same space!
If you send your new college student off with these 10 dorm room essentials, they’re guaranteed to survive the year in style! For more dorm room inspiration for creating a cozy space away from home, check out our 15 creative and cozy dorm room décor ideas!