Last week I was on the road (over 50 hours in the car!) driving from Texas to Maryland to take my son to college for the first time. I wanted to share with you the things I learned that are helpful for most dorm rooms– things that may not be obvious to buy or pack.
I did not include the traditional "mini-fridge and microwave" kind of stuff in this list– only things that are not top-of-mind for most people in this process.
By the way, my son did let me set him up pretty well! Not sure how long he'll keep it that way, but above is a photo of how I left his closet.
And now, drumroll please… the list:
- Lots of 3M Command adhesive hooks, various sizes and types. Our dorm rules did not allow nailing anything into any walls.
- Printer paper. We bought the printer, but didn't think about how he'd need paper for it!
- HDMI cable or monitor cable. We had an extra monitor for his laptop so he'd have two screens, but it didn't have a cable to connect them together.
- Loooonnng ethernet cable. Making sure you can use a wired connection anywhere in the room.
- Extension cords. Because you never know when you need them.
- Power strips/surge protectors. There are never enough outlets in rooms like these, plus you need to protect your electronics from power surges.
- Accordion file. Although students today have much less paper than their parents did, they still need a place for a few files to be stored for warranties and course syllabi and materials. An accordion file with 13 pockets or so is small and is perfect for starting out.
- Light bulbs. Bought a new desk lamp, but it didn't come with light bulbs.
- Bookshelves. There were not any bookshelves provided, which is weird because students have books. We put some together quickly from Target.
- Paper towel holder & paper towels. Again, with the adhesive mount on it.
- Disinfectant wipes. Gotta clean something sometime, even if you are a college boy.
- Disposable plates, cups, and utensils. For clean drinking cups, for that random birthday cake for someone in the suite, or for leftovers brought back from the cafeteria.
- Zip closure freezer bags in quart and gallon sizes. I use these all the time, plus, to fly on a plane you need the quart size bags to put your liquid toiletries in. Unlimited reasons to have these! He will thank me later. 🙂
- First aid kit. Basic Neosporin and bandages, etc.
- Hangers. Should be obvious but it wasn't to me– duh!
- Garbage can. They don't provide them.
- Oscillating fan. They don't have AC in Maryland everywhere like we do in Texas!
- Bathrobe. Living in a co-ed suite, we insisted our son have one even though he never used one at home… also, it gets cold in Maryland!
- Tide "Pods" for laundry. Kind of foolproof for college guys, and it won't be messy with spilled liquids or powders in the room.
- Lap desk. I use one myself at home. They make it easier to work on a laptop and keep your machine (and your lap) cooler. It's even good for your hard drive and components because you can accidentally block the fan when you put computers down on soft surfaces.
- Assorted drawer dividers. For the desk drawers for paper clips, pencils, pens, etc.
Of course there were many other things that we brought with us, but many of them are obvious and boring. What would you add to the list from what you've learned? Share in the comments!