Don’t Forget to Pack These Unexpected College Essentials

We put together a list of college essentials you might not have thought of bringing.

Flickr user Robert of Fairfax

For students headed off to college in the fall, there can be stress around what items they should bring with them. It can be hard to imagine living in a small dorm with at least one other person (if not more), so we’ve compiled a list of college essentials that you might not think of bringing and listed them in no particular order. 

  • Two sets of bed sheets – A second set comes in handy when your other set is being washed, allowing you to immediately make your bed and keep things orderly in your room.
  • Mattress pad – It is likely that your dorm bed won’t be the most comfortable bed in the world, and buying a cozy mattress pad can help you sleep better at night.
  • Swimsuit – Yes, a swimsuit. You never know if you’ll need it; maybe your college has a hot tub or swimming pool for students to use, and if that’s the case you don’t want to be left on the sidelines.
  • Duffel bag – A small duffel bag comes in handy for weekend trips home and to other campuses to visit your friends.
  • Hand steamer – Rather than bringing a bulky iron and ironing board, a small hand steamer is a great way to get wrinkles out of your clothing before important events.
  • Desk lamp – Bringing a small desk lamp is a good way to study late at night, especially if your roommate is already in bed.
  • Cleaning supplies – Yep, you and your roommate will be in charge of keeping your room clean and having a few small cleaning supplies on hand is easy enough so the mess doesn’t get out of hand.
  • Laundry hamper – Rather than letting your dirty clothes pile up all over the room, throw them in a hamper. This also makes transporting them to the laundry area much easier and will keep clutter at a minimum.
  • Stain remover – Spilling on our clothes happens, so keeping some stain remover handy can help you prevent the stain from becoming permanent.
  • Dish soap & sponge – You’ll likely bring a few small dishes to keep in your room for eating and having soap and a sponge on hand will prevent dirty dishes from piling up and funky smell from sticking around your room.
  • First aid kit – This is something you (hopefully) won’t need often, but is great to have when you do need it. Buy one at a store or make one at home and fill with supplies you might need like band aids, cold medicine, pills for headaches, and ice-pack, and more.
  • Robe – A robe to throw on after showering can be so comfy. Bring it to the showers with you and then you won’t need to worry about getting your clothing wet.
  • Shower shoes – Buy a cheap pair of flip-flops or slides to wear to the shower if you have community bathrooms in your dorm so you don’t have to touch the sometimes-questionable floors with your bare feet.
  • Portable phone charger – This can be a lifesaver when you’re busy all day in classes, work, and studying and can easily fit inside your backpack or purse.
  • Mini-deodorant – If you’re running late to class in late August, you may get there a little sweaty so keeping a little travel-size deodorant can help you stay smelling fresh and clean.
  • Hand sanitizer – This is also a great thing to keep tucked in your backpack for after eating, sitting outside between classes, or just anything you can think of.

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