Dorm Room Essentials Plus Stuff You May Not Think Of

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Is your kid college bound?  Are you ready?!  Some parents feel really ready and for others the transition is tough. For me, I found it to be bittersweet.  No matter how your emotions are swaying, you can’t get away from the fact that it is time to shop for the dorm room!  I first put this list together in 2016 when my son moved to his dorm.  I also added a few additional items that we discovered he needed after move-in day.  One example was a tool box.  We hadn’t thought of that and when one of Jack’s dormmates brought in a handy item from IKEA, they soon discovered that a packed toolbox would have been helpful.

So I think…and hope…that this article has everything needed for a smooth move-in day and experience.  Take a peek, print the list and let me know if there is something we didn’t think of.  And enjoy the experience.  I did use a few tissues that move-in morning, but it ended up being a very special day for all.  So feel the tears and the emotions, grab the Kleenix box and then grab the moving boxes.  Let this list below help you fill those boxes with all the essentials and more.

Congrats to you and to your offspring.  The next big chapter begins now and you get to be a big part of the very first page…dorm move-in day!

The art of letting go. The day he moved into the dorm three years ago. Tried not to wear my heart on my sleeve…it ended up on my face.  But I also smiled that day…a lot. 

Here is what I wrote a few years ago and the dorm essentials move-in list follows…

Manic:  This week as our firstborn baby boy grows up and moves into his dorm room!  With all of the excitement and emotion, it is hard to focus on the task at hand.  The list!

Managed: After several of my gal pals asked me to share our dorm room essentials list on my blog, I agreed that this is a great idea.  So here is the list.

My son's surprise dorm room essentials kit put together by his sweet girlfriend and by me. Guilty of placing his face sign there! That was me and he loved the surprise...except for the face poster. LOL!

My son’s surprise dorm room essentials kit put together by his sweet girlfriend and by me. Guilty of placing his face sign there! That was me and he loved the surprise…except for the face poster. LOL!  We discovered that there were still a few items that we didn’t think about so that also inspired this blog post.

Compiled by us, our son’s wish list and the best part…suggestions from other parents who have been there, done that…and then had to go back to the store for dorm stuff that is easy to forget.  Stuff like shower curtain rings (although do check the dorm room to see if the shower has a door and doesn’t need a shower curtain), a power strip, Advil, a lamp…stuff we don’t always think about.  So take a look, print out the lists (I have included several here) and happy college days to your little birdie who is leaving the nest.

And be sure to first consult your child’s roommate to check off who brings what and what can be shared like a mini fridge and microwave.

  1.  Linens for bed & bath – Dorm room beds are specially sized so typical sized fitted sheets won’t fit.  With this in mind and after shopping around and comparing prices, I found the best value to be at the very helpful online college shopping store, Our Campus Market.  The Student Starter Pak is a good value.  starter kitFor $139 we received our box in the design that my son selected…and I listed the contents below.  This is our box that we received…linens box

And here is what came in that box…

2 extra-long flat sheets
2 extra-long fitted sheets
2 standard pillowcases
1 extra-fluffy machine washable pillow
1 extra-long reversible comforter
1 extra-long quilted mattress pad
1 extra-long thermal cotton blanket
2 all-cotton bath towels
2 matching cotton hand towels
2 matching cotton wash cloths

2.  Laundry Basket on Wheels – found ours at Target. My son’s girlfriend, who is starting her sophomore year at ASU (so she has experience) suggested this.  I would not have thought to get him one on wheels to wheel down the dorm hall.  Smart!  You can see the one we bought in the first picture above. Of course, buy laundry detergent and dryer sheets, too.

3.  Grooming essentials – Our Campus Market has nifty grooming sets for both the guys and the girls.  We purchased one for our son called the Nitty Gritty Grooming Collection that includes a ton of stuff like shampoo, shower gel, deodorant, men’s face wash, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouth wash and more. nitty gritIt did cost $59 but it is the perfect set up to get him started.  The box it comes in is super cool and this can be mailed directly to the dorm as a college care kit.  My son liked this a lot.  The girls version, called Primp It Pretty Personal Collection is pictured here and costs the same…girls kit

4.  Our son’s #1 requested item was a coffee maker so he was so happy when he saw one in his surprise pile!

5. For the rest of the needed items, I am sharing this nice succinct list that ASU provided.  Then I will share a more elaborate list that ASU also mailed to us.  First the short list…

asu listASU also sent us these tips, but check with your own college dorm to see the unloading vehicle policies…tips pack

Here is a more detailed list…

Essentials

  • Backpack
  • Clothing
  • Flashlight with batteries
  • Personal hygiene products
  • School supplies
  • Personal property insurance

Home Supplies

  • Bedding linen/pillow (XL twin, regular twin or full size, depending on room style)
  • Can opener
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Dishes and silverware
  • Hangers
  • Iron/small ironing board
  • Laundry basket/supplies
  • Rug/carpet/bath mat
  • Shower caddy
  • Study/reading lamp
  • Light bulbs
  • Trash can (depending on room amenities)
  • Towels/shower shoes
  • Toilet paper
  • Shower curtain
  • Mirror

Electronics

  • Alarm clock
  • Extension cord/power strip
  • Cell phone/charger
  • Computer
  • Ethernet cables (20-25 feet)
  • Batteries
  • Stereo
  • TV/DVD/BLU-Ray Player
  • A tool box – the item that we didn’t think of that my son soon needed

And last but not least, stuff my gal pals told me that I hadn’t thought of…

*1st Aid Kit complete with Advil and Tylenol and a thermometer.  Two of my mom friends told me that they added first-aid cold meds, cotton balls, Q-tips, Cortizone, Pepto, bandages and Caladryl.  I am also putting in bug spray wipes called Bug Band Towelettes that are conveniently packaged from Bug Band.

*One of these Moms also told me that she had to return to the store to get forgotten items that included light bulbs, a lock for a personal cabinet that the dorm provides, an ether net cable for the TV and a basketball.  Love that she told me this about more needed items for her son.

Ok, parents out there.  What did I forget on these lists?  Did I get it all?  Do share in the comments section as I am brand new to this college parent club.  It is an exciting world to be in!

And here we are in this new world!  In the dorm room model that I checked out last month with my son, my daughter and my son’s girlfriend.dorm room pic

The real thing happens next Friday…smile/sniffle/joy/sadness….bittersweet.  So exciting!

 

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