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10 Essential Dorm Items that are Often Forgotten will help you be prepared for sending your student off to college. You can tell it is August when all of the back-to-school sales begin. The Red, White, and Blue Fourth of July items are gone. In their place are 10-cent spiral notebooks, tissues, and crayons. As a teacher, it causes sadness because it marks the end of summer and days of sleeping in. As a parent of a school-age student, it brings on a sense of motivation. This year I will be more on top of it all! Bring on the forms. I will get them all in on time. As a parent of a college freshman, I have the “Oh Crap! We need to go shopping.”

My daughter goes off to college….

The thought of my daughter not seeing me everyday and “checking in” scares me to death. What if she does not have everything she needs? I am over 2 hours away and do not have the flexibility to drive something over just like I was able to do when she forgot to bring her lunch or homework assignment to school.

I am not going to lie, but I dove into the Pinterest rabbit hole to find shopping lists and sales to make this process easier. This made things even more overwhelming. I’d like to think that I went to college just a couple of years ago, but did I need all of the things on this list?

My daughter and her roommate also went the Pinterest route and made sure that their decor was matching and trendy. They shopped for cute accent pillows, matching comforters, towels and desk accessories, tv, futon, and microwave. Their high school graduation present Bed, Bath and Beyond gift cards were burning a hole in their pocket.

They did an awesome job and their room will be very “Zen”. I’ll post a picture once this process is over. Here are the things they missed. This list is totally not glamorous, but my daughter’s life will be affected if she did not pack these 10 Essential Dorm Items that are Often Forgotten.

10 Essential Dorm Items that are Often Forgotten

1. Surge Protector is an Essential Dorm Item

For better or worse, my daughter has access to many devices that need to charge. As she was packing her i-pad, laptop, cell phone, microwave, TV, printer etc., I asked, “How are you going to plug this all in?” Of course, she didn’t think of the dilemma that she will only have 4 outlets. They are not in the optimal place. We bought this device. She can plug in multiple devices at once. It is intuitive to know the type of device that is connected to it. It maximizes the charge, so devices charge faster.

2. Hangers and Closet Maximizers are Essential Dorm Items

As my daughter was organizing her clothes for each night of rush and deciding her accessories she forgot a small detail. How is she going to organize this? She has never had a closet this small. There are drawers in the room, but this will be used for other items. She wanted fashionable and functional hangers since her closet is open. These hangers come in a variety of colors and are velvet so they do not embed creases in each item.

She also needed to learn how to organize better since her space for clothes decreased by more than 300%.

Each of these items help maximize the space in her small closet.

3. Cleaning Supplies are Essential Dorm Items

Disinfectant wipes and paper towels

My kids do daily chores. They just assume that we always have disinfectant wipes because the wipes are on my typical Target run list.

Space saving vacuum

She will want to clean up the popcorn and snacks after movie night and the dust and hair that accumulate for living in a small space. Regular vacuums are way to large for a dorm room. We settled for a small vacuum that picks up big messes, but doesn’t take a ton of space. This particular portable vacuum comes with different attachments. It has been a great one size fits all situations. It also has a washable filter so purchasing replacement parts has been unnecessary.

Microfiber cleaning cloths

I love these cloths because they do a fabulous job at cleaning and disinfecting. The best part is that they only need water to clean. Breathing in cleaning fumes in small spaces is enough to get headaches and breathing issues. Not to mention that it is just not healthy.

Here is a link to find a consultant close to you.

4. First Aid Kit is an Essential Dorm Item

Next on the 10 Essential Dorm Items that are Often Forgotten list is a First Aid Kit. We couldn’t forget all of the essentials that are just assumed to be at home. Ibuprofen, bandages, antibiotics, and sunscreen are all necessary. She better not go to the doctor for a blister from wearing heels at a rush event! This fun first aid kit is cute enough that she is more likely to carry it in her backpack or car. For her room, we bought all of the items separately so she could refill her kit. Items that are included are

  • Tylenol
  • Assorted bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic wipes and spray
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Tape
  • Gauze
  • Refreezable and one time ice packs
  • Wrap
  • Sunscreen and After sun gel
  • Tweezers and nail clippers

5. Extra device chargers are Essential Dorm Items

At home we have so many chargers laying around that we just grab and use. It is likely that she will spend minimal time in her room so it would be helpful for her to have a charger for on the go and one to leave in her room.

6. Umbrella is an Essential Dorm Item

No more door-to-door transportation or staying at home because it’s raining! She needs to have a travel umbrella that will be stored or connected to her backpack. Some classes are in large buildings where just throwing the umbrella in the foyer to dry is not reasonable. We looked for an inverted close so it could be carried in the building without shaking water all over the place.

7. Trash and Recycling Bins are Essential Dorm Items

Another one of the 10 Essential Dorm Items that are Often Forgotten is trash or recycling bins. Even though most dorms will have trash chutes, she will not want to make a trip each time she has one article of trash. We are a recycling family so some sort of bin to collect recyclables until they can be put in a recycling bin is needed. This depends on what services are available at the University.

8. Can Opener is an Essential Dorm Item

Most freshmen will have a meal plan and eat most meals in the cafeteria or student center, but there will be times she wants to make some food in her room. I can imagine her now getting a can of soup and realizing that there is no way to open it. She wanted a can opener that could also open tabs and bottles.

9. Scissors are an Essential Dorm Item

Even though she will probably not be doing cut and paste projects in college, she will need scissors to cut into packages, tags off of items.

10. Towels other than bath towels are Essential Dorm Items

Last but certainly not least on the 10 Essential Dorm Items Forgotten list is towels. It was easy to remember the matching embroidered bath towel and washcloth, however I doubt she will want to clean up a coffee spill with the towel she washes her face with. Nor will she want to bring her fluffy monogrammed towel to the lake, pool, or beach.

We bought extra kitchen cloths and dishtowels. We also packed large beach towels that she keeps stored in her luggage.

Amazon Student Prime

I am sure there are items missing on this list, however it is a good start. To help prevent Ubering to Target, we purchased Amazon Student Prime so she can shop and get items shipped quick and free. It also allows her to stream music and movies free (without affecting our home account) The benefit of Amazon Student Prime is there are special deals for students and it is a less expensive cost than a typical Prime account. You will need an .edu email to sign up.

6 month Amazon Student Prime Free Trial

Did I forget some items? Reply with other ideas.