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6 Dorm Essentials that Every College Student Actually Needs

With back to school just around the corner, many of us are preparing to send our kids off on the
bus come September. However, there are also many of us that are slowly getting things ready to
send the older ones off to college.


If this happens to be the case for you and you find yourself asking what kinds of things you need
to send with your child for college, you’ve come to the right place.


With expert knowledge (four years of college-packing experience), here is a list of 6 Essential
Items that you should pack when prepping your child to leave for college/university.

1. Under the Bed Storage

Dorm rooms are small. It’s practically a universal fact that there won’t be much space in the
dorm room. This is why under the bed storage is absolutely essential. Not only does it help keep
the room neat, it gives you some more space to store other things throughout the year.


Most dorm beds are raised off the ground – whether into a loft bed, or even just a foot or two.
Grab a wheeled storage bin and pack it full with winter clothes, extra supplies, or books and
slide it under the bed. Having this extra space will be a lifesaver when you start to put the room
together on move in day!

2. Extension Cord

The next college essential is an extension cord. Especially with the majority of school being
online last year, technology is a must. With all of this technology (from laptops and phones to
headphones and speakers) comes plenty of charger cables. A dorm room will not have a lot of
outlets for you to choose from, so coming equipped with an extension cord will make sure you
have enough outlets for all of your electronics.

3. Mattress Pad

Another well known fact about college dorms is that the beds aren’t very comfortable. Sleep,
while often neglected in your college years, is still vital and it’s important to get a good night’s
sleep on a comfortable mattress. This is why a quality mattress pad is an essential purchase.

Mattress pads can vary in size and quality, so find one that suits your price point and your
comfort level. Whether that means dropping a few hundred dollars on a luxurious pad or $40 on
one that gets the job done, it’s up to you!

4. Laundry Bag/Hamper

While this one may seem a bit obvious, it still is one of the more essential items on the list.
Having a hamper or bag to throw your dirty laundry in will save you the headache and mess of
dealing with your dirty clothes in a different way.

Hampers are great to store under your bed or in the closet, but a bag is easier to transport.
Whatever method you choose, look at “investing” in a quality laundry carrier that will last the
length of your child’s time in college. And, if it lasts even more than that, it’s a bonus!

5. Mini Tool Kit

This college essential is more needed than you think. Yes, your kid will probably survive without
a tool kit, but there will definitely be days where they are left asking other dorms, maintenance,
or you for a screwdriver, hammer, or drill. Whether it’s to take apart furniture, pry something
apart, fix a bed, or even just to screw your glasses back together (been there, done that), having
a few tools handy will be a life saver.


A Tool kit is another investment essential that you college student will use for years, even after
they’ve finished their degree. Starting them off with some tools will be a great and handy
essential that they will use more than they think.

6. Slippers/Shower Sandals

One last college dorm essential are some nifty slippers or shower sandals. If you have
communal bathrooms and showers, a set of sandals are much needed. They will be extremely
useful when walking to and from the showers as the communal areas can be a bit grimy. If your
child has a personal shower, they won’t be as needed. Instead, they might opt for a set of cozy
slippers that they can wear around the dorm. The winter months can be brutal, especially on
uncarpeted dorm floors. Their toes will thank them when they are tucked into some warm
slippers during the winter.

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