College: What You Really Need In A Dorm Room

What to bring and what not to bring to college.

When it's time to start shopping for college, the first thing on your mind is: what do I really need? Suddenly you have to buy EVERYTHING to outfit a brand-new place. Below is a list of what you really need - as well as some things you really don't.

Clothes - You do not need your entire wardrobe. You will be able to trade off when you go home for visits or holidays. Bring only the warm-weather clothing you'll need now, along with a few items for cooler weather. Don't bring winter clothes, though! Bring with you a few pairs of shorts, a few pairs of long pants, some skirts/sundresses if you want them, several pairs of socks, several pairs of underwear, a few pairs of shoes/sandals, one or two nicer outfits (especially if you intend to interview for jobs, internships, or perform in concerts), short-sleeve shirts, a few long-sleeve shirts, pajamas, slippers, and a light jacket and/or raincoat.

Cleaning supplies - You should have a general cleaning spray (one that works on carpets) for any spills you might have; disinfectant wipes, air freshener (if you want), a small vacuum (you never know if you'll be able to borrow one, or if it will work well), paper towels, dish washing liquid, dish washing cloth, a dusting cloth or feather duster, and possibly glass cleaner. If you will be responsible for cleaning your own bathroom, bring some sink/shower cleaner, toilet cleaner, a toilet brush, and a sponge.

Entertainment/Electronic - You will want to have a computer and a printer. Whether you choose desktop or laptop doesn't matter. If you have a desktop, you will likely want a flat-screen monitor (it will fit better). You will also want a microwave, refrigerator (a medium-sized one, NOT the smallest one out there), possibly a stereo and/or a TV, maybe a video game system. All of these entertainment items are NOT required, but many college students have them.

Personal Items - You will need to bring toothpaste, toothbrush, thermometer, soap, shampoo, conditioner, eye drops (if necessary), contact solution (if necessary), extra contacts (if necessary), cough syrup, cold medicine, pain reliever, vitamins (if you want), cough drops, upset stomach medicine, any prescription medicine that you have, facial care (including soap, blemish remover, etc.), tissues, a shower tote (to carry all of your shower items). If you will have a private bathroom you may also need toilet paper and a plunger.

Linens - Sheets (extra-long twin, you will have to buy them specially. Some department stores have them, online stores will have them), blankets, quilt, bath towels, wash cloths, beach towels (if you intend to go swimming).

Food - Only buy things that you will eat often, like cereal, crackers, peanut butter, pasta, soup, cookies, chips, etc. Don't buy anything that is perishable; buy that later, on campus. When you buy food, concentrate on buying things that can be a snack or a meal on the go.

Dishes - Microwaveable plates, bowls, leftover dishes (bowls and divider plates work well if you want to prepare a meal in advance, put it in the fridge, and reheat it for dinner after late classes), cups, forks, knives, spoons, a can opener, a bottle opener, a tub to stack dirty dishes in, a set of small drawers to keep clean dishes in, a blender (if you want), a big measuring cup (four cups is good - it can go in the microwave, so you can make soup, pasta, and measure other stuff. Invaluable).

Miscellaneous - A clock, posters, pictures, movies, CDs, books to read, magazines, hobby items (knitting, drawing, etc.), other decorating items, a fan, a laundry bag, collapsible shelves (to store shoes, etc. in your closet).

Furniture - A chair, a TV stand (if you're bringing a TV), a table, storage boxes (either under the bed if you have a normal bed, or stack-ables if you have a loft).

Things NOT to bring - A toaster, candles, a beanbag chair, anything flammable, too many movies (most colleges have them for rent at the desk), a trash can (usually provided), too many nice clothes, food you won't eat, alcohol.

Remember - if there's something you don't have, you can always buy it on campus or bring it from home later. You are NOT stranded. And if there's something you don't need, take it home! It will only take up space that you could be using for things you DO need.

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