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College Dorm Supplies

M. M. "inquisitive designer"
The list author says: "I compiled this list to help new college students figure out what to bring with them, whether they're moving into an on-campus dorm or a nearby apartment. The contents of this list are based on what most dorms now come with standard (like refrigerators, which I have omitted) and what most don't include but still allow students to bring (like microwaves and toasters, which I have included below).

Electronics are such a personal choice that I'm not going to waste list space recommending them. You will absolutely need a computer, a printer, and at least one USB flash drive, but the rest -- phone, TV, stereo, alarm clock, etc. -- is up to you. Remember to get 1-2 spare printer cartridges before you leave for school.

Desk supplies: desk organizers (trays/compartments), pens, pencils, highlighters, markers, white-out, calculator, notebooks/notepads, loose-leaf paper, printer paper, 3-hole punch, scissors, stapler, staples, paper clips, post-it notes, folders, envelopes, blank CDs/DVDs, 3M wall hooks, and extra batteries (AA and AAA).

Cleaning supplies: disinfecting wipes, mirror/glass cleaner, sponges, paper towels, bathroom cleaning supplies (if applicable), broom, brush & dustpan, vacuum.

Laundry supplies: hangers, hamper, detergent, fabric softener, 'delicates' bags, collapsible drying rack, iron, ironing board.

Kitchen supplies (if applicable): plates, bowls, flatware, colander, large mixing bowl, large skillet or wok, stockpot (and/or saucepan), cooking utensils (spatula, large spoon, tongs), measuring spoons & cups, storage containers (for leftovers!), pot holders, dish towels, sponges, handwashing dish detergent, and a trusty student cookbook.

Good luck, and enjoy the transition to college! You will have a GREAT time!"
Organize It All Closet Doubler (1346W)
Organize It All Closet Doubler (1346W)
"If you get only ONE thing before going to college, make it a double-hanging closet rod.  This is a lifesaver for your tiny dorm closet!"
Way Basics zBoard Eco Rectangle Plus 2-Shelf Storage Unit, Cedar Wood Grain
Way Basics zBoard Eco Rectangle Plus 2-Shelf Storage Unit, Cedar Wood Grain
"If your dorm doesn't include a bookshelf or some shelving/storage near your desk, you'll need to get your own.  Make sure it's tall enough to fit a textbook, and then it can also serve as a night stand.  (You can always set up a makeshift bookshelf out of plastic crates, below.)"
Sterilite Plastic Storage Crate, Black
Sterilite Plastic Storage Crate, Black
"Get two or three crates, and the possibilities are endless: bookshelf, nightstand, under-bed or top-shelf storage, laundry hamper...  You can find crates in the big box stores near campus."
Iris 3-Drawer Storage System, 26 3/4in.H x 12 5/8in.W x 16 1/8in.D, Black/Clear
Iris 3-Drawer Storage System, 26 3/4in.H x 12 5/8in.W x 16 1/8in.D, Black/Clear
"One thing dorms always lack is storage space.  This rolling cart can hold snacks, nonperishables, bathroom stuff, desk supplies, makeup, dishes, cooking utensils, etc.  Again, find these in the big box stores near campus."
Sterilite Ultra Storage Box, 74-Quart, White
Sterilite Ultra Storage Box, 74-Quart, White
"Your need for this rolling under-bed storage container largely depends on what you plan to do with the space underneath your bed (like put a mini-fridge there).  These slim rolling storage boxes are handy for shoes, linens, dishes, pots & pans, etc."
Ace Bin Divider Rack
Ace Bin Divider Rack
"You need a dry erase board for your door so that people in your dorm can leave you a message... like back when phones and texting didn't exist.  Get a cheap one, because by the end of the year it'll be broken and your marker will have been stolen.  Ah, college!"
Belkin 12 Outlet Home/Office Surge Protector with Phone/Ethernet/Coaxial Protection and Extended Cord 4156 Joules
Belkin 12 Outlet Home/Office Surge Protector with Phone/Ethernet/Coaxial Protection and Extended Cord 4156 Joules
"No one wants their computer to get fried during a freak thunderstorm.  Make sure there are enough outlets for your laptop, printer, speakers, phone, etc."
LapGear Jumbo MyDesk (45303)
LapGear Jumbo MyDesk (45303)
"Whether you'll use a lap desk depends on how you like to study.  I loved doing homework on my bed in college and actually still use my lap desk today.  Get one with a large surface for the most functionality."
Eco Low Twist 6 Piece Towel Set, Sorrel
Eco Low Twist 6 Piece Towel Set, Sorrel
"Remember to get enough towels to last you between laundry sessions.  I recommend getting 4 bath towels, 4 hand towels, and however many washcloths you might need.  Sometimes it helps to buy towels in different colors so that you can wash them at different times (throw in your light-colored towels with a load of lights, and your dark-colored towels with a load of darks)."
Rubbermaid Laundry Basket, 1.6-Bushel, White
Rubbermaid Laundry Basket, 1.6-Bushel, White
"Get whatever style/size laundry basket suits your budget, needs, and space constraints.  A collapsible hamper or a mesh bag (below) may be a better option for those with severely limited space."
Honey-Can-Do LBG-01161 Mesh Laundry Bag with Drawstring, 25-inch L x 36-Inch H, Blue
Honey-Can-Do LBG-01161 Mesh Laundry Bag with Drawstring, 25-inch L x 36-Inch H, Blue
"Bringing laundry home to wash?  Gotta have one of these.  Mesh is best so that your clothes can air out their funk.  Also doubles as a hamper if you don't have room for a large plastic one."
Household Essentials White Plastic Indoor Drying Rack
Household Essentials White Plastic Indoor Drying Rack
"A drying rack is essential for delicates and other clothes that can't go in the dryer; get one that folds up so you can store it.  Also great if you want to save money and be kind to the planet by not using a dryer!"
Honey-Can-Do BRD-01294 Deluxe Tabletop Ironing Board with Iron Rest
Honey-Can-Do BRD-01294 Deluxe Tabletop Ironing Board with Iron Rest
"Your need for this depends on whether you'll be ironing anything.  Remember to either get an iron or take your parents' old one!"
OXO Good Grips Suction Hook and Double Toothbrush/Razor Holder
OXO Good Grips Suction Hook and Double Toothbrush/Razor Holder
"Almost all dorms have a sink in each room.  You will need a toothbrush holder that is easy to clean, like this simple suction one (NOT the kind that's a cup with holes in the top, which your roommate will forget to clean and you will refuse to touch once you see the nastiness inside).  I like this suction kind because they stick right to the mirror and stay out of the 'splash zone.'"
Ruia Home Organic Cotton Reversible Bath Rug, Ivory
Ruia Home Organic Cotton Reversible Bath Rug, Ivory
"A bath mat is great for the space in front of your sink or shower.  Get the 100% cotton kind -- not the kind with a rubber-grip backing -- so you can wash it easily and often."
Havaianas Top Flip Flop
Havaianas Top Flip Flop
"Flip flops: a must-have for any communal shower situation."
InterDesign Basket, Small, Pacific
InterDesign Basket, Small, Pacific
"If you're using a communal bathroom, you'll need a small, easy-to-clean, rust-proof carrying caddy.  Also great for under-sink, bookshelf, desk, and closet storage."
Zenna Home 2104W, Bathtub and Shower Pole Caddy, White
Zenna Home 2104W, Bathtub and Shower Pole Caddy, White
"If you're in a suite-style dorm, where 2 rooms share a private bath, you'll need a space-saving shower shelf.  (Make sure you claim the top shelf so that your stuff doesn't get dripped on!)"
Sleep Better 2-Inch Visco Elastic Memory Foam  Mattress Topper, Twin Extra Long
Sleep Better 2-Inch Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Twin Extra Long
"You can easily find a less-expensive 'egg crate' foam topper at a big-box store near campus.  Regardless of price, a foam topper is essential if you even want to *think* about falling asleep on the rock they give you for a mattress."
SMS Zip Allergy Mattress Cover - Twin XL
SMS Zip Allergy Mattress Cover - Twin XL
"Why?  Because you won't know who has slept (or done whatever else) on your mattress during the last 10 years.  Also great for those who are allergic to dustmites."
Tommy Hilfiger Santa Cruz Collection Sheet Set, Twin Extra Long(Old Pattern)
Tommy Hilfiger Santa Cruz Collection Sheet Set, Twin Extra Long(Old Pattern)
"Get two sets of extra-long sheets (provided that's the size mattress your dorm has).  I used extra-long sheets with a standard twin-size comforter and had no problems.  A good option is also the 'bed in a bag' set, but make sure it's the right size (XL).  Don't forget pillows!"
Hearos Ultimate Softness Series Foam Earplugs, 20-Pair
Hearos Ultimate Softness Series Foam Earplugs, 20-Pair
"Paper-thin walls, noisy roommates, dipsh*ts running through the halls, drunk people on the street below your window -- trust me, you will need ear plugs.  Get the soft foam kind so you can sleep with them in."
JOJ8123 - Johnson amp; Johnson All-Purpose First Aid Kit
JOJ8123 - Johnson amp; Johnson All-Purpose First Aid Kit
"Obviously you can go to the health center if something crazy happens, but it's nice to have a small first aid kit in your room for minor things.  You can buy a ready-to-go first aid kit or build your own with an empty container and some Tylenol, band-aids, Neosporin, an ACE bandage, a hot/cold pack, gauze, Q-tips, cotton balls, backup birth control, etc."
Apollo Precision Tools DT9706 39-Piece General Tool Set
Apollo Precision Tools DT9706 39-Piece General Tool Set
"Every college student needs a lightweight basic tool kit."
Sharp R-216LS Compact Size 0.8 Cu-Foot Microwave, Stainless Steel
Sharp R-216LS Compact Size 0.8 Cu-Foot Microwave, Stainless Steel
"Get an inexpensive microwave -- you'll use it all 4 years and will always be thankful you bought one.  Most dorms let you have a microwave in your room (check before buying, though).  Note that I haven't included a fridge on this list, as many dorms already supply them."
Proctor Silex 22605 2-Slice Toaster
Proctor Silex 22605 2-Slice Toaster
"Some mornings, you'll only have time for a Pop-Tart.  Pick up an inexpensive toaster when you're out getting your microwave."
Alpha Heavy Gage 24 Qt Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Glass Lid By Savezoneusa /Alpha
Alpha Heavy Gage 24 Qt Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Glass Lid By Savezoneusa /Alpha
"Space is limited in the dorm, so if you're planning to cook, just get two essential pieces: 1) a large stockpot, and 2) a large skillet (below).  The stockpot is your most versatile piece: sauté veggies; cook pasta, rice, or soup; bake a roast in the oven; even brew beer."
Hamilton Beach 92003 Aluminum Nonstick Elite 12 Inch Skillet, Black
Hamilton Beach 92003 Aluminum Nonstick Elite 12 Inch Skillet, Black
"A large, versatile nonstick skillet (or a wok, if that's what you prefer) is your #2 essential cookware piece.  Careful with teflon, though: your unwitting roommates may use a fork and scratch it up (mine did, every year).  For those who don't want to use teflon or worry about scratches, Good Cook makes an inexpensive pre-seasoned cast-iron skillet."
Calphalon Nylon Utensils Spoon, Slotted Spoon, Slotted Turner, Pasta Fork
Calphalon Nylon Utensils Spoon, Slotted Spoon, Slotted Turner, Pasta Fork
"Can't cook without 'em.  A basic set will do just fine."
Student's Go Vegan Cookbook: Over 135 Quick, Easy, Cheap, and Tasty Vegan Recipes
Student's Go Vegan Cookbook: Over 135 Quick, Easy, Cheap, and Tasty Vegan Recipes
"You're going to need to feed yourself eventually."
Room Essentials Shag Rug - Cream 60"x80"
Room Essentials Shag Rug - Cream 60"x80"
"I can almost guarantee your dorm room won't have carpet.  If you want to make it a little cozier, get an inexpensive rug."
LEDwholesalers 48 LED Flexible Neck Desk Lamp, 7 Watt Bright White Table Reading Light, 2402
LEDwholesalers 48 LED Flexible Neck Desk Lamp, 7 Watt Bright White Table Reading Light, 2402
"A desk/nightstand light is a must-have, especially when your roommate is asleep and you can't turn on the massive industrial overhead light.  An LED lamp doesn't get as hot as an incandescent/halogen light and saves energy too.  Lots of LED lamps run on batteries, but you should get one with a cord to save money in the long run; otherwise you'll be buying new batteries constantly!"
Good Earth Lighting GL6543-BK-GLI Lincoln Park Torchiere with Opal Glass Diffuser, Black
Good Earth Lighting GL6543-BK-GLI Lincoln Park Torchiere with Opal Glass Diffuser, Black
"Floor lamps make your room feel a little more like home, but be warned: they can be a pain to move/store during the summer."
OXO Good Grips Dust Pan and Brush, Silver
OXO Good Grips Dust Pan and Brush, Silver
"Despite their best intentions, people will spill stuff in your room.  If you decide not to get a stick vac (below), it would be wise to get a brush & dustpan set."
BISSELL 3106A Featherweight Lightweight Vacuum
BISSELL 3106A Featherweight Lightweight Vacuum
"This FANTASTIC inexpensive stick vac lasted me all the way through college and still works today.  Great for low-pile 'industrial' carpet and hard surfaces.  Just empty the canister each time you use it, and it'll last a long time.  Note that most dorms have a vacuum you can borrow, but it will be old, heavy, and probably checked out when you need it."
Swiffer Sweeper 2 In 1 Mop And Broom Floor Cleaner Starter Kit
Swiffer Sweeper 2 In 1 Mop And Broom Floor Cleaner Starter Kit
"If you don't want to get a vacuum, you'll need some kind of dry floor sweeper to clean all the dust bunnies that inexplicably materialize underneath your bed, behind your desk, and in your closet."
Honeywell TurboForce Fan, HT-900
Honeywell TurboForce Fan, HT-900
"If you get hot easily, you will need this -- you can't change the thermostat in your room.  This portable fan is great, and you can get one cheap at a big box store."
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College
"Ha!  A fun and useful read for incoming college students.  Might want to check this one out from the library."
S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College
S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College
"Speaks for itself.  Remember that on most campuses you can pick up free condoms and dams from the health center."