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).
"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.)"
"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."
"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."
"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!"
"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."
"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)."
"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!"
"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.'"
"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."
"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!"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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!"
"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."