Off to College: What to Bring

Off to College: What to Bring
  • Opening Intro -

    Heading off to college for the first time means deciding what you need to bring.

    That "need" may differ much from what you "want" to bring, but if your list is a long one, you're in lockstep with other college freshmen.


If you’re lucky, your college may even allow you to bring with you a small pet such as a canary or a hamster, but cats and dogs are rarely allowed.

If you’re not sure that that you’ll remember everything, then you’ll need to follow a moving-to-college checklist. We’ve also thought up of a number of items you’ll need and will share these with you:

1. Legal documents. You’ll need to bring with you a driver’s license if you have one, a copy of your social security card and perhaps a copy of your birth certificate when heading off to college. Your school will tell you what legal documents are needed and will give you a list to follow. Keep these in a safe place!

2. Clothing. Figure that you’ll need both warm and cold weather clothing. You may plan to get home again before the weather turns, but having clothes for a variety of weather conditions can be important. Bring with you laundry detergent, dryer sheets, wash cloths and towels, and a basket or container to carry everything in. You might need an iron, an ironing board and a drying rack too.

3. Personal effects. Toiletries including shampoo and conditioner, body wash or soap, makeup, shaving needs and perfume will accompany you to college. If you have medications, include these with your personal effects; make sure that your prescriptions are up to date and can be renewed while you’re away from home.

4. Sleeping comfort. You’ll be supplied with a dorm bed, but nothing else. So, bring with you a mattress pad, sheets, blankets and a comforter. One or two large pillows with pillowcases and a body pillow if you use one. If you’re squeamish about insects, then a bed bug protection kit might do.

5. Food preparation. Think that you’ll be eating in the canteen only? Think again. You’ll eat in your dorm and you’ll want to outfit it with many of the comforts of home. In fact, mom and dad may supply you with some of your needed items. Those items can include a microwave, a toaster, a coffee maker and perhaps a mini fridge. You’ll need utensils, cookware, dishes, glasses, a can opener, a pot holder and trays.

6. Cleaning supplies. You’ll be doing much of your own cleaning. Bring with you paper towels, a trash can, cleaner agents, sponges, a broom, a dust pan and a mop. A toilet cleaning kit is a must!

7. Home furnishings. You’ll have a desk to work on, but you’ll need a lamp to place on that desk. Also bring with you an alarm clock, pictures, decorative pillows, a lounge chair and an area rug. Personalize your space much as you have done with your bedroom at home.

8. Get organized. A backpack is certainly useful for organizing all of your stuff. You can also make use of storage bins and containers, a magnetic board for notes and a file organizer. Don’t forget hangars and a shoe rack for the closet.

9. Relaxation tools. You’ll want to bring your favorite electronic devices to college with you including a smartphone with a charger, your laptop or tablet, a gaming system, a television and various cords, drivers and software. If you’re bringing a printer, stock up on paper and ink.

So, that’s it! Or not: you may have some other items you’ll want to bring or, if you know your roommate, coordinate select items to reduce the clutter and to share in the largesse.

College Financing reference:

finding money for college guide

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Last update on 2018-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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