Shopping for college may seem like a huge chore, and since you're moving away from home, you may not even know where to start. This list you are about to read has been used by college freshmen for the past three years and has everything you need, and maybe even more, to prepare yourself to be on your own for the first time or maybe even a second, third, or fourth time if you're starting another year at college.
Bathroom products and toiletries:
Any hair products you use (gel, mousse, hair spray, heat protectant, oils, etc.)
Hair accessories (ponytail holders, clips, bobby pins, headbands, etc.)
Hairbrush/Comb/Hair Pick. If your hair is hard to detangle, think about investing in a Wet Brush.
Antibacterial hand sanitizer to keep in your room
Shampoo and conditioner
Glasses and case, sunglasses and case, contact lenses, solution, and case
Deodorant (or as I like to say, "Deo fo da BO")
Towel wrap or robe: Make sure it's a cute one in case you have a tornado drill while you're in the shower like I did.
Around 2-3 sets of towels. I never really needed more than 2 but if you wanna play it safe, bring more! Make sure you have a couple hand towels and washcloths too. As long as you do your laundry regularly, you won't need any more than that.
Makeup removing wipes: The best ones I have ever used are made by Garnier.
Paper towels (lots of them)
Vacuum. You'll want one that works good enough on tile floors and carpet, but is small enough to fit in your closet.
Small bottle of liquid dish detergent
Detergent. If you've never done laundry before and are worried about how to use detergent, the little detergent pods may work perfectly for you. You just throw one in and it's already pre-portioned out.
LOTS OF HANGERS. The velvet covered ones are the best because they take up less room and stuff doesn't fall off of them.
Other Random Essentials:
Snow boots for the Winter: Don't bring these to school with you until November... you'll want to leave everything that you don't absolutely need at home and you won't need them until it snows!
Ziploc plastic bags (large and small)
Plastic cups, utensils, plates, and bowls: Disposable ones will be much easier to deal with.
Tervis cup or water bottle
Microwave safe bowl and plate for if you ever run out of paper plates
Ottoman with storage inside: It makes it so much easier for you to get into your bed when it's raised and it makes for extra storage space!
Cube with a lid: These are great to store stuff in and stack in your closet or under your bed.
Lots and lots of extension cords
A really long cord for your computer to plug into the wall for internet (Ethernet Cable)
Laptop. Apple is the best because they don't get hacked and all the professors use them.
Lap caddy/desk for resting your laptop on you when you're in bed
TV, DVD Player, DVD's, Xbox, etc.
Snack food and a bin to keep your food in
Chip bag clips
Checkbook, debit card, credit card-Small wallet to keep on you at all times: Since you need your ID to get into the dorms and dining halls, it is nice to keep it in a safe place so you don't lose it when you're out and about.
Alarm clock if your phone isn't loud enough to wake you up
A portable charger is great to have for those long days of sorority recruitment and football tailgating so your phone never dies.
Bookbag: Keep a small hand sanitizer in there, it will come in handy.
2 sets of bed sheets
Mattress cover: Invest in one that zips and keeps bed bugs out...you never know.
Extra blanket for when people spend the night or to bring to football games
Chair cushion for desk chair
Posters/pictures/canvas paintings/decorations for your walls
A lot of girls buy 20 12x12 pieces of scrapbook paper or fabric to put on the bulletin board.
At least 4 packs of Command strips to put stuff on your wall.
Storage crates/bins/drawers for under the bed
Stamps and address labels
Bin for shoes
Health insurance info, car insurance, driver's license
Desk lamp. Don't forget the bulbs or batteries if it doesn't already come with them!
Loose leaf paper
Desk drawer organizer
Stapler and staples
A container to hold pens and pencils on desk
Tape and dispenser
Trash can liners
Lights look great in dorm rooms but you'll need a lot of Command strips to hang them.
Quick Tips For Dorm Life:
Make a habit of washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, and using Clorox wipes often. Pink eye goes around a couple times a year and it spreads from surface contact to hands and it's very common for a majority of a floor to get it at the same time. Be diligent and have good hygiene!
Talk to your roommate and come to an agreement about keeping your door locked when you are not in there. Theft is an issue in the residence halls.
Do not leave money, jewelry, phones, or computers in plain sight when you leave your room.
Always bring your laptop home with you when you go home for the weekend.
Don't keep any sentimental expensive valuables in your dorm room.
Freshmen: When you fill out your dorm checklist on move-in day, WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. A scratch on the desk, a stain on the bulletin board, a crack on the mirror, a dent in the blinds, a mark on the walls, tape marks on the door, etc., are all things you can be charged for at the end of the year so take precautions.
If you don't bunk the beds, raise them up to the top level of rungs. Do this first before you bring anything up or make the beds so you have room to move. For this you will probably need a hammer. Then, you can fit the fridge under one of the beds. You may also use bed risers if using the rungs does not bring your bed up high enough to your liking.
Take your computer with you to Summer Welcome and if you are purchasing it at Summer Welcome, make sure you take the time to have Tiger Tech set it up for you. They will set up your email account among many other resources.
Fill out the form for Earlybird Textbook orders. If you do, all you have to do in August is tell them your name and student ID number and they will already have all of your books for the semester boxed up and ready to take to your room.
Remember, you will only have 2 1/2 drawers to use and one closet. Pack only what you absolutely need because you can always bring down more clothes later. Don't bring any winter stuff down until around Halloween.
Happy Shopping and good luck this school year!