Lesson VI: Packing the Essentials — Part Deux

In my last entry I discussed what you would need for the classroom while at college and back by popular demand I present “Packing the Essentials — Part Deux” which is the collaborative list of all of your dorm/housing needs.

Clothing
We all need to wear clothing right? Well I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from students who forget to pack any socks or have packed their entire wardrobe and don’t have room for anything else. Keep in mind where your going to school when you pack, chances are if your going to a school in New England your going to need more cold weather clothing than if your going to a school in Hawaii. Another good rule of thumb when packing is if you haven’t worn something in 2 weeks then leave it at home. With that said don’t forget this stuff…

Underwear — undershirts, underwear, bras, socks, pajamas, a bathrobe.
Everyday Wear — jeans, t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, belts, a light jacket, sweaters, sweatshirts, dresses, skirts, a cap/hat.
Cold/Warm Climate Wear — a raincoat, an umbrella, a pair of gloves, a pair of earmuffs, a scarf or two, a bathing suit, tank tops.
Formal Wear — This is in case you go to a job interview or formal event, you should probably only need one of each. A dress shirt, tie, slacks, a pair of dress socks, an evening dress, a pair of panty hose.
Shoes — You will need at least one pair of casual shoes, athletic shoes, dress shoes, flip-flops (for the shower), heels, flats.

Bedding/Linens
I think a lot of students forget what they will need for bedding and linens when they leave for college because they go from living at home with a big comfortable bed and fresh sheets to a university issued mattress with some mysterious stains from the last person that used it. But with a few comforts of home the cheap college mattress can be livable.

a mattress pad/topper, a bedspread, blankets, pillows, sheets, pillowcases, towels, washcloths.

TIP #1: “Bed in a Bag” is a bag that contains a matching set of sheets, pillowcases and bedspread, its usually pretty affordable and something that you can find at most big-box stores (Walmart, K-Mart, Target) It usually saves a little money then if you buy each item separately.

TIP #2: Invest in a good mattress pad/topper, they can really make you a lot more comfortable. Although they range in price and quality its well worth it to shell out a bit more money for a good one and save yourself some future back pain and discomfort.

Toiletries
Try to remember to pack as many of theses things as you can but if you forget some of them its not really a big deal because most college campuses have some sort of grocery store, convenience store or pharmacy near by so you can pickup anything you forgot.

cologne/perfume, shampoo, conditioner, dental floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hairbrush/comb, hair spray/gel, tissues, nail clippers, q-tips, razors, shaving cream, soap/bodywash, lotion, makeup, nail polish, nail polish remover, mouthwash, a hairdryer, a shower caddy, feminine products.

First Aid
Having a first aid kit or at least a few medical supplies is always handy for those minor cuts and scrapes and that killer headache you get when your… studying… yeah studying late at night.

a few different size band-aids, aspirin/pain reliever, contraceptives (that’s right, no excuses for forgetting this one), cough drops, decongestant, hydrogen peroxide, sunscreen, a multi-purpose antacid (like maalox or pepto-bismol), thermometer.

School Supplies
In my last entry I mentioned what supplies you would need to bring to class. Needless to say you might need a few more supplies for projects or whatever that you might not feel the need to tote around with you from class to class.

an alarm clock, a calendar, highlighters, paper clips, a ruler, a pair of scissors, stamps, a stapler and staples, tape, a cork bulletin board/dry erase board, a dictionary, a thesaurus, a book of grammar, a book of quotations, desk lamp, sticky notes, a computer and printer.

Storage and Furniture
Lets face it living in a dorm room is like living in a matchbox and then having to share it with someone else so space can’t be wasted. Before you buy furniture find out what things you school includes in their rooms. Some dorms will have closets and some will include a dresser, most of now include a desk and chair. Its better to find out ahead of time and save yourself some money.

baskets, bookshelves, hangers, hooks, a trunk, a wastebasket, sliding storage boxes, a laundry basket, shelving, milk crates, lighting, a nightstand, an entertainment center/tv stand, lounge chairs, a desk and dresser (if they’re not provided.)

Electronics & Appliances
This is really hard list to come up with because every college has there own requirements for what electronics and appliances they allow because of the fire hazards. So be sure to go online or call the department of student housing to know what they allow before showing up at school with your hot plate, candles and halogen light bulbs. In general I will try to list only what most schools will allow in their housing.

a telephone/cellphone, a television, a small refrigerator, a stereo, a microwave, a fan, a coffee maker, a dvd player, a mini-vacuum.

Miscellaneous Items
This is all the stuff I couldn’t really find another category for but stuff that you will end up needing (its usually the most forgotten stuff too.)

duct tape, batteries, an extension cord, a surge protector, a small tool kit, headphones, a water filter pitcher, mugs/cups, utensils, plates, bowls, a water bottle, snacks, a flashlight, a camera, posters, picture frames, storage for CD/DVD’s, an area rug, an iPod/mp3 player.

TIP #3: If the windows in your room don’t have blinds or some form of window covering then consider getting some kind of window covering for your privacy (curtains or panels work best.)

TIP #4: If you are going to get a job while your in school or have some sort of medical situation you will probably need a few forms of identification like your social security card (or have the number memorized), driver’s license, bank account information and health insurance card.

After neglecting any homework I’ve had for the past few days to search and come up with this list I think I’ve found just about everything a person would need to pack for college, but if anyone has noticed that I’ve forgotten anything or has some other items to add feel free to comment and I will add them on.

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One response to “Lesson VI: Packing the Essentials — Part Deux

  1. Great college gear ideas!

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