College Shopping List

College Shopping List

Publish Date June 10, 2022 3 Minute Read

As move-in day nears, you and your college student might feel unsure of what first-time college students need to maximize dorm space and keep their dorm rooms organized. Putting together a college survival kit is easy with these tips for college freshmen.

Storage & Organization Ideas

Space is limited in just about every dorm room, so it’s important to plan ahead and bring dorm storage containers and organization helpers. Maximize their space with wall-mounted storage units, under-bed storage and over-the-door closet hangers. And include items to make the most of their desk space.

Laundry Tips & Supplies

If they’ve never learned how to do laundry, they’ll likely have to now. Here’s a list of essentials:

  • Laundry bag or hamper
  • Mesh bag for delicates
  • No-mess detergent pods
  • Dryer sheets
  • Foldable drying rack
  • Stain-removing pens
  • Lint-removing brushes
  • Sew-in labels for clothes and linens
  • Portable iron or steamer

They should simply follow the instructions on the machine but consider using cold water as much as possible since it’s better for the environment. And instead of drying all their clothes, they can conserve energy by laying some out on the drying rack.

To avoid waiting for a machine on Sunday night, suggest they try to maintain laundry between classes during the week. Also, they should set a timer so they don’t forget to move their clothes. And it’s always thoughtful to clean out the dryer’s lint catcher when finished.

Dorm Room Essentials

Health & Medicine

Bring along small-size bottles of over the counter medications they take, plus a few month’s worth of prescription medications. Either purchase or put together a kit of first aid items with the following:

  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Pain relievers
  • Anti-nausea medication
  • Thermometer
  • Cough drops
  • Itch relieving cream
  • Ice/heat patches
  • Feminine hygiene products

Personal Care

Combined items, like shampoo and conditioner can help save space and reduce how much they need to take to the showers. A shower caddy and shower shoes are also smart items to bring along.


Bring an assortment of cleaning products so they can keep their space fresh. Items include:

  • Small handheld vacuum
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Trash bags
  • Air freshener
  • Cleaning spray
  • Scrub brush

They can set up a cleaning schedule that includes a daily wipe down of high-traffic areas (doorknobs, light switches, etc.) and then a deep clean once a week.

With a perfectly organized room and all the essentials from the college survival kit to keep things running smoothly, they’ll have a great space to renew and recharge from all of the fun, excitement and learning that are part of college life.

For more Back to School tips, visit our Back to School shop. If you’ve graduated from the dining hall to your own apartment kitchen, here are some easy meal ideas and a college grocery list.

College Shopping List Essentials