Back-to-School Shopping List
for College Students

College is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings, so it makes sense that there’s a lot of new items to purchase and pack before the big sendoff. Check off our list of essentials and you’ll be glad there’s one less thing to worry about come move-in weekend.

1. Academic Supplies

Let’s start with all the things needed for a successful academic year. Before buying a computer or laptop (and accessories), check with your school to determine if a Mac or PC is preferred for your program of study. Then bring the following additional items on move-in day: backpack, notebooks, writing utensils, highlighters and a digital or paper planner.

2. Cleaning Supplies

Corral basic cleaning supplies like an all-purpose cleaner, dusting spray, rags, toilet cleaner and a toilet brush into a storage bin or cleaning caddy. Equip a second bin with dish soap and dish towels to clean up after in-room meals and snacks. Don’t forget a trash can and trash bags.

3. Bedding / Sleeping Items

Confirm your dorm’s mattress size before shopping for bedding essentials: Sheet set, pillows, pillow protectors, mattress protector and pad, blankets and a quilt or comforter. Opt for blankets and a light quilt instead of a comforter to ensure comfortable sleep regardless of your body temperature and the climate controls in the dorm room. (Many dorms don’t have air conditioning and do have overly-active heaters.)

4. Kitchen Supplies

Even if you don’t have a kitchenette in your dorm room, a few essentials will make it easier for in-room pizza deliveries and late-night snacking.

Make a plan with your roommates and then collectively stock up on the following: A few basic dishes, microwave safe cookware, silverware, cups, a coffee mug, a travel cup or reusable water bottles.

Add a portable refrigerator to your list if they aren’t provided by your school. Portable fridges are a great addition because you can easily enjoy frozen drinks as well as fresh food in your dorm.

This is really important! Bring some snacks from home, such as ice cream, fruit, and drinks. It's a great way to quickly bond with your roommates. On weekends or holidays, you can go out for a car trip with your roommates. In this situation, a portable refrigerator will be very helpful for you to bring food to outdoor activities.

5. Electronics

Essential dorm technology goes beyond the devices you’ll use for class. Aside from a computer, here’s a list of other electronics to bring with you to school: TV and cables, gaming system and accessories, lamps and bulbs (floor lamp, desk lamp and/or clip lamp for reading in bed), chargers for all devices, extension cords and a power strip/surge protector with USB charging ports.

Final Thoughts

Be prepared for the college journey by checking off the items above as soon as possible. And remember, anything you forget to pack can probably be purchased on a quick trip to the nearest big box store in a college town. Good luck!