Where you go to school and how you get there (by car, train, bus or plane) and your housing (live in a residence hall, fraternity/sorority house or off-campus student apartment) will determine whether you take boxes filled with your belongings in the family car and/or send some things by UPS, US Post Office, FEDEX or some other means.
This list is not meant to be followed piece-by-piece; the items are what current college students suggest I include. Use the suggestions to help you decide what to buy before you leave for college, bring from home and especially what you don't want to forget.
1. Bathroom & Toiletries
• Bath mat• Bath towels & washcloths• Bed raisers• Body wash/soap• Cotton balls• Deodorant• Flat iron• Floss• Hair brush/comb• Hair dryer• Hair products• Lip balm• Lotion• Mouth wash• Nail clippers & files• Q-tips• Robe• Shampoo & conditioner• Shower caddy• Soap & soap dish• Suction hooks• Sunscreen• Tissues• Toilet paper• Toothbrush & toothpaste• Toothbrush case• Travel bag for toiletries
For Men only: • After-shave• Electric shaver• Razor/s• Shaving cream or gel
For Women only: • Curling iron• Face wash• Feminine hygiene products• Hair ties and clips• Makeup• Makeup wipes• Moisturizer• Nail polish & remover• Tweezers
• 2 sets of Extra-long sheets• 2 sets of pillow cases• Comforter or duvet and cover• Electric blanket• Lightweight blanket• Mattress Pad (extra-long)• Pillows
3. Cleaning Supplies
• Dish soap• Glass cleaner• Hand soap• Lysol wipes• Mini-vacuum and/or hand vacuum• Rags or towels (at least 2) to clean up messes/dry dishes• Shower cleaner• Sponge• Stain remover• Swiffer hand duster• Swiffer sweeper • Toilet bowl cleaner & brush
4. Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
If you're moving to either a warm weather or cold climate, you might want to wait to purchase new clothes until you get there. You're more likely to find more and weather-appropriate styles, and find them less expensive
• Baseball hat(s)• Bathing suit• Belts• Flip-flops• Gloves• Jackets/coats• Jeans• Leather boots• Pajamas• Rain boots• Rain jacket• Running shoes• Sandals• Shorts• Slippers• Socks• Sunglasses• Sweaters• Sweatpants• Sweatshirts• T-shirts (long & short-sleeved)• Tank tops• Ugg boots• Underwear• Vest• Watch• Winter jacket• Workout clothes
For Men only: • Blazer or jacket• Dress shirts• Dress pants• Dress shirts• Mittens• Suit (if you have one)• Ties
For Women only: • Blouses• Bras• Clutch for going out at night• Dresses• Heels (at least 1 pair of classic black for dress up occasions)• Jewelry• Leggings• Purses• Scarves• Skirts• Tights
5. Cooking & Kitchen
If a kitchen is a part of your college living arrangement, you might consider:
• Can & bottle openers• Coffee pot • Coffee & filters• Cups• Favorite recipes• Funnel• Knife• Portable blender• Microwave (if permitted & not provided by school)• Microwaveable plates, bowls, etc.• Mugs• Paper towels• Reusable water bottle• Salt and pepper shakers• Small refrigerator (if permitted & not provided by school)• To-go coffee cups - hot & cold• Storage containers• Utensils • Ziploc baggies
6. Desk & School Supplies
• 3-hole puncher• Backpack or book bag• Binders• Blank CD's• Calculator• Calendar• Cell phone• Cell phone charger• Computer (laptop or desktop)• Cord organizer• Cup/container for pens & pencils• Desk chair seat pad• Envelopes• Erasers• Ethernet cable• Expanding file folder• External hard drive to back up work/data• Extra printer ink• Flash drive• Folders• Ipad• Index cards/flashcards• Laptop carrying case• Laptop lock• Lamp & light bulbs• Loose-leaf lined paper• Mouse & mouse pad• Noise-cancelling headphones for studying• Notebooks• Paper clips• Pencils, pens, highlighters etc.• Pencil sharpener• Planner• Post-it notes• Printer, paper, & ink• Rubber bands• Ruler• Scissors• Stamps• Stapler & staples• Stationary or cards• Sticky tabs• Surge protectors/power strip• Tape - scotch, masking, & duct• Thumbtacks• Waste basket• White out• Wireless internet router/modem (unless provided by school)
• Books• Camera• CDs• Deck of cards• DVDs• iPod/MP3 player• Headphones• Speakers• Sports equipment: Basketball, Boogie board, Frisbee, Football, Roller-blades, Skateboard, Surfboard, Tennis racquet • TV • Video game system & games
8. Health, Medications, Emergency & Safety Items
• Acne treatment• Alcohol (rubbing, not drinking)• Antibacterial ointment (like Neosporin)• Bandaids• Birth control• Contact lenses, case, and solution• Condoms• Cough drops• Emergency contact information• Eye drops• First-aid kit• Flashlight• Hand sanitizer• Health insurance card• Hydrogen peroxide• OTC medications (Advil or Tylenol, Benadryl, Nyquil, Pepto Bismol, Vick's Vapor Rub)• Pepper spray• Prescription medications• Prescription glasses• Retainer & case if applicable• Social Security card• Thermometer• Vitamins
9. Laundry Supplies
• Detergent• Fabric softener• Iron & small ironing board• Laundry basket/bag (one with wheels makes large loads easier to transport, pop-up bags store easily)• Quarters for washers and dryers• Sewing kit• Stain remover
• Batteries• Beach towel• Bicycle & U-Lock• Bug spray• Checkbook• Debit/credit cards• Ear plugs• Extension cords• Extra phone charger• Housing information• ID/driver's license• Keychain• Lap desk• Mini-reading light• Passport (if you have one)• Safety pins• Shoe inserts (ball of foot & heel for girls wearing high heels)• Sleeping bag & air mattress for retreats, guests, etc.• Student ID card• Tape measure• Tool kit with hammer, nails, screwdriver, screws, duct tape, pliers• Umbrella
• Healthy Cereals• Crackers• Granola bars• Honey• Oatmeal packets• Peanut butter• Popcorn• Microwaveable soups• Nuts and dried fruits• Ramen• Sugar packets• Sweetner packets• Tea/Coffee
12. Storage & "Stuff" for Your Room
• Air freshener• Alarm clock• Baskets for small items, hair stuff• Cork/bulletin board• Dry-erase board and pens• Fan• Garbage bags• Hangers• Hanging closet storage• Message board for door• Photos• Pictures• Posters• Poster putty• Rug• Shoe racks• Small mirror to put on desk/dresser• Sticky hooks & over the door hooks• Under-bed and in-closet storage bins
Things You Would Probably Forget Without This List
• Cable cord• Duffle/overnight bag for short trips• Dish bin to carry dirty dishes/utensils to sink• Drying rack to hang-dry clothes• Garment bag to protect dressy clothing• Lint roller• Memory foam mattress topper - makes a huge difference on dorm beds• Space bags to store out of season clothes.
Finally, before you leave for college in the fall, remember the famous "momism": "You'd forget your head if it wasn't screwed on!"
Please don't forget your head!