9 overlooked items to put on your college shopping list

As many of us move our college students into dorms or apartments, there are the obvious things to send them with, and then there are the less obvious. Seasoned college moms, Raquel and I are using our prior experience to create a college shopping list as we both move our sons into their dorms in the next week.

Raquel bought most of her son’s shopping list through Amazon.

I used the Bed, Bath & Beyond Pack and Hold, ordering online and picking up when we arrived.

While both places sell items like bedding, a rug, a desk lamp and wall decor, those are items on the obvious college shopping list.

Here are items you need when you move a teen into college that you might not realize:

  • Command strips – You need lots of command strips to hang stuff on the walls. They hold well and can easily be removed. You might want some command hooks, too, to hang bathrobes, towels, keys, hats or face masks.
  • Medicine box – A Rubbermaid container with cough meds, Tylenol, Benedryl cream, Neosporin, band aids, and muli-vitamins is a must. Over the four years, they can replenish as needed.
  • Safe Teens do not lock their rooms, nor do they understand that there is little privacy in a dorm or college apartment. So, it’s helpful to have a safe to keep cash or other valuables.
  • Batteries These come in handy for clocks, remotes, gadgets, flashlights, electric shavers, etc.
  • Dolly – Moving a college student into a dorm or apartment involves many trips back and forth from the car. Having a dolly helps, a lot! This year a dolly is especially helpful because parents and students are on their own and the usual college helpers need to keep their distance. The kind that fold and easily transportable are best.
  • Small duffle/overnight bag – This comes in handy during regular times if your teen wants to come home for a weekend, or visit a friend. But now, this is an important item should your teen need to go to an isolation dorm or hotel if he/she becomes infected with coronavirus.
  • Covid kit – This is a new addition to our shopping list this year. It includes masks, sanitizer, a forehead thermometer, wipes and a fever reducer like Tylenol.
  • Fan – A tall, narrow fan that oscillates serves many purposes. Some dorm rooms aren’t air-conditioned, or poorly air-conditioned, so a fan is crucial for keeping the room cool until the winter months. But a fan has another purpose, too. It helps with mildew and odor, which is especially useful for a teen who waits a while to do laundry.
  • Color catcher – College students are destined to throw all their laundry together into the washing machine. This is where Shout Color Catcher comes in handy. (Other brands work well, too) These small sheets tossed in the washer can save big bucks by protecting clothes from fading onto each other. Despite the laundry lessons, convenience and time will win out over separating darks from lights.

If we have missed any items you have found helpful for a college student, please share!

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