October 2, 2019
If you are here, you are beginning the empty-nesting stage of life–or, you are a college student trying to figure out what to bring to your freshman dorm of college. To you both, congratulations on reaching this milestone in life; and, I pray that it is a great success and a blessing for you. Let my ’10 ‘Must Have’ College Dorm Buys’ be a tool for a comfortable and organized start on this new adventure.
My oldest sons went into the military. Therefore, it was not until my third son graduated that I got to shop for college dorm essentials. And, I had no clue what a college kid would need. As a single mom in her late twenties, I attended college; I commuted and never got to experience dorm life.
But, as a boymom, I have now witnessed that buying for a boy is much different than buying for a girl when it comes to college dorms. For instance, you will save a lot of money if you are the parent of a boy, but everything that you do purchase will probably end up destroyed and in a trash dumpster by the end of the school year. Most importantly, with boys, avoid impulse purchases, buy wisely and follow your childs lead. You can always reassess after the first month.
NO MATCHY-MATCHY (FOR BOYS)
My boys wanted to take as few things to college as possible. I wasn’t allowed to make their rooms look “matchy-matchy”—no coordinating anything! It had to look effortless and like no planning had been put into it. They are dudes, remember.
So, this quick list / guide is just the basic list that I would consider essential for boy or girl.
These are the must have college dorm buys that my boys were super grateful to have and that made a difference in their living space. I have listed them below in no special order, but all of these items will help the student feel right at home!
The ten essential buys for your son or daughters college dorm.
- A small upright vacuum cleaner—like super small one. Think Dustbuster on a stick.
- Flip-flops. Most importantly, Unless your kid wants to get Athletes Foot, you will want them to have some shower shoes.
- A robe. Anymore, dorm floors can be co-ed. And, the kids have to walk from their rooms, down the hall, to the shower room. The guys will, oftentimes, just run around in a towel, but a robe is better.
- A toiletry caddy. This is for the same reason as the robe. The kids have to make trips back and forth to the bathroom. They will need a waterproof caddy that they can take inside of the shower with them.
- A small refrigerator. This is completely necessary. Buy one that offers the most cubic space while fitting any school requirements, if there are any. If you can get a good sized one with a separate freezer area, get that. Your child can put ice cream in it, or make ice, or store a frozen pizza.
- Plastic storage. I bought my kids several of the ones with three wide drawers. They are light enough that they could go up above their school issued dresser or armoire. For instance, I bought my boys two each and they could have used another, I think. The drawers are not super sturdy. So, we put the light items in them, such as, socks, paper plates and bowls, bread and bagels, towels and washcloths, gym shorts…things like that. Also, the under-the-bed ones work great for extra shoes or extra bedding, as well. Everything having a home and place to be put away will help maximize what is a very tight space.
- A microwave. A must, for all obvious reasons.
- A television. Your child will have down time when they just want to chill in their bed and watch TV just like the rest of us.
- A whiteboard with colored markers. It is amazing how much they use these. My kids always had notes on theirs that was between them and their roommate; one telling the other of their plans or apologizing for the mess that they left, or whatever. My point: it will get used.
- I would say, a coffeemaker, but my kids don’t drink coffee. So, I will have to end with: a fold-away chair or large bean bag chair. Clearly, a fold-away chair is the most space efficient choice. The most important thing is that your child has a second option for seating—and comfortable seating. They will get their bed and a chair that goes to their desk—that’s it. So, another more comfortable and reclined option is always nice.
A Bonus Item For Mom
As an extra, here is a little bonus for you: bring a box of tissues for yourself because the day that you drop your kiddo off will not be an easy day. Good luck! I am rooting you on from over here…you can do it!!!
If you have a list of 10 ‘Must Have’ Items to Buy Your College Kid For Their Dorm, could you share them below in the comment section?
And, follow me on Instagram or Facebook while you are here!
For more ideas, here are a few blogs to check out:
The New York Times on The Best College Dorm Essentials
Cosmopolitan on 35 College Dorm Essentials
Scary Mommy has some nice tips to consider in their piece, Off To College: Your Complete Guide to Shopping For A Dorm Room
AS AN ASIDE: MENTAL HEALTH:
College is a time in a persons life that carries with it so must pressure and expectation. It is important for parents and students to see and know the signs of mental health distress. You might be interested in, also, checking out my blog post 10 THINGS TO LOOK FOR: SUICIDE PREVENTION.
If you would like to share this post to Pinterest, please use one of the images below. And, as always, subscribe to my newsletter for updates!
READ MORE FROM MY LATEST POSTS
- Parenting Guide: Raising Boys Well (Advice From a Boymom)
- 35mm vs 50mm: Comparing the Two Most Popular Prime Lenses
- The Best 7 Day Itinerary: Our Colorado RV Road Trip (updated)
- FROM A LOCAL: The 31 Best Things To Do In Nashville, Indiana (2022)
- HOUSEBOAT GUIDE: Our House Boat Trip On Dale Hollow Lake (Tennessee)