As the Back To School Rush is approaching, many of us have children returning to school or even going off to college for the first time. It can seem very overwhelming trying to figure out just what is essential and not to be forgotten! I think back on my own dorm room experience fondly, and laugh with my former roommates about our first few days after moving in. Our dorm rooms were set up like mini apartments, and we all figured out quickly that we didn’t know much about cooking, cleaning, or caring for ourselves when we got sick 🙂 Back in those days, computers and internet access was very limited, we weren’t fortunate to have a Walmart Store Locator to help us figure out where the closest store to the University was located! NONE of us were local, nor could we read a map very well, so we spent some time getting to know one another and the local roads while we searched for a store to purchase some necessities!
Fortunately, Walmart has everything you need to put together the 10 Dorm Room Essentials, and at affordable prices! Here are the essentials I think you need, and I’d love for you to share in the comments, what things you think are important!
- Bedding: You will need sheets, pillows, comforters, and throw type pillows to lounge on while studying.
- Shower Kit: Depending on how the bathrooms are set up for your child’s dorm, they will likely need a carry case for their bathroom essentials. Most college dorm bathrooms aren’t large enough to leave things in there, students must carry them back and forth. Don’t forget Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Lotion, Razor, Shaving Cream, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss, Mouthwash.
- Socks and Underwear: There will be a time when they run out of clean undergarments. Buy them more than you think they need to help keep that to a minimum 🙂
- Laundry Kit: Quarters, Laundry Soap, Woolite, Fabric Softener, Bleach. Kids will have to find machines to use if they live to far from home to bring it for you to wash 🙂 It takes A LOT of quarters! I used Woolite to wash delicates in the bathroom sink, and in a pinch it will come in handy! Bleach for sheets, towels, and undergarments that they may be tempted to use one too many times between washings. It’s college, they get busy and forget to do laundry. It happens.
- Sick Kit: Make sure they have plenty of Kleenex! They will likely catch a cold, and need to prevent the spread of germs. Make sure they have plenty of hand washing soap, fever/headache medication, cough syrup, cough drops, vitamins, tummy ailment medication, band aids, neosporin, chapstick, etc. You don’t want them to figure out how “easy” it can be to skip class because of a minor ailment. If they have items on hand, like Kleenex, to help prevent the spread of germs, that can keep it to a minimum. When they do get sick, if they have over the counter medications on hand, hopefully they can catch the issue early and avoid getting really sick.
- Healthy Snacks: Kids will have to learn new schedules, time management, etc. It can be challenging. Stock their dorm room with bottled water and healthy non-perishable snacks. They’ll have something handy when they get hungry and need to keep on studying, it’s less expensive and healthier than running to the snack machine, and if they don’t have to leave their room for a snack, they’re less likely to get sidetracked by social opportunities to distract their studying.
- School Supplies: Make sure they have plenty of folders, pens, pencils, chargers for computer/phone, anything specific to their major or area of study. Buy early when they are on sale for a very low price over the summer to save money.
- Decor: Bring pictures of friends and family from home, favorite books or movies, things that give the comfort of home. Additionally, they won’t want their room to be bare bones like the picture below. Help them decorate. Kleenex has made a concerted effort to design stylish oval boxes to fit with so many different styles!
- Mini-Fridge/Microwave: So they can prepare their own food and store perishables.
- Small Lamp: They may want to study when a roommate is sleeping, or just not want the bright overhead light on all the time. A small desk lamp is very helpful to have on desks and nightstands!