College is expensive and getting kids ready for school can be a strain on any budget. We have looked at the basics that are on each college checklist to see what every student needs, the 12 items most teens cannot live without. If your budget can stretch to it, here are the things that students love and use all year long.
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Favorite dorm extras for your freshman’s college checklist
1. Extra Big Pillow (Pottery Barn Teen)
Dorm beds have no headboards so adding an extra pillow will create a little bit of luxury for your freshman. We love oversize pillows, like these sherpa backrest pillows, that our teens can use to lean against the wall when they sit in bed and study. These are available in 8 pretty colors. (Pillow cover and pillow sold separately. )
For a lower cost, alternative, here is Target’s Sherpa Backrest pillow.
2. IKEA Frakta Bag (Amazon)
These are not only incredibly helpful for move-in day, but they are all excellent to use as under-bed storage for bulky sheets and towels or off-season items.
4. T-Shirt Quilt (Project Repat)
Ordering a quilt from Project Repat is one of our favorite ways to bring a little bit of home to a dorm room as there is nothing that is more personal than a blanket stitched from memories. Take all the shirts from camps, class days, family trips and ship them to Project Repat – they do the rest.
Click on the link and sign up to receive offers up to 40% off.
4. Hydro Flask Water Bottle
Hydro Flask water bottles and tumblers are the PERFECT gift for your student as they head off to college. These top-rated bottles and tumblers are made of stainless steel and keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for hours.
Try customizing it if your teen wants something unique and trendy that only they will have. You can choose different cap, strap, bottle, and boot colors to make a cool and creative combination!
5. 10 FT Lightning Cable (Amazon)
Your student will appreciate the 10 foot cable to charge their phone as outlets in dorm rooms are scarce and not always conveniently located.
6. Safe or Lockbox (Amazon)
This is well worth the expense for any student but more so if your teen wants to take a passport, valuable jewelry or has prescription meds that they need to keep secure.
7. Clothes Steamer (Target)
If your teen is used to looking neat and prefers clothes that have been ironed, consider a steamer rather than an ironing board and iron since there is little room for these bulky items.
8. Dimmable Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger and USB Port- 5th Gen (Amazon)
Roommates rarely go to sleep at the same time and, when your student is up late studying (we can hope!) turning the light down with this lamp’s dimmer switch will be greatly appreciated. This one also has a USB port, which is a super-useful feature.
9. WOOZOO Fan (Target)
Dorm rooms without air conditioning are roasting hot during the first and last months of the school year and a desk fan can help when your kid is trying to finish a paper, study for a test or sleep. WOOZOO fans have become very popular.
10. Utility Cart(Target)
This is one of those dorm purchases that could easily be used in many different ways. Great for storage in a dorm room, or bath room, it could also hold snacks and supplies, or be used as a night stand between two beds. Available in six pretty colors.
11. Plastic Dishes(Target)
Students will want to have some way to heat food in a microwave or pour themselves a bowl of cereal. This set comes in cute colors and is microwavable and dishwasher safe.
12. Refrigerator Cart (The Container Store)
There is nothing quite as filthy and disgusting as the floor of a college dorm room. Putting a refrigerator that holds food on that floor, well, yuck, just yuck. Here is the answer. This durable Mesh Compact Fridge Cart by The Container Store, will be one piece your freshman can use for four years.
13. Extra Seating(Pottery Barn Teen)
When friends get together in a dorm room, the is often no place to sit besides one desk chair and the beds. A folding chair like this lounge chair is a good solution to the problem and can also be a more comfortable place for reading. Available in multiple colors and finishes.
Here’s a lower-cost folding chair from Target.
14. Wireless Earbuds (Amazon)
Having a way to block out the noise that even the quietest roommate makes will be a big plus for your student. Choosing what to buy – over the ear or earbuds – depends on how your teen will use them and how much you want to spend. The EarFun earbuds are top-rated at a budget price point and have noise-cancelling capabilities.
15. Wireless Headphones (Amazon)
You can choose expensive headphones for your student but if you are looking for a less-costly alternative, these wireless, over-the-ear ones from 1More get excellent reviews.
16. Shower Speaker (Amazon)
One of our sons roomed with five other boys and shared a bathroom – yikes! They installed a speaker like this one, a Water Resistant Bluetooth Shower Speaker,and listened to the music from their phones while showering.
17. Extra storage (dormify)
This ingenious Storage Ottoman from Dormify also doubles as extra seating when the top flips up to create a chair. It comes equipped with dividers for shoes and folds flat when not in use.
18. Area Rug (Pottery Barn Teen)
Cold and dirty dorm floors can be vastly improved with area rugs but make sure you select one that is durable and won’t show stains. Here are machine-washable area rugs that we think could be a great addition to a dorm.
19. Mesh laundry bag (Amazon)
College students need to master the art of laundry and using a mesh laundry bag can be a practical and inexpensive way to take care of delicates.
20. Closet Storage (Target)
If your teen has a closet in their dorm room, outfitting it with bins or hanging storage units can help them maximize their small space.
You Might Also Enjoy Reading:
College Move-in Day: 12 Items That Will Save Your Life These are the things that the Grown and Flown community told us made all the difference on move-in day.
Bestselling Dorm Essentials for College Freshmen If you’re making a list of other nice-to-have dorm supplies, this is a great place to look.