The Internet is full of checklists that can help you and your child find the essentials for dorm room living. But some items often get disregarded and others don’t get put on the packing list at all. Here are 11 items you should be sure to pack in the car, or purchase once you arrive on campus with your child.
1. Portable fan
Many dorms are not air-conditioned, but opening the windows in the late summer heat could attract bugs. Having a small fan next to the bed will keep your child cool at night without disturbing their roommate.
2. Office chair
Your child’s school will provide a desk chair, but it may be uncomfortable. Think about investing in a wheeled office chair to replace the old wooden one given to your child, which will make those long nights of studying much easier.
Movies will be a great way for your child to take a break from studying. Be sure to pack their favorite movies and TV shows, which they can share with their roommates and friends on the weekends.
4. Disinfecting wipes
A new school year can mean exposure to new germs, especially if your child is living with a roommate. Pack plenty of disinfecting wipes for things like doorknobs and faucets, which will help your child stay healthy.
If the toilet or sink is clogged, and maintenance can’t get there fast enough, your child will need a plunger nearby. Keep one in the bathroom in case of mishaps.
Living in a dorm often means sharing a bathroom with numerous people. Pick up a pair of flip-flops at the dollar store that your child can wear in the shower, to keep their feet free of any bacteria.
7. Dish soap
Many dorms now feature sinks in each room, which means your child will need to stay on top of the dishes. Purchase a bottle of dish soap large enough to last them through the year.
8. Fly swatter
If your child is living in a dorm, especially on the first floor, bugs will be unavoidable. He or she will want a fly swatter to take care of fast-moving or stubborn creatures.
9. Dry-erase boards with adhesives
Sticking a dry-erase board on the front of the door, or on the wall in the bedroom, will allow your child to write messages to their friends, as well as remind themselves of important to-do list items. Pick up one or two at the campus bookstore, along with markers and an eraser.
10. Extension cords and power strips
TV, DVD player, computer, printer, hair dryer – your child will need a lot of outlets at school. Make sure they bring at least one power strip, with plenty of extension cords to reach under the desk or bed.
As soon as classes start, your child will hit the ground running with assignments. But printing at the library may cost money. Instead, send your child to school with a printer of their own, fully stocked with ink cartridges and paper.
… And don’t forget the duct tape. It’ll come in handy at some point during the school year.