The List: Everything a Kid Needs For College…..


John Belushi; Animal House

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more preparing for college! I can hardly believe that in the next several weeks my Nick will be college bound; heading off to conquer his freshman year. While he’s definitely prepared for the rigors of his studies, excited for new experiences and looking forward to developing life-long friendships, we hadn’t quite considered the matter of all of the….stuff.

Shopping is one of my all time favorite past times, but what I really needed was a plan. I perused various lists on college websites, Bed Bath & Beyond, Pottery Barn – Dorm, Target and How to Survive Your Freshman Year.  My word; these kids need an awful lot of stuff! However, some of the suggestions seemed a little bit silly to me, which is why I made my own list for Nick. I’ve asked Nick repeatedly for his opinion, but he’s accustomed to life with a personal assistance, so he would just like for me to pick everything out for him.  Of course, he should be pretty darn thankful that his sister has accompanied me on my various college shopping sprees; otherwise he would be looking at a fairly girly room.

In the meantime, I’m making our list and checking it twice……………

Nick’s College List:


  • Thick foam mattress cover (not that your student is the Princess and the Pea, but……)
  • Mattress pad, preferably a zip up bag (who knows who’s slept on that mattress, and I didn’t even consider the bed bugs!!)
  • 2 sets of Twin size Sheets, Extra Long (are 2 sets overkill? I’ll totally have the heebie jeebie’s just considering the possibility that they’ll NEVER get changed!)
  • 1 pair of standard size pillow cases (the Twin Sheet sets only come with one pillow case)
  • 2 pillows
  • 2 pillow protectors
  • 1 Twin size blanket for layering when the weather gets cold
  • 1 bolster pillow for sitting up and studying in bed J
  • 1 lap desk for sitting up and studying in bed J
  • Throw blanket (Amanda made a fleece-y, hand knotted blanket; made with love from home.)
  • Bed lifts (making the bed taller to store more stuff)
  • Alarm clock

Bath and Storage:

  • Shower caddy (for easily transporting toiletries from the room to the communal bathroom)
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body soap, shaving cream, razors, deodorant, cologne, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, RETAINER, face soap or cleansing pads, moisturizer, acne treatment, all prescribed medications, nail clippers, lip balm, Q-tips, comb, brush
  • Shower shoes (a protective barrier between your feet and God only knows what is lurking on the floors)
  • Bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths
  • Bathrobe (really for the boys? Maybe an ascot ala Hugh Hefner?)
  • Laundry basket/hamper, depending upon your system
  • Laundry detergent……Maybe your child will use fabric softener or bleach, but I’m going to be super pumped mine can just manage to sort the lights from the darks)
  • Stain remover. Because I have a method for everything, I’m going to encourage my pal to treat any stains as they occur…..HA!
  • Hangers
  •  Space saving, swing arm hangers in case closet space is tight
  • Over the door hooks
  • Under bed storage boxes
  • Storage cart with drawers
  • Hanging closet organizer
  • Garbage can

Decorative Items:

  • Butterfly or disc chair
  • Storage ottoman/cube
  • Area rug
  • Floor lamp
  • Wall décor…..framed pictures, posters, etc.

Study Station:

  • Oscillating fan, even if your room has air conditioning
  • Desk lamp
  • Desk storage and organizers
  • Cork board or dry erase board
  • Dry erase markers, magnets and push pins
  • Flashlight (in case they loose power, or for midnight pranks)
  • Powers strip
  • Extension cords
  • Duct tape
  • Lap top
  • Chargers
  • USB cords
  • Flash drives
  • Printer and accessories? I’m not sure it’s necessary. Every school we visited has something crazy like a 500 page printing allowance, which can be used in your dorm building, the library, the student union, etc.
  • Calendar
  •  Calculator
  • School supplies
  • Backpack
  • Music
  • Speakers
  • Headphones
  • Umbrella


  • TV
  • DVD player
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • TV stand
  • Footlocker…..that locks



Hmmm…this one is a puzzler. If I’m iffy about how laundry’s going to go, I’m thinking housework may never happen.

  • Paper towels
  • Tissue paper
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Broom and dust pan
  • Swiffer Sweeper, wet and dry
  • Garbage bags


  • First aid kit
  • Ibuprofen
  • Benadryl
  • Band-aids
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cotton balls
  • Thermometer
  • Cough medicine
  • Cold medicine



  • Snacks
  • Bottled water
  • Dishes, flatware, glassware (disposable?)
  • Skillet and spatula if your dorm has a communal kitchen
  • Equipment and accessories for any of your hobbies and favorite activities
  • Books, music, DVD’s



  • However much you’re willing to wash
  • Footwear
  • Outerwear
  • Workout wear


  • Positive attitude
  • Open mind
  • Sense of self
  • Patience
  • Discipline
  • Organization
  • Hard work


Thankfully, we have a pretty big truck so we should be able to manage most of this stuff. I hope we haven’t forgotten anything…….

More college preparations, more dorm living, more making a home away from home……

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Filed under Family Life, More is More Mom, Personal Style

5 responses to “The List: Everything a Kid Needs For College…..

  1. Catherine

    And the fun really begins when you need to bring it all home for the summer! I can’t wait to read about that. It sounds like you and Nick are well prepared… Have you thought about a bookcase? Change for the laundry comes in handy, too. Good luck to all as you begin this new adventure with your family.

  2. Mary Ann Uhen

    As #4 prepares to leave for college, I strongly recommend purex laundry sheets, nifty sheets that are pre measured with laundry detergent and the dryer sheet all in one. Just throw one in with the wash and it stays with the wet clothes as it goes to the dryer. Lightweight and easy to throw in the dirty laundry duffel – no bulky bottles of detergent and no measuring mistakes! MAU

    • MAU…..those laundry sheets sound like they were made for Nick. I’m sure that the school would prefer that he not re-enact that famous moment in Brady Bunch history when Bobby Brady does his own laundry, using an entire bottle of detergent (more is more), filling the laundry room with bubbles. I’ll definitely add it to the list! I can’t believe your #4 and our first are headed off to conquer the world!!! V

  3. MAU

    Although we all should experience whites tinged with a light pink color when the one red shirt mixes in! Happy packing for college – they sure seem to need alot of stuff for such small rooms!

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