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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Manhattan chapter.

By Emily Gianni

College is a new stage of life, and moving into a dorm may be very stressful and exciting.  If you are stressed on forgetting something, or are unsure of what to pack, here are 20 of my maybe-not-so-obvious recommendations to make packing a little easier.  

  1. Cleaning products. You will need all types of cleaning products for your room. If you have a bathroom, you will have to clean that bathroom. This  means you will want everything like bleach, toilet bowl cleaner, the sponges to clean with, windex, etc. You will want a duster because college dorm rooms don’t have enough circulation and you will have dust everywhere.  You will want a vacuum and a swifter or a mop to clean the floors. The floors will get disgusting with hair and dirt, so you will want to wash your floors.  You will also need disinfectant wipes because people get sick at college often and you will want to disinfect all surfaces.
  2. Mattress protector/mattress topper. You will want a mattress protector just in case of bugs. You will also want a mattress topper to make your bed way more comfortable.
  3. A Brita filter. This is so much better than drinking the sink water or having to buy water.  A brita will filter your water for you so you are not always on the look for water fountains around campus.
  4. Full body mirror. You will not have a mirror available to look at yourself before you leave the room. Buying a full body mirror is perfect to look at your outfit, hair, makeup, etc. before you leave the room.
  5. Lamp. College dorm rooms do NOT have enough light or good lighting. You will want an additional bright lamp to light up the room. Especially when it gets dark outside, as your room won’t have natural light lighting it up and it will be quite depressing. Having an additional light will add so much more to the room.
  6. Command strips. If you have wall decor or you need to hang absolutely anything up, command strips are the best thing to have. They come in a bunch of different sizes, they work with different objects and they bring room decor to a whole new level.
  7. Extra containers or bins for storage. You will not have a lot of space at college for your belongings or clothes, which means you may need additional storage to keep your items under your bed.
  8. Fridge/microwave/Keurig. You will need a fridge for obvious reasons of keeping your own food and drinks cool. A microwave will warm up your leftovers. A Keurig you will save so much money rather than buying coffee everyday. You can also make tea with the Keurig when you are sick or even be innovative and heat up water for ramen noodles.
  9. Extra pairs of sheets and towels. You will need extra pairs of both because when it comes to washing them, you are not going to have to keep washing one or two pairs of towels. It is also just better to have a few pairs of sheets to bounce between.
  10. At least two laundry bags. I have three, and I know that sounds CRAZY, but hear me out.  One you have for dirty clothes. I have a hard laundry basket for clean clothes when I take them out of the dryer. This way I am not putting the dirty and clean clothes in the same place.  I also have a third laundry basket for sheets and towels. I wash my sheets and towels at a different time than my clothes, so I have a completely separate basket for those not to take up space in my clothes laundry basket.
  11. Powerstrips. This is important to have because you will not have enough space to plug in your electronics in your room.
  12. A longer charging cord. I would recommend the 6ft or 10ft cord because you will want your phone charger to reach your bed and a standard size cord will most likely not reach the higher college beds.
  13. An umbrella. You may not think about this, but when it does rain, you are not going to walk in the rain with just a hood on. As embarrassing as using an umbrella may be, you are the one winning in the end because you will not show up to class soaked.
  14. Going out shoes. You are going to want a nicer pair of sneakers for class and walking around campus and another pair of shoes for going out on the weekend, also known as ‘frat shoes.’ You will want a pair of frat shoes so you do not ruin your nicer pair at bars or parties. Your sneakers will not stay in nice condition if you bring a nice pair of shoes.
  15. A phone wallet. When you go out, you may not always want to carry a bag and you may just want to have your credit card and your ID. Since getting a phone wallet, I have not picked up a wallet or a purse since.
  16. Tide-to-go sticks. These are a lifesaver. I put one in each of my bags (school bag and sports bag), I have one in my desk, and extras under my bed. When you stain your clothes, which is bound to happen, this will treat the stain right away.
  17. Medicine/first aid. Every college student is bound to get sick, so you will want medicine right away so you do not have to go out and buy it when you are not feeling well. Also tissues are needed for this same reason. You may also want to keep some band-aids and neosporin because you are bound to get a cut or a blister at one point in time.
  18. A speaker. Whether you are hanging out with friends or in the shower, you will want a speaker for obvious music listening reasons.
  19. A tote bag or shopping bag. You may take a target run to pick up food or items you are running low on, so it would be beneficial to keep a reusable bag at school. You may also want a tote to bring to the gym instead of carrying a larger backpack or a purse.
  20. Themed clothes or costumes. If you belong to a team or go out, you will have themed days to go to. Some items you may want to bring are a wig, a jersey, 80’s in aspen clothing, etc. 
Emily Gianni

Manhattan '24

Hi I'm Emily! I am in my Senior Year at Manhattan College, graduating in Spring 2024. I am studying Childhood Special Education with an upward extension to middle school with a double major in English. My goal in life is to teach elementary school and later on, teach middle school. Although I don't have a position in my Her Campus chapter, I am still an active writer for Her Campus! I write about all different topics for Her Campus, anything that interests me or that I believe other girls will find useful and informational. I am a team captain on the Manhattan College cheerleading team, so I may write about that sometimes. I also love sorority rush season so I have written about my sorority a few times. I believe that Her Campus is an amazing source for women to put their work out there and influence other girls. I love being a part of this organization and being able to write about whatever I love. This is the best outlet for me to learn more about my writing style, experiment with different topics that I would not be allowed to write about in a class, and grow as a writer.