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Things You Might Forget to Bring to College

Packing for college can be stressful because there are so many things to remember and so many things you don’t know about what your space will be like. Here are a couple of college essentials that you might have not remembered to include in your list that will help make your life so much easier or better. 

Command Strips and Hooks

There are endless uses for command strips and hooks are way more useful than you might realize. Hanging pictures or posters can definitely liven up your space, and you want something that won’t damage the wall or take the paint off. Right now, I have three hooks on my wall: one for my keys, one for clean masks, and one for dirty masks that I need to clean. Getting bigger hooks that can hang off of your bed frame or a door are also incredibly helpful for hanging towels, backpacks, jackets, blankets, or anything else you might need! 

Portable Chargers

Portable chargers are incredibly useful in college. You will constantly be on the go, and if you’re going out at night you might be short on phone power. You can take a portable charger with you anywhere and it will be super helpful if you ever need some extra juice. 

Foldable Drying Rack for Laundry

I never even considered this when packing for college until I went to IKEA and saw them on sale. Foldable drying racks for hanging clothes are incredibly helpful for those pieces you don’t want in the dryer. They are easy to store since they fold up, and make laundry day a lot easier. 

Extension Cords and Power Strips 

There will be outlets in your dorm room, but probably not enough. You’re going to need to plug a lot of things in: computer cords, mini fridges, coffee machines, phone chargers, lamps, alarm clocks. Getting power strips will make sure that you can plug all of these things in, and extension cords will help make sure these outlets are in the right place so that you can have power in any way you want to organize your room. 


Some dorm rooms come with full-length mirrors on their wardrobes or doors, but most don’t. Bring a full-length or at least a small mirror so that you can check your outfits or do your makeup without having to go to the bathroom. 


This isn’t essential, but if you’re anything like me, overhead lighting is the worst. Lamps give your room a much homier vibe and are a much less harsh light than the overheads provided in your room. Plus, if you have a roommate, lamps can be a lot better if one of you is trying to sleep. 


This might be more important this year than any other year, but having a small supply of some good cold medicine will be super helpful come cold season. It’s inevitable that you’ll probably get some kind of cold or sickness (or COVID-19) at some point, especially while living in a dorm. Once you get sick, you won’t want to try to figure out a way to get down to the store to buy medicine. Bring some cough medicine and some nasal decongestant so that you’ll already be set if you get sick. 

These are just a few items that you might not realize you need to bring when packing for college or will make your life so much easier! Have a great fall semester!

Mary Muench is a senior at the University of Utah majoring in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science. She knows too much about coffee and enjoys white-water rafting and hammocking.
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