JB Organizing: Organizing for College – What do you really need? College Necessities list


JB Organizing:  Organizing for College

We are sending our 4th child in 3 years off to college next month. Needless to say, we have learned a lot – after sending the first 3. This time, we are much more efficient in our purchasing and much smarter about where and when to buy what we do buy. One of the best things we did, is to have our our current college students make a list of the things they found that they did need that first year of college.  Here are their insights (and some of ours too 🙂 (Note: I chose to not edit their wording and punctuation – as it shows a lot about the level of importance they place on certain items; thus useful to note)  Finally, please note that the following list, does not include specific items of clothing (like jeans, shorts, gym shoes etc.); as we are assuming that those are given and will be included.  



Command hooks – Small, medium, and large.  

Brita Water filter

Bed Light

Bedside  caddy (Hangs on the side of the bed – sometimes held in place by the mattress)

Hangers? If needed


Flip Flops (especially if sharing a communal bathroom)

A good water bottle!!!!

1 extension cord

2 power strips

Rug for floor

Cough drops

Good pair of boots for rain and snow (obviously dependent on the weather where they go to school  – she is in Michigan 🙂

Good rain jacket

Good winter jacket


Desk light

Laundry basket –  foldable

Medicine (Mitol, advil, nyquil, melatonin)


Mini tool kit (Ikea has a great one)

Mirror – (over the door is best, as most dorms don’t let you hand things like that on the walls.)

Closet organizer – cloth hanging one with shelves

Drawer Organizers

Tape measure

Dust Pan and small broom



5 bowls and 3 plates (not a lot) just make sure they are microwavable and not cheap

5 real forks and 3 real spoons

Plastic forks and spoons (I found it was way easier to buy plastic because they did not run out as fast as you think, but I also had people in my room all the time using them, plus they’re not expensive)

1 good sharp  knife and small cutting board

3 food containers (each a different size)

Mini fridge (if not provided in the room by the school)

Microwave (if not provided in the room by the school)

Big plastic bags and little!!!




Mattress pad


Pillow cases (1 backup)

Only 2 sets of  sheets



2 towels

Shower caddy (if sharing a communal bathroom)


1 shampoo

2 conditioner

2 body wash

Shaving cream


Bath rug (if they have their own bathroom)

Shower curtain (if they have their own bathroom)



Mini trash can (some come with)

Trash bags a lot!!!

Paper towels!!

Detergent pods (2 bags)

All purpose cleaner

Dish soap

Glass cleaner

Wet wipes!!!


School Supplies:

(3) 5 star notebooks and 3 folders (Everything is online you do not need anything really)

1 pack pencils and pens

Index cards!! And holder






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