Your first day of class is coming up quick, and in the mad dash to get on campus you’ve been picking up move-in supplies left and right.
There’s the top items every freshman knows they’ll need to pack – a laptop, bed sheets, laundry basket – that have most likely already made their way onto your shopping list. But while you may feel confident you’ve nailed the essentials, there’s a strong possibility you’re missing out on a few “under the radar” supplies that could make your college life a whole lot easier.
So listen up and take note, because here are seven uncommon move-in items every freshman should bring to college.
If your local handyman (i.e. Dad) isn’t around to help with a project, that means you’ll need to add some elbow grease of your own, and having the right tools at your disposal will make that job much more manageable.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a “tools and torque” type of individual, countless tasks will come up that will require some sort of hand tool. Hanging up pictures, assembling furniture, crafty do-it-yourself projects – the list goes on!
If you’re unsure what to pick up, start with a basic toolkit (it should include items like a hammer, screwdrivers, measuring tape, and pliers) and a pack of small nails and screws…no need to stock up on a buzzsaw just yet.
Food storage containers
It’s crazy to think how much college students spend every month on food. Between meal plans, dining out, and on-the-go snacking, food is one of the most costly expenses for the college crowd. Instead of plopping down all your hard-earned money on noms, invest in a set of food storage containers to help stretch your budget.
Every grocery store and big box retailer should have a selection of food storage containers for you to choose from. While there are plenty of low-cost options, we recommend choosing pieces that are sturdy and will prevent leakage (cause there’s nothing worse than a backpack full of gravy).
These are perfect for putting together snacks to munch on between classes, and if you have left overs from one of your meals or want your produce to last longer, put them in storage containers and throw them in the fridge. One of the extra benefits to using containers is that it specifically designates items in the fridge as yours, and believe it or not, that extra effort to pop open a container can be a deterrent for roommates with wandering appetites.
Dorm rooms are small, compact, and often have only one window; if you’re going to school in an area that’s known for high temperatures, this means your room is going to heat up quick.
While many dorms do offer air conditioning, you can’t always count on that to be enough. Bringing along a small electric fan will keep things cool and a steady flow of air circulating in the room (which is a huge plus if your roommate has a few “exotic aromas” you could live without).
Surge protectors & extension cords
Laptops, tablets, stereos, printers – all these items require some juice to power up, but many dorms limit the number of outlets in each room. The solution? Expand whatcha got!
Surge protectors will come in clutch for those moments when you and your roommate need to charge all your devices, and extension cords will open up a world of options in terms of how you setup your room. Just be careful not to plug too many items into one power source, as it could wind up being a safety hazard for you both.
We’re not expecting you to put together a mid-century quilt, but when it comes to small tears, missing buttons, or adjustments to your outfits, busting out a needle and thread might be your only option.
If you don’t know how to sew, ask your parents for a quick lesson in stitching. It’s pretty simple to pick up, and once you’ve mastered it there are a lot of practical uses beyond repairing your duds — you can sew patches onto your bags, embroider your name onto a piece of clothing, or get a bit crafty with your spare time.
Cork board/dry erase
In a world of smartphones, cloud-storage, and glasses with built-in computers, something like a cork or dry erase board might seem outdated. But before you pass on these items, consider just how useful they can prove to be.
Chances are you receive texts all day long, emails every hour, and digital reminders non-stop. In the pace of everyday life there has no doubt been instances where a message was lost in the shuffle. If you want ensure you don’t forget something – or want something to be known to your roommates – tacking it onto a cork board will guarantee it’s front and center. Likewise, whipping up an attention-getting note on a dry erase board will be hard to overlook.
When it comes to grocery lists, class schedules, or even a quick note to pass along to your roomie, a “hands on” approach is the best way to get eyes on your message.
Storage space is one of the scarcest elements in any dorm room, which means you’ll need to utilize every nook and cranny of your living space. Sure, you can throw some gear under the bed (where it will most likely get dirty and a bit squished), but why not take advantage of your bedpost and headboard too?
There are a variety of nifty storage caddies that will fit on any bed to keep your most-needed items at arm’s reach, and most of them are pretty affordable. These are a great way to stay organized and make the most of the small space you’ll call home for the next couple years.
Will you be picking up any of these? Have suggestions for any other uncommon move-in items? Leave them in a comment.