5 Unexpected Items You Need to Pack for College

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Packing for college can be pretty weird if you think about it as you are preparing to move to a new place sometimes hours away yet you'll probably find yourself in the spring asking why you brought some items as you never used it. Unlike moving as an adult, you aren't bringing everything you own with you as you simply do not have the space in a dorm room, making it tricky to decide what you really need to bring with you.

I shared my complete college packing list with y'all on the blog a few weeks ago but I wanted to share with y'all five items that you probably won't think of packing that you will definitely be needing in your freshman dorm!

Photo by Elizabeth of Elizabeth J

1. Power Strips (with a surge protector)
Odds are your dorm won't have as many outlets as your room at home and you will have a plethora of items that need to be plugged in from lamps to microfridges to Keurigs to your hair dryer to your chargers. Power strips maximize your outlets and definitely bring power strips instead of extension cords as extension cords are prohibited in some dorms as they can be a fire hazard!

2. Desktop Fan
I bought mine at Costco last summer and it came in handy because 1. the AC in your dorm can be pretty unpredictable so this will help you stay cool at night (especially at the start and end of the year when it is warmer) 2. it acts as a bit of a sound machine, which is useful if your hall is loud and busy and you want to get some sleep!

3. Weekender Bag
My weekender bag has come in handy so many times over the past year! You usually don't have a lot of space in a dorm room so a large suitcase isn't exactly ideal as it takes up a lot of space and you don't use it that often. A weekender bag, however, can be folded and takes up a lot less space, which is crucial when you don't have a lot of space to deal with. I used mine when visiting friends at other colleges, weekend trips, or heading home for breaks!

4. Portable Coffee Mug
You probably have your cute coffee mugs all ready to go but definitely invest in a travel one as you'll want it for 8 AM classes. I love Contigo ones as they keep your drink warm for such a long time! I always brought my coffee with me to my field placement last fall and then to my 8 AM class in the spring so it came in handy and I almost didn't bring it!

5. A Black Dress & A White Dress
If you are planning on joining a sorority, definitely go ahead and pack these as you'll definitely use them! Many sororities wear white dresses for events like initiation or new member pinning so it's easy to bring a white dress with you than to have to find one at the last minute (I brought my graduation dress along with me). Some sororities wear black dresses as well and they're so versatile so I would definitely go ahead and be prepared by bringing both!

Any other unexpected items that you relied on in college? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Great tips! I also think it's important to bring lots of pillows, makes your bed so much more cozy and they come in handy for movie nights and just hanging out with friends in your room.

    Ashley //

  2. These are all great things to have - esp that powerstrip!

  3. these are all on point - and haven't changed since I was in college back in 2004 - lol!

  4. Yes to the power strip! That was so helpful when I lived in dorms :)

    -xo, Azanique |

  5. The fan! Dorms never seem to have good ventilation even when you have the windows open. Definitely a must.

  6. Ahh the power strip is such good advice! I remember my freshman roommate and I both didn't bring power strips and just struggling with the two we had haha

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  7. A power strip is so important!!!! Loved the dress suggestions :) Great tips!

  8. I swear I had 6 power strips with me in college. Too few outlets and too many devices.

  9. Power strips are a big one! You never realize you need them til you’re there!

  10. A fan was definitely a must once I got in my dorm room! I had no idea how stuffy it could get in the rooms.


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