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The Freshman Fifteen

You may have heard of The Freshman Fifteen as the number of pounds you gain from cafeteria food. Here is a different Freshman Fifteen to take some weight off your shoulders as you prepare for dorm life. (See what I did there?)


The best way to predict your future is to create it. - Abraham Lincoln


It’s been a minute since we sent our kids to college, and a few more minutes since I went as a student, but there are some things that everyone should have for the room when going off to college, no matter what the year (or decade). Once you have your laptop and regular school supplies, here are some items to make your home away from home really work for you.

  1. Two sets of sheets - because spills happen

  2. Soft, washable throw blanket

  3. Mattress topper - dorm mattresses are not known for comfort

  4. Fan - dorms are also not known for climate control

  5. Desk lamp - so you can keep reading after your roommate is asleep

  6. Cozy rug

  7. Coffee maker - a hot water source is not only for coffee!

  8. Pop-up laundry hamper

  9. Storage containers - perhaps an “under the bed” box for off-season clothes and some other smaller containers to corral items on your desk or dresser. It might be best to buy these after you are moved in to see what you actually need.

  10. Shower caddy and flip flops

  11. Cleaning wipes

  12. Small broom/dustpan and/or small vacuum - there is no "maid service" in most dorms.

  13. Command hooks - for everything from pictures, to a robe to keys and so much more!

  14. Personal decor - bring some items that make you smile and remind you of home

  15. Umbrella - because no one remembers this until they need one.

  16. Small sewing kit - if you know how to use a needle and thread, it can be handy when buttons come off


This list should be a good starting point. If possible, contact your roommate to coordinate bringing larger items like a dorm fridge or small microwave or tv.


John Dewey is quoted as saying, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” I pray that as you embark on this new journey, you create a life that is good, true and beautiful. I hope this list will start you off well-prepared for this exciting new life. Godspeed, my friends.

Laura ~ your organizing girlfriend



Photo by rnaol on Unsplash

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