If you’re about to embark on your first adventure in higher education, back-to-school shopping will be a little more involved than just buying a must-have pair of jeans or shoes. You’ll need to stock up on dorm necessities to make it a cozy and functional place for studying, sleeping and chilling out. The investment in these items will be worth it and they’ll be useful if you rent your first apartment in future semesters.

Get ready for college with this handy dorm necessities guide.

Sleeping

Your dorm bed will often perform triple duty as a place to lay your head, to lounge and to also study when you feel like sprawling out with your notes and textbooks. Make it comfy and inviting with extra pillows, soft sheets, a fluffy comforter and a throw blanket. Check with your campus regarding bed size to determine if you need extra-long or regular twin bedding. A spare set of sheets helps keep things fresh when you’re short on laundry time. Depending on your dorm layout, you may want a small rolling cart to double as a bedside table and storage. Add a reading lamp so you don’t have to rely on harsh overhead lighting, and clip on a small fan to keep you cool or to muffle nighttime sounds.

Studying

Likely your college will provide a standard-issue or built-in desk along with a seat. If you’ll be spending long hours studying there, consider hunting for a comfortable rolling office chair with good back support. Hang a cork board above your desk to tack notes and other small items. Add a task lamp, a power strip for plugging in or charging multiple devices and a small desk caddy to hold pens, highlighters, scissors, etc.

Ready to set a budget? Here’s our guide for college students.

Bathing

Find out if you’ll have your own bathroom space or share your floor’s communal bathroom. That will determine whether you need to bring a shower curtain and bath mat. A toiletry caddy will work well for keeping your personal grooming products separate from your roommate’s or for toting down the hallway when you want to freshen up. Purchase at least two complete towel sets and a comfy bathrobe, if you don’t have one already.

Snacking

Your college might include a small microwave and dorm fridge, but if not (and these items are allowed), they’re great for those times when you don’t want to make the trip to the dining hall. For in-room coffee prep, buy an electric water kettle and a French press, or cross your fingers for a Keurig. You can opt for a minimalist dish setup by investing in a go-to coffee tumbler and water bottle, plus a glass and mug or two for guests. Look for microwave-safe bowls that also come with lids for storing leftovers, and grab a few plates. A large snack bowl can function as your popcorn or chip receptacle or corral kitchen items when not in use. Purchase a dish towel and cleaning cloth or sponge along with a travel-size dish soap.

Hanging

Even if you’re mostly on the go between classes, study groups and social events, you’ll want your room to be a place where you can unwind before bed or relax on lazy evenings and weekends. A thick area rug can boost comfort to hard-surface flooring or infuse a personal touch. Think about unique ways to add extra seating, like a floor cushion or pouf.

Cleaning

Keep some cleaning supplies on hand like a few microfiber cloths, all-purpose cleaner and compact dust mop with a removable, washable head. If you’ve got carpet or a rug, a cordless handheld vacuum will be useful. Even if your dorm has routine cleaning service, these items will come in handy for the occasional spill. Don’t forget clothing hangers, a mesh laundry bag and detergent. An air purifier might help you breathe easier if you’ve got allergies or a sensitive nose.

Download Now - We've compiled a handy checklist that you can use while preparing for the fall semester.

From all of us at Farm Bureau Financial Services, we wish you a great start to your new adventure.