8 Surprisingly Useful Items to Bring to School as a Freshman

Packing (and shopping) for your first year of college can be quite a challenge. What do you need to bring? How much can you fit into your tiny dorm room? I once knew a girl who brought a U-Haul full of belts to school but forgot a toothbrush. We think there's a better way.

Here is a list of oft-forgotten but oh-so-important items you need to bring for your first year of college:

1. Bed Risers

You may be surprised at how little space you will actually have in your dorm room. You and one or more roommates will be sharing a 12x15 foot concrete box with limited storage space, so you’ll need to get creative with where you will store some of your personal items.

Bed risers add about six inches of space underneath your bed, allowing you to utilize all of that space. Grab some plastic containers and bed risers and you have just given yourself a whole new storage area for your personal items.

2. Shower Tote

You’ll be sharing your shower with multiple people and chances are you won’t want to leave all of your toiletries and shower items strewn about the public bathroom. Mesh shower totes are a great way to keep your personal items organized and clean.

3. Portable Fan

There is a good chance your freshman dorms will not have AC (especially if you are attending school in the Northeast), so it may be worth your while to grab a personal fan to keep you cool at night. A fan with that can clip onto your bed is your best bet for some extra flexibility.

4. Water Filter

Keeping a water filter (like, say, a Brita) in your mini-fridge is more efficient and less expensive than constantly buying cases of bottled water. Save some cash and be eco-friendly at the same time!

5. iPad/Mobile Device and Laptop Keyboard Covers

In case you haven’t heard, college can be kind of messy and, regardless of your preferences of social scenes, you can bet on spills being an oft-occurring problem. Make sure you get cases or covers for your tablets, mobile devices and laptop keyboards so that a spilled beverage doesn’t ruin your expensive electronic equipment.

6. Shower Shoes

See item #2… public showers + bare feet = potential for disaster.

7. Reusable Textbook Covers

Textbooks are expensive and you want to make sure you can cash in on selling them back to the bookstore at the end of the year. Keep your books in pristine condition so you can maximize your returns in the bookstore or on eBay, Craigslist, Half.com, etc.

8. Vacuum

A lightweight vacuum is a necessary commodity in college. As previously noted, college is messy and you will want to (or be required to) clean up your dorm room frequently. There is no better way to remove the remnants of apocalyptic-esque squalor than with a powerful, lightweight vacuum.

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