college supplies checklist


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    College Supplies 
Simplify one of the most confusing times of your life.  You could probably outfit and deploy an army easier than preparing for the first year of college.   Use the comprehensive checklist below, with our compliments, to keep track of all of the details, and to help you avoid being overwhelmed as you acquire everything a student needs for college and campus living.  Many of the items on our list of college supplies are available in your home, while some (like those extra long sheets) may require a special purchase.  Our award winning website, Wellington Square, can help with the shopping for college supplies, and make this an enjoyable experience.  And, please share this college supplies checklist with your friends and also utilize it as a private school supplies checklist and a boarding school supplies checklist. Relatives and friends might enjoy having this information for holiday and graduation gift ideas.  


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This information, and the A to Z list, have been compiled from several universities, experienced college students, and their parents. It contains suggestions for dorm, suite and apartment housing. You may want to begin purchasing, storing and packing some supplies for college as your time and budget allow during the senior year of high school.  Use compressible packing bags for bulky items. Label and save your receipts for possible returns.  For students attending an out of area school, or studying abroad, consider purchasing many of your supplies for college online, and having them mailed to the dorm. Verify mailing address and collection procedures.

Other items may need to be delayed until specific campus housing and roommate decisions have been finalized. Regardless, budget extra time and money on move-in day for one or more trips to purchase additional items.  Verify which types of electrical appliances and supplies can be used at the college. 




Decorating is definitely a matter for mutual decision making, so ideas should be discussed with future dorm or apartment roommate(s). If sharing a room, purchases should be delayed on some items until discussions are held with roommates: telephone, answering machine, stereo equipment, television, VCR, microwave and refrigerator. More than one of each can make the room crowded. Once the college acceptance has been finalized, check on rental information for small appliances such as televisions, microwaves and refrigerators. Also, you may wish to check on the college's policy for renting and/or purchasing a loft bed to allow for extra floor space. Make arrangements to have the loft bed installed when you first move in so the room does not have to be dismantled later. For dorm rooms, be sure to verify with the college which items are not allowed -- for example, candles, incense, hot plates, etc.

Move in day time savers:

Label packed items with the contents and intended location. Pack your vehicle in an as needed order to avoid total confusion. Remove all items from boxes to allow for more space inside your vehicle and dorm or apartment. Bring along a large trash bag to allow for one trip to the outside dumpster versus several trips. Bring snack foods and a small cooler with cold drinks. Have scissors, a basic tool set and duct tape for assembling and hanging items.  First, assess the room and make any necessary cleaning and  furniture arrangements then work from the bottom up. Install carpet, loft bed or bed risers, bed linens, under the loft/ bed items, place pre-hung clothing items inside the closet. Hang up all over the door hooks and holders then hang items which go in/on these such as towels, shoes, etc. Place items on and inside the desk and drawers. Next, bring in all the bathroom supplies followed by the kitchen and laundry supplies. Sit back and enjoy watching your student decorate and personalize his/her room.


Money management, banking procedures, fees and financial discipline should be learned during high school years. Legal age, 18 years and older, students will be bombarded with credit card offers and on site incentives.  Consider student and parent joint accounts for financial tracking. If moving out of area, locate a bank close to the dorm or apartment which also has a branch near home so the parents can make deposits. Allow enough time to receive ATM/Debit cards and printed checks -- merchants do not like starter checks.  Send these to the home residence if possible, for security reasons. 

  • ATM or debit card
  • Checks and deposit slips (consider overdraft checking)
  • Credit card                      (consider stored value card)


The following items are for a residential dorm, suite or apartment bedroom. The university usually provides a bed, desk, chair, chest, closet and laundry facilities.  Verify room items provided and the size of the bed with the college.

The student provides some or all of the following:


The following items are for a resident dorm, suite, or apartment bathroom. If sharing a suite or apartment, students should discuss decorating and purchasing details with roommates.  If sharing a communal dorm hall bathroom, place all items inside an easily portable bucket or caddy which has drainage holes. Also, purchase waterproof slippers or flip flops to wear inside the dorm hall shower stalls. Ladies, if the dorm hall bathroom shower stalls are narrow you may wish to purchase an electric razor for added convenience.

The students sharing the suite or apartment bathroom decide on color theme, who will bring what and/or how they will share the costs of general supplies.


The university apartment or suite usually supplies table, chairs, refrigerator, oven/stove and if you're really lucky, a dishwasher.  The students decide who will bring the following supplies. They also decide how to divide grocery costs, cooking and cleaning schedules. Verify college policy regarding electrical items.


The university suite usually supplies the couch, chairs, and end tables. The apartment situation varies.  This room is best left until all of the roommates have had a chance to discuss and decide their needs and wishes. Whatever decorating items remain make for a fun, group bonding shopping trip. Just remember to set a budget amount which each person is comfortable with. Verify college policy regarding electrical items.



If you have not already done so, discuss automobile accident, maintenance, warranty, etc.procedures with student.

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The excitement of college has only just begun . . . . . 

When the move in is over and everything has gone smoothly, we're still there to help.  Please print this page, cut out this section, and give it to your student to take with them to college.

   Students --
Congratulations on your decision to attend college, and best wishes in your future endeavors.  While you're away at school, visit for free academic resources, including the complete texts of more than 10,000 classic books online, encyclopedias online, and much more.  We're always open 24/7, so we're always on your schedule.  A number of colleges are linked to our highly acclaimed Academy and Library pages due to our extensive reference materials and easy to use format.  We're here to help you.  Wellington Academy and Wellington Public Library are "Always Open, Always Free."

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