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Last year I shared the College Packing List I used to help me pack for my son’s freshman year in a college dorm. Like many college students, this year he opted to move into an apartment instead of returning to the dorms. I realized last year’s pack list was woefully inadequate for his new living situation so I’ve created a College Apartment Packing List to include items that he’ll need this year that were provided in the dorms.
Items for New Rooms
The biggest change in moving to an apartment is that now our kids have to outfit more than their bedrooms.
Unless we want to provide them with an unlimited food allowance, they’ll be making a lot of their own meals. That means they’ll need cooking supplies, things to eat with and on, and a way to clean up after their meals. Chances are, most college kids won’t realize the importance of pot holders until the first time they bake something and realize they have to get it out of the oven.
If your child will have roommates, divvy up the shopping list so that they don’t end up with 50 forks but no plates. For the kitchen, we picked up the eating utensils, pots and pans, cooking and serving utensils, and the pot holders and kitchen towels. My son’s roommates covered the coffee maker, toaster oven, blender, plates, bowls, and drinkware.
A private, or semi-private, bathroom means they can finally ditch the shower shoes, but they’ll also lose the janitorial service that kept their dorm bathroom clean and stocked with toilet paper and hand soap. Since it’s likely your child’s first apartment, they probably won’t realize that they need to provide their own shower curtain and the rings to hang it too.
Thankfully, my son rented a furnished apartment. Still, we had to get a detailed list of what was provided so we knew if we needed to purchase blinds for the windows, lamps, a microwave, a desk and chair, etc. And since our kids won’t have our supply closets to raid, make sure your college student has those other items they likely won’t think of until they need them – lightbulbs, batteries, etc.
Items for Your Peace of Mind
Perhaps some of you have raised kids who love to clean and do chores. I didn’t. Thus, when I asked my son which cleaning supplies he needed, I was greeted with a blank stare.
Since I don’t want my son to live in squalor, I equipped him with a light arsenal of cleaning supplies anyway. I’m hoping that having them readily available will prompt him to use them at least once or twice during the school year. Given his lack of cleaning enthusiasm, I stuck with basics – a lightweight vacuum, sweeper mop (and a package of cleaning pads for it), sanitizing wipes, a toilet wand cleaner, and a duster.
I also invested in a very affordable, compact all-in-one printer so that he could easily print assignments at home when he finishes them in the middle of the night, instead of wandering around campus to get to the nearest computer lab or library. Plus, now when he needs me to help him review a document (e.g. his lease, study abroad agreement, scholarship application), he can easily scan it and e-mail it to me instead of taking pictures of each page and messaging them to me (i.e. how we did it last year).
The HP DeskJet 3752 All-in-One printer is only $69 at Walmart. Even better, since it’s the world’s smallest all-in-one printer, it provides my son with lots of capabilities without taking up too much of his limited desk space. He can print, scan, and copy without ever leaving his apartment.
Aside from the price, size, and functionality, another reason I opted for the HP DeskJet 3752 is that I love HP’s mobile printing capability. You can print directly from your mobile device! Since my son manages most of his life from his phone, this was a very appealing feature. Once you download the app, you can print anything you want from your phone with the press of a button.
You can find HP printers in the entertainment section of your local Walmart. If they don’t have this specific model in stock (it’s BRAND NEW so might not be available in all stores), you can order it online and have it shipped to the store for free.
Printable College Apartment Packing List
If you want to make sure you don’t forget anything, feel free to use my printable College Apartment Packing List. I’ve left some extra spaces for you to write in any items you think of that I might have overlooked.
For more back to school tips and fun project ideas, check out all the #CreateWithHP posts. You’ll find everything from family binder starter kits to DIY memory books. After you’ve checked them out come back here and let me know which one is your favorite (and why) so I can create more posts that YOU want.
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