If you have spent a few semesters in the confines of a college dorm room, you must be beyond excited to get into your first college apartment. Aside from the freedom, you will now be able to be granted, you will also able to decorate and adorn the rooms in your apartment however you see fit. This gives you the freedom to be as practical or artsy as you want.
But living in a college apartment does entail a particular list of things that are simply “must-haves” for you to fully enjoy the liberty and comfort of your own place. When thinking about what you will need to pack for your move, it’s important to consider all of the rooms you will have, and how to maximize their function for your essential everyday needs, as well as your creature comforts.
To make packing easier, we have put together this quick list of items that you will need to pack for your college apartment, and broke it down by rooms that you will need the particular items in. We know you are excited to get packing, so let’s get started!
Many colleges own apartment complexes, so they are already furnished for the students with essentials. In the bedrooms, this typically includes furniture pieces like the bed, a box spring, mattress, a dresser, a nightstand, and potentially a chair and desk combination. If you think about it, you are likely to spend the most hours of your day in the bedroom, if you count a full night of sleep. So the things you want to pack will be things that will yield your maximum comfort.
For the bed, you will need size appropriate sheets, pillows, and pillowcases, a mattress pad, a warm comforter, a throw blanket (for when you need something other than a comforter), an alarm clock to get you up on time for your morning classes, a lamp or a reading light, as well as any desk accessories you may need, not the least of which is a laptop. Most colleges provide students with a laptop for the semester, but as these are meant for school purposes their other functions may be limited, so having your own is essential for when you need to take care of your own online activities including streaming movies or sending personal email.
Because you might have more possessions than you have closet and dresser space, an often overlooked necessity for bedrooms includes storage containers that slide under your bed or standalone units that fit in the corner of the room or in the back of a closet. Another advisable inclusion for bedrooms is a comfortable chair which you can sit in to read, game, watch tv, or relax.
It is also unlikely that your windows will have curtains, or that your walls will have any type of decor. Some shades and pictures of loved ones will make the bedroom feel more private and homey, reminding you of the relatives who are so proud of you for being a college kid.
This might be the room where you need the most personally convenient supplies. The bathroom in an apartment will need to house your toiletries, personal hygiene products, and various other things you want to store in a more private setting.
While most showers will come with curtains, the shower liners are advisable to change even if any are in place in the current shower. Aside from packing a shower liner, you should also consider shower curtain hooks and a curtain in case one is not provided.
Every bathroom needs a bathmat to avoid soaking the floor when you step out of the shower, and of course, towels are essential. It is recommended that you bring 2 or three pairs of bath towels and at least 2 pairs of hand towels. They will need to be washed and most college apartment buildings have a shared laundry machine among all of the building residents. You could alternatively use the laundromat if one is locally available, but that could turn out to be financially burdensome. Therefore some towel replacements are great to have on hand.
A few things you never want to run out of in a bathroom are toilet paper, tissues, toothpaste, and cleaning supplies. You don’t have to go purchase-crazy, but give yourself enough toilet paper and tissues to last at least a couple of weeks at a time. When you start to near running low, you will want to replace them before you are at the last sheet.
Bathrooms are the rooms that need the most cleaning so it’s always good to pack some disinfectant, toilet scrubbers and brushes, a wastebasket, and a plunger (since you likely only have one bathroom, you don’t want to get caught without one if an issue arises). You should also consider free-standing small mirror and storage containers to hold miscellaneous bathroom inclusions. Of course, don’t forget a first aid kit. The bathroom would be the ideal place for its storage.
A college apartment will typically have a kitchen table and a couple of chairs. Dishes, however, are unlikely to be provided. You should plan on having enough clean dishes for a week in case you are too busy to get through washing dishes on a nightly basis. If you have roommates, they may bring their own dishes, but might not be willing to share. You should include several plates, bowls, mugs, glasses, and a handful of each type of silverware.
Bringing along a spatula, tongs, a colander, bottle and can openers, cutting boards, and knives, dish towels, oven mitts, a drawer silverware organizer insert, various food storage containers, ice elements for your freezer, vegetable peelers, slotted spoon, as well as plastic wrap and aluminum foil. You’re a college kid, so trust us, you will have, and be thankful for leftovers.
Most college kids are on a budget so it’s likely that more often than not you will cook at home. That means you will need at least one small pot, large pot, pan, baking sheet, etc. Also, you will need to bring the essential kitchen appliances not always provided by college dorms such as a toaster oven, microwave, kettle, and coffee maker.
Whether you are cooking or seasoning your food, there are a few kitchen staples that are a must-have. These include salt, pepper, condiments, oils, and any other seasonings that you enjoy preparing your food with.
You will need a trash can to dispose of your garbage, paper towels to wipe up spills or messes, trash bags, recycling containers, dish soap (both manual and in dishwasher detergent form), as well as sponges and metal scrubbers. The day you rush off to class after leaving a cheese omelet pan unwashed, you will thank us for that one.
Living Room Supplies
Finally, there is the living room. This is the space where you will relax in front of the tv, curl up on the couch with a book, or entertain visitors. The three basic staples of any living room are a couch, a coffee table, and a TV. The TV cannot sit on the floor, so you will need some type of stand or TV media center to keep it in.
This is a space that is the most important in terms of good lighting, so you will want to make sure you have at least one additional freestanding light to supplement any of the room lightings. This could also be a good way to have a dimmer environment if you want a soft-lit room to read or have some beverages with a date.
The living room should be spruced up with some “living” elements. This usually means that you might want to decorate it with some wall art, some plants, throw blankets on the couch, throw pillows, and perhaps even an area rug to add to the warmth.
You will occasionally need to put together a new purchase or fix minor problems in your apartment to not spend money on a repair assistant, so having a small toolkit with some basic tools is always a good idea.
For all of your appliances, you will want to assure surge protectors are plugged into the outlets in the walls. No need to chance a fire during a lightning storm, right? You never want to run out of batteries either, so a healthy supply of those is always a good thought inclusion on your college apartment packing list too.
You will want to keep your apartment clean, so a dustpan and broom, as well as a vacuum are always good to bring along with you, especially if you aren’t sure if the apartment comes supplied with one.
You Are Ready!
You might think of some other ideas for your college apartment, but they are likely to be further conveniences than essentials. Remember, the goal is to make your apartment-friendly for your main purpose there, to study and succeed, and we do that best when we are in our element, surrounded by the things we need, and when we are content in our environment. Good luck!