Before you have to face leaving your "baby" at college, you have an equally daunting task: figuring out what is essential for comfortable dorm living. Your impulse may be to err on the side of over-abundance, but choose to ignore that impulse. Dorm rooms are cramped even before your teenager moves in, and adding a roommate's things into the mix only makes it smaller.
Get into the minimalist mind-set since you can always send unexpected necessities later. In the meantime, there are a few things your teen will need from day one.
Bath Caddy and Shower Shoes
Shared bathrooms can be a war zone, from storage issues to their propensity to harbor germs. Solve storage challenges with a bath caddy filled with shampoo, soap, brushes, and other grooming must-haves. Flip-flops are also a necessity to protect feet from germ-y floors. Buy a cheap pair so that your new collegiate won’t feel too bad about throwing them away at the end of the year, because you don’t want them bringing those things back home for the summer!
The dorm may be a lengthy distance from the dining commons and communal fridges can get pretty funky. A mini-refrigerator for the dorm room can save your kid a lot of hassle on rainy, snowy or stress-filled days.
Storage Tubs and Bins
When life is compressed into a shared 12x19 ft. space, maximizing storage is a must. Maximize space using handy bins and under-bed storage tubs. You've probably got a few empty storage containers just sitting in your garage or storage unit. Drag them out and put them to good use.
Spills and messes are going to happen. Pack a cleaning caddy with disinfectant or hand wipes, a spray all-purpose cleaner, a small bottle of dish soap, and a few rags or sponges for quick clean-ups.
Packing these essentials won't make it any easier to leave your "baby" at college, but at least not they'll be prepared to make their dorm room a comfortable, clean home.