A girl packing a suitcase

10 Things You Might Have Forgotten to Pack for On-Campus Living

While many Universities are operating remotely this year, some are still allowing students to return to on-campus living. If this is your first time staying in a dorm, you may believe you have all of the essentials you need checked off on your packing list, but there are a few important items you might not have thought to take along.

Already in your dorm but forgot something? Considering signing up for an Amazon Prime student membership to buy any necessities you left behind. Many universities have Amazon lockers on campus where students can have their orders delivered.

Tool kit

A Basic Tool Kit

For hanging a bulletin board, lights, putting together furniture, giving your dorm room a décor facelift down the road or when a battery operated item you ordered or own has those tiny little screws that keep you from getting to the batteries.



Speaking of batteries, have some extras of those on hand.  Especially if you’ve brought along a desktop computer (because gaming, right?). But really, the last thing you need is a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse’s batteries dying on the last night you had to write that very last-minute paper.

Clothes drying rack

Clothes Drying Rack

Yes, your school will have dryers, no they may not dry your clothes, especially if you stuff them with two weeks’ worth of laundry. A drying rack (or two) is good for emergency drying when you’ve just spent your last few quarters



And since we’ve mentioned quarters – these coins are so valuable in college they may as well be made of gold. Bring as many as you can afford to take along for laundry (try to use cash or cards for vending machine snacks). You’ll also need the rest of your gray-toned spare change, since some college’s still use coin operated printers.

Bed risers

Bed Risers

Sure you’ll be able to slide some things under your bed, but let’s lift it up and hide even more.  Adding bed risers to your bed can triple the storage space in a small dorm room.  Meaning it can take it from no storage, to a little more storage.

Electric water kettle

Electric Hot Water Kettle

So you packed a French press because you wanted to save surface real estate but now you have no clue how to heat your water up without a stove? You’ll want to order one of these guys. Very handy for making ramen also.

Power strip

Extension Cords and Power Strips

Of course the bed fits or looks the best in the same corner they put BOTH power outlets.  You’ll be plugging in a lot of electronics, from cell phone chargers, to laptop chargers, desk fans, lamps and more. Make sure you bring along an extension cord and a couple of power strips.  

Laundry bag

Clothing Hamper that Doubles as a Laundry Bag

Don’t just bring a hamper, bring a hamper that you can easily grab (and shut) by the handles and take your clothes to the laundry room and back without a sock escaping to wherever escapee socks escape to along the way.


Handheld Steamer

In a room with limited space, an iron can easily be left turned on …on the floor…. where your feet go. Nope. Let’s just avoid that.

Trash can

Trash Can With A Lid

Trash is not only unsightly and can make a small room look cluttered easily, it can also attract bugs or rodents depending on what’s in it. A lid can (hopefully) deter this.

About the author

Phil Smyres
CEO and Founder of TextbookRush.com
I graduated from Ohio State University, and I’ve been in Columbus, OH ever since. In 1994, I started buying and selling books on campus with two brick and mortar stores. Those stores have since closed but TextbookRush.com has remained a premier online retailer for all your textbook needs. During this time, we’ve also added two additional online retailers, Bookstores.com and K12BookServices.com.

My interests include spending time with my family, traveling everywhere and watching Ohio State football.