The Essential Shopping List for the College Dorm Essentials

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This is a sponsored post for Procter & Gamble/Bed Bath & Beyond. All opinions are 100% my own. 

My oldest son just graduated from high school and will be leaving next week for college. He's heading out of state, more than 2000 miles away from home, something his father did two decades ago himself. I wouldn't say that we are experts at this college thing, we are learning just like the rest of the wide-eyed freshman and their parents. But with my husband's out of state college experience in mind, we put together The Essential Guide to Going Out of State to College Guide.  Now that we are down to the final countdown, we have put together a list of the essential items that we will need to go shopping for when the airplane wheels hit the ground in his new home state.

My husband tells the story of  how his freshman year he packed a bottle of Tide laundry detergent in a box that he shipped to school. When he got to school he found that the Tide had exploded in route and everything was dripping in laundry detergent. He spent hours washing his belongings in the community bath tub {the only time he says he used it...wonder why?} trying to get the detergent off. His life lesson was, you don't have to ship everything. Our mantra has been buy it when you get there.

With that in mind, we are creating a free printable list of those essential items to buy when we get there. Hopefully you find it helpful too.

I'm not going to lie, I feel like I have weeks worth of things to do to get my son situated in his new dorm and prepared for life without the safety net of home. I'm all for one stop shopping to help make everything that much easier. When you are coming from out of state, there is only so much preparation that you can do ahead of time. We signed up for a program at Bed Bath & Beyond called Pack & Hold that lets us shop at our home store and pick up the items at the store closest to the university. It's genius!

There are even designated sections at the store that help make college shopping easier called the Harmon section. This section has a full stock of our favorite Procter & Gamble items including Tide, Suave, Gillette, Crest, Old Spice and more.

When you purchase $40 worth of participating P&G products, you will receive a $10 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card. Not only is my son a poor college student now, we are poor college student parents who wrote their first tuition check. We love a good deal.

So what's on the essential list for your college freshman? Bear in mind, this list is a minimalist guide. Just the essentials. After you get settled, there may be items you want to purchase. I have also not included items like your charging cords, items you would normally pack with you on a weekend trip, because those kinds of items you won't forget. 

You can download this list as a free printable here

The Essential College Dorm Shopping Guide

Bed and Bath:

2 sets of sheets {twin xl}
2 bath towels
2 hand towels

Health and Grooming:

shower shoes
shampoo and conditioner
shower caddy
soap/body wash
first aid kit {stay tuned next week for an RN approved kit}
grooming/cosmetics {nail scissors, file, tweezers}


laundry detergent
laundry bag

Around the Room:

sticky tack
non-stick hooks
trash can
desk lamp
storage boxes/containers
bed lifts
power strip

After shopping and creating our pack & haul list at Bed Bath & Beyond today, I know that almost all of those items are items that we can get in the Harmon section {and beyond} at our local store.  That sets this mom's mind at ease just a bit. Mom may not be there to do his laundry anymore but that doesn't mean that he can't keep his clothes MOMCLEAN.  Speaking of which, if you share your favorite #CollegeSpeak term,

  • MOMCLEAN (a): Clean like it came right from your mom’s washer
  • SPEAKYCLEAN (a): So shiny you have to say something about it
  • HAIRAPY (v): The action of washing your hair and getting a fresh start
  • LEGDAY (n): A great day for showing off those legs
  • FRESHZEN (n): A student who is completely focused on fresh
  • ALLDAYER (n): When you responsibly get through the day without even a nap

you could win a prize pack including all of these great items PLUS a $50 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card.

This prize pack includes:
  • CoverGirl Intensify Me! Liquid Liner
  • CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipstick
  • Gillette Venus Flex Swirl Razor
  • Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Old Spice Lasting Legend Dirt Destroyer Body Wash
  • Secret Outlast Women's Invisible Solid Deodorant
  • Tide Pods (6 pack)
  • Crest 3D White Arctic Fresh Toothpaste
  • Oral B Toothbrush
  • shower caddy
  • loofah

Enter to win this great college pack!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join us for the #collegeSpeak Twitter party on August 17 from 9am-9:45 am PST/12-12:45 PM EST. 
Everyone who tweets during the Twitter event using the #CollegeSpeak hashtag will automatically be entered to win.
1 winner will receive a $250 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card
3 winners will each receive a $100 Bed Bath & Beyond gift card
Start practicing your #CollegeSpeak now and plan to join us!

disclaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!


Susannah said...

Sounds like you got your son everything he needs! <3

LaVonne said...

Great list. I love that Bed Bath & Beyond has this program. Very cool.

Unknown said...

This is genius! I went to college 8 hours from home. I had to fly up to make it to orientation and my parents drove my car for me on the weekend, full of all the stuff we had picked out for my dorm. After they arrived, we realized all of the things we had forgotten, and had to make another trip to the store! It would have been so much easier to order them from home, and pick them up near the University.

Also, the idea to buy two sets of sheets... SO SMART! Looking back now, I'm not sure I ever washed mine. How gross is that? Oh to be 18 again... haha

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