20 Commonly Forgotten College Items To Add To Your Packing List ASAP – College Savvy

Things people forget to bring to college
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From practical necessities like surge protectors and extension cords, there are many things people forget to bring to college. But you don’t have to worry! In this piece, we’ll review some common things people forget to bring to college. You can easily use this as a checklist to ensure you’re properly packed. 

Packing For College

Packing for college can be overwhelming, especially when trying to fit your entire life into a limited space. However, with some planning and organization, you can be ready in no time. 

Here are some helpful tips to make the process easier:

  • Create a packing checklist: Make a comprehensive packing checklist before gathering your things. You can divide it into clothing, bedding, toiletries, electronics, school supplies, and personal items. This will help you stay organized and remember everything important.
  • Check college guidelines: Different colleges may have specific rules and restrictions regarding what you can bring to your dorm room. Go through the guidelines to avoid packing items that are prohibited. 
  • Pack essentials first: Start by packing some things people forget to bring to college, such as toiletries. This way, you won’t have to dig through boxes to find essential items during your first few days at college.
  • Coordinate with your roommate: If you have a roommate, try contacting them beforehand and discussing items you can share to avoid duplicates. This will save space.
  • Use vacuum storage bags: I’m partial to vacuum-sealed bags! They are a lifesaver when it comes to maximizing space. These bags will help compress bulky items like bedding and winter clothes.
  • Pack seasonally: Pack clothing suitable for the current season, and you can swap out seasonal items during visits back home or during breaks. 
  • Roll clothes: Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can save space and help prevent wrinkles. You can also use packing cubes. 
  • Pack necessary documents: Documents are one of the things people forget to bring to college. Remember to bring important documents such as your ID, insurance cards, medical records, and any required academic paperwork. It’s also a good idea to have digital copies of these documents saved on your phone or computer for easy access.
  • Label your boxes and bags: As you pack your belongings, label each box or bag with its contents. This will make it easier to find specific items when needed, especially if you have to rummage through storage during the semester.

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Things People Forget To Bring To College

With all the rush and excitement, forgetting to pack some things is perfectly natural. But, there are some things people forget to bring to college that are common among various students.

Some of the things people forget to bring to college include the following:

1.      Power Strip

It’s easy to overlook this item because it may not be an everyday necessity at home. But in a dorm room with limited outlets, it’s essential for charging multiple devices simultaneously and protecting them from power surges.

2.      Extension cords

Like surge protectors, extension cords are among the top things people forget to bring to college. Most new students assume there will be enough outlets in their dorm rooms. However, having an extension cord ensures you can reach outlets in inconvenient locations and provides flexibility in arranging your room.

3.      Shower caddy

Many college students underestimate the importance of having a dedicated carrier for their toiletries. Forgetting a shower caddy can lead to awkward trips back and forth to the bathroom, risking dropping or losing your items.

Read also: How to Hang a Hammock in a Dorm for Maximum Relaxation: 7 Easy Steps

4.      Flip flops

Shared communal showers in dorms can be breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi. Forgetting flip-flops means you’ll have to walk barefoot or risk exposing your feet to potential infections. While flip-flops are essential, they are one of the top things people forget to bring to college. 

5.      First aid kit

Students often overlook the need for a basic first aid kit, assuming they can easily access medical supplies on campus. However, having essentials like band-aids, pain relievers, and other medical items can save you a trip to the campus health center for minor issues.

6.      Sewing kit

Clothing mishaps happen, and having a small sewing kit can be a lifesaver. It’s often forgotten because sewing repairs are rare for most people, but you’ll be grateful to have them when needed.

Read also: 37+ Amazon Dorm Essentials: Top Picks For a Hassle-Free College Life

7.      Laundry bag

Students may forget to bring a designated bag or basket for their laundry, resulting in difficulty transporting dirty clothes to the laundry room. It’s a simple item that is easily overlooked.

8.      Stain remover

Spills and stains are inevitable, especially in a college setting. Forgetting stain remover means difficulty removing stubborn stains from your clothing.

9.      Umbrella

Weather changes can catch you off guard, and forgetting an umbrella means you must brave the rain or find alternatives when unexpected showers occur.

Read also: Are Candles Allowed In Dorms? Best Candle Alternatives In 2023

10. Desk organizer

Staying organized is crucial for academic success, but students often underestimate the need for a desk organizer to keep their study area clutter-free. It’s an item that easily slips their minds.

11. Whiteboard or corkboard

Having a designated space for reminders, to-do lists, and important notes is essential, yet, it’s one of the things people forget to bring to college. This means no visual aid for staying organized.

12. Portable fan

Many dorm rooms lack air conditioning, and even if they have it, personal temperature preferences can differ. Forgetting a portable fan can leave you uncomfortable during warm months or in rooms without adequate ventilation.

Read also: 21 Budget-Friendly Dorm Room Bundles for College Students

13. Reusable water bottle

Staying hydrated is crucial, but water bottles are one of the things people forget to bring to college. A reusable bottle saves money, reduces waste, and ensures you always have water.

14. Can opener

Canned foods can be quick and convenient for college students, but forgetting a can opener means you can only access the contents if you improvise or borrow from others.

Read also: Boho Dorm Room Delight: 21 Budget-Friendly DIY Ideas

15. Dish soap and sponge

While most dorms provide communal kitchens, students often overlook the need for basic cleaning supplies like dish soap and sponges. With them, cleaning dishes becomes easier.

16. Kitchen utensils

For those who plan to do some cooking in their dorms, having basic kitchen utensils like a knife, cutting board, and cooking utensils is essential. However, they are easily forgotten due to the assumption that the kitchen will be fully equipped.

Read also: Boho Dorm Room Delight: 21 Budget-Friendly DIY Ideas

17. Extra storage containers

Leftovers and meal prepping are common in college, but students may need to remember to bring extra storage containers. This can lead to food waste or the need to buy disposable containers.

18. Ethernet cable

While Wi-Fi is prevalent in most college campuses, there may be instances where you need a wired internet connection, especially if the Wi-Fi signal is weak. Forgetting an ethernet cable can limit your connectivity options.

Read also: 32 Must-Have Items for a Shared Dorm Experience in 2023

19. Noise-canceling headphones

College environments can be noisy and disruptive, making it difficult to study or sleep. Forgetting noise-canceling headphones or earplugs means you won’t have an effective way to block out distractions and create a quieter space.

20. Extra set of keys

Misplacing or losing your keys is a common occurrence in college. Having an extra set ensures a backup and prevents the inconvenience of getting locked out of your dorm room.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I remember to pack these commonly forgotten items?

You can list all the items you think you’ll need, then review them multiple times before packing. You can also ask friends or family who have been to college for suggestions on useful items. 

Is it better to buy these items after reaching the college campus?

While it may be possible to purchase some of these items after reaching the college campus, having them with you from the beginning is generally recommended. Settling into college can be busy and overwhelming, and having all the necessary items with you will help you adjust more smoothly. 

How can I remember to pack things people forget to bring to college?

Remember to pack commonly forgotten items, create a comprehensive packing list, review it multiple times, consult others who have been to college, use a checklist or note-taking apps, and visualize your daily routine to trigger your memory.

Is it better to buy these items after reaching the college campus?

Having these items with you from the beginning is generally recommended to help you adjust smoothly. Buying on campus may be more expensive and offer less variety. Having everything you need from the start ensures comfort and convenience.

 How can I save space while packing all these items?

To save space while packing, roll your clothes, use vacuum-sealed bags, utilize empty spaces in luggage or containers, minimize duplicates, coordinate with roommates, consider storage solutions, and pack strategically.

Are there any additional items I should consider packing for college?

Additional items to consider packing for college include personal mementos, desk organizers, wall decorations, entertainment options, seasonal clothing, essential kitchen appliances (if allowed), and financial essentials like copies of important documents.


When it comes to packing for college, there are common things people forget to bring to college. By ensuring you have essentials like power strips, cleaning supplies, kitchen items, and a first aid kit, you’ll be well-prepared for your college journey. 



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