Your college student may be nearly done packing for school and there is a pile of their belongings growing higher every day in the corner of their bedroom, in the hallway, or both.
Before you load up the car, take a look at these last-minute items to consider packing for your teen.
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17 last-minute things for your college packing list
1. Watertight Packable Rain Jacket
For years my teens ran from the school bus or car into their middle school and high school and never once wore a rain jacket. At some point your son or daughter will need to walk across campus in a deluge.
For women, this rain jacket from L.L. Bean gets high marks, with five sizes, five colors and three fits – petite, plus and regular.
And for men, this is a very affordable and durable rain jacket from Columbia and it is available in an array of colors.
Since our teens were babies, we have functioned as their human thermometer laying our hand on a hot forehead; it’s crucial for your teen to have – and know how to use – a thermometer.
A backpack is a must-have for your student heading to campus this year. Check out the Herschel site to see all the choices they offer in sizes and shapes for backpacks and accessories (think laptop sleeves and masks). Our favorites for this season: the customized Little America (what’s not to love about making it your own?)
The Grown and Flown book is now in paperback with expert advice on raising teens and learning how to say goodbye at the freshman dorm.
Students want their phones by their beds and this durable, extra long and extra fast charging cord makes that a reality, especially when plugged into a surge protector.
An AllerEase mattress encasement will help your teen stay healthier in what may soon become a filthy and dusty dorm room. It is waterproof, keeping the mattress topper clean and dry in case of spills. It will also protect your teen from allergens, dust mites and bed bugs, too.
6. College Gear
Your teen will want to be ready for the very first game day with a new college t-shirt, hat, sweatshirt, jersey or just have a soft pair of pj bottoms or cute collegiate sneakers. Fanatics is the best site to shop for over 500 colleges as the selection is amazing and you can find all the sizes and styles you need for guys, girls, as well as a selection for proud parents, too.
Dorm rooms are drab so brining something, anything, that adds a cheerful touch to a wall is a plus. Check out Society6 for unique art prints, posters, and tapestries. If you have not already gotten an oversize pillow for your student to prop up against, they have a selection of those, too. Representing more than 300,000 artists from 160 countries, even purchase pays an artist.
One of my teens showed up with chess and suddenly there was a crowd. Board games (like Catan shown below) card games, frisbee and, yes, video games are all great ice breakers at the beginning of the school year.
9. Water Bottle
Hydro Flask water bottles are ideal for college students because they keep the cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours – perfect for when your student spends the day on campus. And, check out the new and limited edition #RefillforGood Hydro Flask water bottles! Hydro Flask is donating $100,000 of proceeds to the Surfrider Foundation whose goal is to keep the oceans clean.
10. Duck Tape
Having a roll of duct tape at hand for temporary repairs is always a great idea, so throw one into your teen’s tool box so they are prepared.
This ingenious bag traps moisture and creates a fresher sent in a closet. We hear rave reviews about this product!
Having easy access to a roll of paper towels is made easier when they are held in place by a towel bar attached to a mini fridge. This one uses strong magnets that will not move around in use.
Dorm room air can be stale and the floors and other surfaces get dusty. In a word, they are GROSS and teens do not typically clean them. You might consider an air purifier and this one, by Conway, has gotten the top reviews since 2015 out of 35 different models tested. (NYTimes Wirecutter). According to the manufacturer, the Conway has a
4 Stage Filtration System (Pre-filter, Deodorization filter, True HEPA filter, Vital Ion) captures and reduces up to 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in the air, including pollen, pollutants and other allergens. It also reduces volatile organic compounds and reduces odor. (Amazon)
A less expensive model, that also gets great reviews for small spaces, is the Levoit Air purifier.
For students who have prescription meds, jewelry and/or other valuables, consider a lock box for storage.
Yes, we have coached our teens on why they have to wash whites and darks separately but sometimes, that just won’t work. With these ingenious sheets, they will never have to worry about that red t-shirt making all their white t-shirts pink.
We would like to think that our teens would never reach for a set of clean sheets only to discover, instead, that the back-up set is at the bottom of an overflowing and disgusting laundry hamper. A set of disposable Beantown bed linens, packed away for emergencies, might be $20 well-spent, especially for any laundry-challenged teen. Made from plants, they can be used for days or weeks and can be recycled or composted when no loner needed.
We ordered a sample and were surprised at how soft it was…not like the paper examining gowns that we imagined they would feel like. There is a subscription service available too, at frequencies of one, two or four weeks.
17. And one final idea, is this cute reminder, a Call Your Mom pillowcase.
You Might Also Want to Read:
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17 Items to Cross Off Your List Before Your Teen Leaves for College These are the things that will be much easier to do BEFORE you drop off your teen.