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The best college supplies and dorm room essentials in 2021

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  • If you’re moving into a dorm (or moving your kid into one), there are plenty of supplies you’ll need to stock up on.
  • We’ve rounded up everything freshmen might need for their dorm rooms from bedding to backpacks.

If you’re heading off to college for the first time this fall, chances are it’s your first time living on your own — ever. The college dorm is a good training ground for new adults, assuming you’ve got all the essentials. We’ve rounded up everything you need to have in your dorm room, including items for your bed, bathroom, kitchen, and more.

If you’re a parent stocking your child up for their first semester, the thought of sending your kid off to fend for themselves against dirty laundry, piles of dishes, and the other inconveniences of adulthood probably sounds daunting to you, but we’ve got you covered. These items will set your college kid off on the right foot.

Before we get into our picks, here are some tips on what to buy:

  • Know your dorm: How many roommates will you have? How much space is there? Do you even have a kitchen? Adjust accordingly.
  • Talk to your roommates: If you talk to your roommate(s) before you shop, you can coordinate and figure out who’s bringing what. My first roommates brought a mini fridge, a microwave, and a TV. All I brought was a suitcase and a duffle bag. It was a pretty good deal.
  • Don’t go overboard: Trust me, you don’t need all those random things you think you’ll need. The more stuff you buy, the more you have to carry back and forth for the next four years.

Living in a dorm is a crazy experience, but so long as you have the essentials, you’ll be just fine. Read on to find our top picks for every dorm essential you can imagine.

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