Must-have Items for Campus Living, from A to Z

Must-have Items for Campus Living, from A to Z

Rutgers Housing staff offers a checklist of the top 100

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. Perhaps one of the most memorable college experiences is moving on campus for the first time. As the saying goes, it all starts at home. If college is the microcosm of life, then student life begins in on-campus housing.

Students first college experience can be a pleasant one with some advance planning. Rutgers housing experts have created an alphabetical checklist of 100 items students should bring, and made some suggestions on what to leave at home. Before investing money and time in shopping and packing, students might want to take a tip from Rutgers housing: Roommates should discuss dividing the responsibility for bringing certain items, such as televisions, telephones, rugs and audio equipment before arriving for the start of the semester.


Top 100 items to bring to campus:

  •  All housing assignment information
  •  Alarm clock
  •  Aspirin or other pain reliever
  •  Backpack
  •  Baseball cap or other hat for bad hair days
  •  Bathrobe
  •  Bathing suit
  •  Belts
  •  Bicycle
  •  Blankets
  • Calculator
  • Can and bottle opener
  • CDs
  • Cell phone
  • Cleaning items
  • Clothing to last until the first trip home
  • Comforter or bedspread
  • Computer and printer
  • Contact lenses and solutions
  • Cotton swabs
  • Crates for storage
  • Cups, plates, pots, utensils, and napkins
  • Deck of cards
  • Dental floss
  • Deodorant
  • Dictionary, thesaurus, writers guide
  • DVD player and DVDs
  • Envelopes
  • Extension cords under 6 feet with surge protector and power strips
  • Fan
  • First-aid kit
  • Flip-flops for the shower
  • Food
  • Fun-Tak to hang posters
  • Glasses
  • Glue
  • Hair care products
  • Hairbrush and comb
  • Hangers
  • Highlighters
  • Hygiene items
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Jeans
  • Jackets - light and heavy
  • Lamp (desk or other)
  • Laundry detergent and fabric softener
  •  Mattress/pad cover
  • Mirror
  • Money for books, food, entertainment, school apparel
  • Music
  • Nail clippers
  • Names, addresses, phone numbers and policy numbers of medical, credit card and auto insurance companies
  • Open mind
  • Pajamas
  • Paper clips
  • Patience
  • PDAs (Palm Pilot, Blackberry, etc.)
  • Pens and pencils, pencil sharpener
  • Perfume or cologne
  • Pictures, posters
  • Pillow(s)
  • Prescription medications
  • Quilt
  • Radio and/or stereo
  • Razors
  • Room decoration
  • Rug (although some rooms have carpeting, rugs are a great way to show off your sense of style)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sense of humor
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shaving cream
  • Sheets (extra long twin) and pillowcases
  • Shoes
  • Shorts
  • Shower caddy
  • Slippers
  • Sneakers
  • Soap and plastic soap dish
  • Socks
  • Stamps
  • Stapler and staples
  • Sweatshirt
  • T-shirts
  • Tape
  • Thermometer
  • Thumbtacks
  • Tissues
  • Tool kit
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Towels
  • Tupperware
  • TV
  • Umbrella
  • Video games
  • Washcloths
  • Watch
  • Yearbook from high school as a conversation piece
  • Zest for learning



What to leave at home:

Housing officials want you to be comfortable and safe in your on-campus home, so check with your college about their policies. In most cases, the following items are not permitted for safety reasons:

Cooking and heating devices, such as electric toaster ovens, broilers, skillets, hot plates, hot dog and hamburger cookers, electric woks, rice cookers, immersion coils, hot pots, microwave ovens, space heaters

  • Wall hangings made of burlap or other flammable materials, tapestries, fish netting, flags
  • Candles, incense
  • All flammable and combustible liquids, including art supplies such as thinners
  • Chemicals
  • Electrical wiring that is homemade or otherwise modified or transformed
  • Extension cords exceeding 6 feet
  • Lofts, liquid-filled beds or similar structures
  • Light dimmers, ceiling fans
  • Combustible or plastic lamp shades or light fixture covers
  • Torchiere-type lamps with halogen bulbs
  • Traffic and road signs  


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Media Contact: Steve Manas
732-932-7084, ext. 612