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Sending Your College Student Off To School

Your baby is leaving home! While no checklist will help you get through the emotional side of letting go, this one can assist your new freshman with setting up a dorm room, finding an apartment, managing daily life on their own, and organizing all the documents necessary to become a real adult.

Before They Leave Home

Checkmark-Iconget copies of all vital records — birth certificate, SS card, etc.

Xmark-Iconupdate your child’s address book and list of birthdays

Checkmark-Iconget copies of your child’s medical and dental insurance, records, and prescriptions

Xmark-Iconverify insurance coverage and claim procedures if your child is going out of state

Checkmark-Iconcheck your homeowners insurance for coverage policies

Xmark-Iconget copies of warranties for electronics, computer, and appliances

Checkmark-Iconopen a checking account near campus and order checks

Xmark-Iconset up a cell phone and/or long-distance plan

Checkmark-Iconset up internet and e-mail address — if not provided by school

Xmark-Iconpack up off-season clothes to be shipped or picked up later

Checkmark-Iconpack clothes and living necessities for the new dorm or apartment

Dorm Necessities

Xmark-Iconbackpack or book bag

Checkmark-Iconbathroom supplies — towels, toilet paper, shower curtain, etc.

Xmark-Iconbedding — sheets, pillows, comforter, blankets, etc.

Checkmark-Iconbooks and magazines

Xmark-Iconcamera and film

Checkmark-Iconcleaning supplies

Xmark-Iconclock radio, desk lamp, and a fan

Checkmark-Iconcloset supplies — hangers, belt rack, over door storage, etc.

Xmark-Iconclothing — including appropriate winter wear and rain wear

Checkmark-Iconcomputer equipment — including ink cartridges, paper, and supplies

Xmark-Iconcork board or dry erase board

Checkmark-Icondecorating items — pillows, accent rug, pictures, etc.

Xmark-Icondesk organizer, school supplies, mailing supplies

Checkmark-Icondictionary and thesaurus

Xmark-Iconelectronics — calculator, PDA, mini cassette recorder, etc.

Checkmark-Iconextension cords and adapters

Xmark-Iconfirst aid, sewing, and shoe care kits

Checkmark-Iconflashlight and extra batteries

Xmark-Icongames — board, computer, video, etc.

Checkmark-Iconkitchen supplies — dishes, cookware, and food

Xmark-Iconlaundry supplies — basket, drying rack, detergent, iron, etc.


Xmark-Iconmicrowave and small refrigerator with freezer

Checkmark-Iconphone card and lots of quarters for laundry

Xmark-Iconstereo, TV, VCR, etc.

Checkmark-Icontelephone and answering machine

Xmark-Icontoiletries and prescription medications

Checkmark-Icontool kit

Xmark-Icontrash can and bags


Xmark-Iconwall calendar and portable planner

Renting An Apartment

Checkmark-Iconfind out the date of availability and requirements to reserve a unit

Xmark-Iconask about the length of lease and penalties for breaking it early

Checkmark-Iconask if there is a security deposit or pet deposit

Xmark-Iconask about the monthly rent amount, date due, and late charges

Checkmark-Iconsee if utilities are included or separate

Xmark-Iconfind out the rules about pets and subletting

Checkmark-Iconask the number of bedrooms and baths

Xmark-Iconfind out the amenities — fireplace, balcony, laundry facilities, etc.

Checkmark-Iconask if the complex has a pool and recreational facilities

Xmark-Iconsee if you can get additional storage space

Checkmark-Iconfind out which appliances are included — dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, etc.

Xmark-Iconask about safety features — gate, deadbolt, security guard, etc.

Checkmark-Iconcheck on public transportation options

Xmark-Iconcheck on the apartment’s proximity to shopping, school, work, etc.

Checkmark-Iconvisit to get a feel for the neighborhood

Xmark-Iconsee if internet and satellite dish hookup are available

Vital Paperwork Your College Student Must Organize

Checkmark-Iconproperty records — belongings, car, and insurance

Xmark-Iconbanking — statements and financial activity

Checkmark-Iconbills — monthly payments and budgeting

Xmark-Iconhealth records — medical conditions, treatments, and providers

Checkmark-Iconschool records — transcripts, class information, academic responsibilities

Xmark-Icontravel — trip plans and travel resources

Checkmark-Iconemployment records — job applications, resume, and references

Xmark-Iconmiscellaneous — hobbies, activities, and other personal interests

Checkmark-Iconcalendar — important dates, appointments, and deadlines

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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