It is such an exciting time as students begin college, many of them for their first year! Here are some items they won’t want to leave home without.

Under $10

Sewing Kit

The kit contains all the necessary tools that are required for performing basic repairs. ($5)

Mesh Shower Caddy Basket

This portable shower caddy tote is compact, lightweight, durable, stylish and the carry handle makes carrying the caddy anywhere super easy. ($9)

Mesh Pop-up Laundry Hamper

It is large enough to contain a week’s worth of dirty clothes, but still small enough to fit in any tiny apartment. Pops right open and it’s easy to close up for space. Very handy as an everyday hamper at home, as well as a travel hamper . ($9) If you want to add a little extra to it, add some laundry detergent or a little cash for the laundromat.


Microwave Cover

Nothing gets more disgusting in a shared kitchen than the microwave. This is a gift the whole apartment with thank you for.  ($10) You can add some fun quick and simple microwavable food they can use when they move out!

Life Skills for Teens

This is a great book with simple skills every teen should know…like how to know if chicken is bad, how to get rid of dandruff, fix your car, perform first aid…all those things adults just seem to “know.” ($10)

Microfiber Hair Wrap

These are so useful! ($10)

Office Supplies Kit with Desk Organizer

The kit comes with multiple accessories such as scissors, a ruler, an eraser, and paper clips, things they will be so happy they don’t have to buy!  ($10)

Surge Protector Power Strip

An extension cord can always come in handy. This one has USB ports and a surge protector. ($10)


Send that college student with some good memories for home-sick days.  You can even get the book for free by using this link HERE. ($0-$10)

Under $20


Roommates will appreciate this item in your dorm or appartment!  ($15 for 2)

Simple Cookbook

If your kiddo is off on their own for the first time, cooking can feel a bit overwhelming, but this book offers affordable and yummy options that beginners can make! ($11)

Pepper Spray

Students can stay safe with this pepper spray key chain. ($11)

Not Paper Towels

I have loved these in my own house and they would make an awesome item for a dorm since no one likes washing the dishrag. They are disposable dish cloths, that are heavy duty enough for about a week of use, but then you can toss them when you are done…no smelly dish rags hanging around. They are my favorite. You can get 10 for less than $10 when you use my code BrookeR15. ($15)

Command Clear Hooks

Just what you need to hang stuff in your room. ($12)

Letters to Open When

If your child is going far away or loves sentimental things, tuck these into her suitcase right before you leave. She will love them.   ($12)

Book Safe with Combination Lock

It will be so nice to have a discreet place to keep things safe when you are living with a bunch of new people. ($13)

Door Stoppers

Just what you need to prop open those dorm doors for moving ease and maximum socializing. ($13)



This small kitchen tool is awesome for waffles, eggs, paninis and just about anything else you need to cook quickly. Also small and perfect for a shared kitchen!  ($13)


Light Blocking Eye Mask 

Perfect for those crazy college schedules, especially if you want to grab a mid-day snooze or your roommate likes to burn the midnight oil. ($16)

Space Saving Shirt Hangers

Closet organizers can save more wardrobe space which most students need in a tight closet! ($14)

Lysol Disinfectant Wipes

Keep your living space germ free with these wipes. ($14 for a pkg of 4)


The Great Dalmuti Card Game

This is such a fun group game. A light card game where players gain status by going out first. Seat positions change and the cards are re-dealt. It’s always nice to have something fun to play with roommates or new friends. ($18)

Waterproof Quilted Mattress Pad

Waterproof quilted mattress pad makes using the old mattress a little less gross. ($16)

Grandpa Beck's Cover Your Assets Card Game | Fun Family-Friendly Set-Collecting Game | Enjoyed by Kids, Teens, and Adults | From the Creators of Skull King | Ideal for 2-8 Players Ages 7+

Cover Your Assets

Another good group game that might turn into a college favorite.  ($17)

My Garden Kitchen Tea Towel | Geometry – GEOMETRY


Having a couple great, absorbent towels for your new place is the best, especially when they are beautiful.   ($18 but use the code BrookeR15 for 15% off!)


Wood Photo Frame

Such a darling way to decorate and make your space your own! Perfect for displaying favorite moments through the year and works great for those moving out or staying home! ($13)


6 ft USB C to Lightning Cable

What will your child do without your charger to steal :). Grab an extra cord just for them! ($16)

Backpack Laundry Bag

This makes packing Landry around so easy! A must for every college student. ($17)

Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter

The Apple 20W USB C Power Adapter really is the best for a super quick charge and something they won’t want to splurge on but will love having. A great gift!  ($15)


Do you have a movie lover? This popcorn popper is a must and makes the cheapest snack!  ($17)

Under Bed Shoe Storage

This under bed shoe organizer set can store up to total 24 pairs of shoes with ease. Foldable to save space when not in use.  Genius! ($19)

4 Pack Under Bed Storage Bags

The fully covered transparent window design helps you see the stored items directly. The foldable design allows the plastic under bed storage bags to be easily stored when not in use. Great to put away clothes not in season. ($17)

Space Saving Pants Hangers

Save space and keep your closet organized by hanging 5 pants where usually only one can go. Great idea for small closets. ($16)

A Great looking, cooling lunch box

If your kiddo will be on campus or packing a lunch for work, this is a great item to have…add a gift card to a favorite restaurant when they don’t have time to pack something in the morning! ($20)

First Aid Kit

Not all that exciting, but certainly necessary when you venture out on your own! They will be so glad they have it when they hit their first emergency! ($16)

Womens Fleece Bathrobe

This super soft robe is perfect for the girl who is heading off to live on her own. Great for after a shower or for wrapping up on cold nights. ($20)


Easy to clip on to get some extra air movement or drown out the noise in the hall. ($17)


Heavy Duty Stackable Furniture Risers

Just what every college student needs to create extra storage space under their bed. These durable risers are perfect for that! ($16)

Smiley Face Slippers for Women and Men

Warm, easy to wear slippers are a must for young adult hood and these happy faces are a fun reminder to keep your chin up when nothing is going right. ($20)

Dinnerware Sets

Super sturdy and durable dinnerware and cutlery that is great for dining in. ($20)

Mini Refrigerator Caddy

Just what you need to keep non-refrigerated items handy or when your space is at a premium. ($20)

Under $40

Pepper Spray and Stun Gun

Good to have for extra safety when walking alone. ($22)


Every young adult needs this book as they learn social skills that will add to their future success. It is also super useful to put in your apartment to help your roommates with the modern manners they may have missed. It stands up so each manner can be displayed and easily read. ($21)

Having a few useful tools on hand is always a good thing as you start making your way in the world!  ($24)

Tool Set

Everyone needs a basic tool set when they move out. All the necessary items to get you started! We have used our simple one for 20 years! ($21)


Collegiate Gear

Having a sweatshirt, t-shirt, or hat from their new school is always a great way to show school spirit! ($20 +)

Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Electric Hand Mixer with Whisk

Another useful kitchen item that they will be glad they have! Include a few cake or brownie mixes or a recipe for a go to dessert! ($22)

Men’s Foam Slipper

Easy on/off clog style slipper that is perfect for walking around a new apartment or dorm! ($24)

BAGSMART Toiletry Bag Travel Bag with Hanging Hook, Water-resistant Makeup Cosmetic Bag Travel Organizer for Accessories, Shampoo, Full Sized Container, Toiletries, Large -

Travel Toiletry Bag 

This is such a lifesaver for anyone who travels often or has to take their supplies in and out of a shared bathroom space! The perfect toiletry bag that is easy to pack, open, and use! Plus, it comes in lots of cute colors! ($23)


Travel Umbrella

An umbrella doesn’t seem super exciting but it is SO USEFUL! Every young adult needs one of their own. ($27)


Women’s Terry Cloth Spa Towel with Elastic Top

The girl headed to college will love this for making going back and forth from a shared bathroom so much easier! The elastic band keeps you covered and comfortable. The large pocket is an extra bonus!  ($27)

Cloud slide sandals

These are everyone’s favorite and work great all year round! ($25)

Quip Metal Electric Toothbrush

The cool design makes a usually boring item pretty fun! ($30) You can sign up for a new brush head subscription for $5 every  3 months and help these new adults stay on top of their oral hygiene without having to think much about it!

Men’s  Cotton Adjustable Closure Spa Shower and Bath Wrap

Such a great option for a guy headed off to share a bathroom! The towel is awesome and the pocket is perfect for holding what you need before and after a shower! ($23)

10000mAh Q Portable Charger

This is such a great thing to have on hand! No extra cords needed when you are on the go. ($25)

Brita Standard Everyday Water Filter Pitcher

This Everyday water pitcher is easy to fill, fits in most fridges and can hold 10 cups of water, enough to fill 3 24-ounce reusable water bottles and keep your college kid hydrated. ($28)



Taking safety seriously is always a good idea. This personal alarm can give protection and peace as they head out into the world on their own.   ($24)



Who can’t use a fresh set of towels before they embark on their own journey?  This set has everything you need! ($40)

Himalayan Salt Lamp 6-8”

Pink Himalayan salt is known for its therapeutic and relaxing properties. The orange glow to create the perfect environment to relax, unwind and de-stress. ($30)

Eureka Blaze Stick Vacuum Cleaner

At only 4 pounds, you can take the Eureka blaze anywhere. Perfect for a neat freak and easily hides in the closet. ($34)

Hydroflask Waterbottle

If you want to make sure your kiddo is drinking water, this is a perfect option. ($28)


This is such a cool option for someone who loves essential oils and needs a clock for their room.  ($33)


If mom and dad are far away, this car kit is essential. Jumper cables, first aid, raid jacket, tools, tire gauge, flashlight and more. A great gift for any driver! ($29) Order yours HERE.


Need something fun to add to a dorm space? This ring toss game can add hours of entertainment. Order HERE ($25)

Laptop Desk Tray

How nice to have a portable desk and table to study and eat. ($20)


Pretty perfect for any young adult who has plenty of tech and a hard time finding a charging cord! ($39)

Dorm Room Bed Skirt

A nice way to hide under bed storage. ($39)

Under $40-$100

Reading Pillow

Curl up in bed, on the couch or floor with a good book or to do schoolwork with comfort and support. ($43)

100pk Combo Pack of Slim Hangers

All the hangers you could want. Extra slim for extra storage space. ($45)

LED Laser Star Projector

A cool way to make your living space  “out of this world.” ($40)

Pillow Top Mattress Cover

You will want this! Great topper for the used mattress with a little extra comfort. ($43)


Smoothies are a great staple in a college kid’s life! this blender is easy to store and use! ($50)

Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Hand Held Fabric Steamer

If your kiddo would rather not bring an iron to college, this is the perfect alternative. This steamer combines the performance of an iron with the power of steam to instantly smooth out wrinkles in clothing and upholstery while killing 99.9 percent of germs, dust mites and bed bugs. ($56)

Microfiber Quilt Set

 A nice quilt set that comes in any color you want. ($67)

JanSport Cool Student Backpack

Every kid needs a great, sturdy backpack and this one can go the distance. Simple & convenient design, 2 spacious compartments, 15″ laptop sleeve, front utility pocket with an organizer and a side water bottle pocket. ($40)

Women’s Packable Ultra Light Weight Short Down Jacket

A stylish, compressible, and packable lightweight down jacket for women that can be stuffed into a small carrying pouch. Perfect for all weather.  ($66)


Amazon prime is truly the gift that keeps on giving! It grants access to great deals on Amazon and gives all kinds of shows and movies on demand every month! This is the perfect gift for the person pinching pennies. ($70 per year)

Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Packable Down Puffer Jacket

A great jacket for a guy ready to get out on his own. It packs up into a small bag so it is perfect for tiny spaces and any weather. ($69)

Vanity Mirror with Lights

A perfect vanity mirror with lights. Fits on small/ medium size dressing table. ($56)

Countertop Microwave

This compact microwave is just what you need to reheat those leftovers and cook a few meals. ($80)

SINGER | M1000.662 Sewing Machine

Simple, portable and easy to use sewing machine for those that want to continue a hobby even once they leave home.  ($85)


This is the kitchen tool dreams are made of and perfect for the person who is just learning to cook! Great for reheating or trying to make each meal delicious and healthy. Exactly what every young adult needs.  ($90)

4 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Add some extra cushion the a standard mattress with this memory foam mattress topper. ($89)

The North Face Borealis School Laptop Backpack

This backpack works for both school and adventuring. It has easy-to-access pockets, an overhauled suspension system and front elastic bungee system. A spacious main compartment has a dedicated and highly protective laptop compartment. ($99) There is one designed specifically for women. You can find the North Face Borealis Backpack for Women HERE.

Padded Office Desk Chair

If you are going to spend hours studying or working at a computer, having a comfortable chair makes a huge different. This one is height-adjustable padded seat with adjustable seat angle, tilt control and padded armrests; perfect for home office, computer desk, guest work station or conference room. ($84)



Air Purifier

An air purifier is just what is needed for fresh air in a smaller room. ($100)


Nice sheets make bedtime blissful! These are awesome and will keep you sleeping like a baby! ($105)


Every college student needs a great blanket and these are our favorite! You can also have them embroidered with a special message. ($149)

2TB Portable External Hard Drive

  • Quickly add more storage capacity to your PC and other compatible devices. ($110)

Kindle Paperwhite Kids

Why a paperwhite kids? Thanks to the input by @everydayreading we know that it is exactly the same as the adult paperwhite. It comes with a case and 2 years without ads and is awesome for anyone who loves to read. ($120)

Bose SoundLink Color II: Portable Bluetooth, Wireless Speaker

This is such a great speaker. It is so portable but still has an amazing sound and your young adult will be so happy to take it everywhere! ($120)

10 inch WiFi Digital Picture Frame

A great way to stay connected to friends and family. Photos can be emailed from anywhere. ($140)

2.4 Cubic Feet, Stainless Steel Refrigerator

This is a must for every student who has a community kitchen. It is so nice to be able to have your own drinks and snacks handy. ($130)



This is a bit of a splurge, but it is so cool to have two appliances in one…it is both a pressure cooker and a slow cooker! Perfect for people who are just testing out their kitchen skills. ($162)


Getting a graduate a great, high quality carry on is one of my favorite ideas. This brand has been amazing for us and has done well on trip after trip for the last 10 years. If you want to make it a big gift, add an airline or hotel gift card to it or fancy luggage tags! ($171)

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack

This is the perfect pack for traveling.  It has so many pockets that help you fit everything in. It is carry-on size so it fits in the overhead compartment on planes. ($200)


Apple Watch

Your graduate will be thrilled with this as a gift. It has everything they need in one spot…fitness, health, reminders and phone. ($249)

Apple AirPods Pro

Who doesn’t want a new pair of AirPod Pros? It has the active noise cancellation that blocks outside noise, so you can immerse yourself in music or studying. It also  has transparency mode for hearing and interacting with the world around you. ($249)



Mac Book Air

The best computer for a college student by far. Easy to use, virus free, and great for creatives. Starting at $899.


If the person you are celebrating is heading out on a mission, I have a special list for you HERE.


*I am an affiliate for many of the products linked on this post, but only recommend things that I know will make great gifts. Thank you for supporting my research and writing with your purchases.