School & Office Supplies

Whether you are planning to live at school or commute, you will need basic office and school supplies. In this section, I have included some basic tips for determining what items you will need for school, purchasing options that has some ideas on where to find the best deals, and a checklist that includes some every day items, basic school supplies, and office equipment.

Before you spend any money, you might want to check with the school first for their recommendations and compare their list to ours to determine what you will need for each semester.


Take an inventory of what you already have at home and put those items in a box or lay them out on the table so that you can easily see what supplies you already own.Print out our checklist (or make one of your own) with the supplies you need to purchase.

Decide what items you are going to purchase now and which will be purchased upon arrival at school. Set a timeline for what needs to be purchase and by what date so that you won’t end up running around at the last minute trying to buy everything.

If you are going away to college, it might be easier to purchase items like paper, pens, etc., once you are at school. It will help you to avoid the number of boxes you have to move or transport to school.

**If you decide to purchase the items at school, make sure there is a mass-market store like Wal-mart or Target nearby so that you won’t have to pay the high prices they charge at the student store at the college.

Purchasing a Calculator: You may want to wait until you get to class before you purchase a calculator — certain professors may require a specific model, and it would be unfortunate to spend money on a calculator you won’t be able to use. If you want to purchase something before you start school, you can check with the school, or once you get your schedule, check your professor’s webpage to see if the type of calculator is listed.


The best tip I have for finding deals is to visit the website of the store(s) where you may want to shop and sign up for their email list. Many stores will notify when they are having a sale, and some may even include a coupon that you can use online or in the store. has a wide range of school supplies (and just about everything else) – and your purchase may qualify for Free Super Saver Shipping. Buying online and shipping to school means that you won’t have to pack the items or move them to school. has an extensive selection of backpacks and messenger bags. eBags carries the top brands, like JanSport, Columbia, and The North Face, just to name a few. They also sell handbags, luggage, and travel essentials. Be sure to do a google search for coupons before placing your order. carries everything from electronics to apparel — all at discount prices; You can find great deals on backpacks, iPods, and Laptops.

Mass-Market Stores like Wal-mart and Target should have all the basic school supplies you will need to purchase. You can also try OfficeMax or Staples; both offer online purchasing.


Everyday Items

  • Backpack or Messenger Bag
  • Cell Phone
  • Umbrella
  • iPod or MP3 Player
  • Digital Recorder
  • Calculator

Basic School Supplies

  • Assignment Book/Day Planner
  • Stapler
  • Pens and Pencils
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Highlighters
  • Markers
  • Tablets and/or Notebooks
  • Report Covers & Folders
  • Binders
  • Sheet Protectors
  • Document Covers
  • Labels
  • Note Cards
  • Post-it Notes
  • Paper Clips
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Office Equipment & Supplies

  • Desk and Chair (if needed)
  • Laptop or Desktop computer
  • Memory Stick
  • Printer
  • Ink/Toner
  • Printer Paper
  • Desk Lamp
  • Desk Organizer
  • Pencil/Pen Holder
  • Hanging Folders
  • File Folders
  • File Cabinet/Storage
  • Stamps/Envelopes
  • Padlock