The Most Important Furniture Item for College Students

What’s the most important furniture item for college students besides the dorm room bed? It’s not the dorm room desk (since quiet library study carrels tend to be far better for intense and focused studying than a dorm room will ever be.)

The most important furniture item for college students is a two-drawer filing cabinet. 

Here are 7 reasons why a two-drawer filing cabinet (along with a little instruction on how to use it) just might be the most important item your child takes along to college.

the most important furniture item for college students

1. A two-drawer filing cabinet reduces stress for students.

Without a filing system, your son will likely pile important papers on the right side of his desk. This works just fine for two weeks, until the pile becomes a massive avalanche risk and just finding a necessary paper document becomes an energy-draining ordeal.

2. There’s great power in being able to locate any necessary document in under 10 seconds.

Your daughter will greatly appreciate this when she needs to quickly locate a housing request form, or all the handwritten notes needed to study for a tough midterm.

3. Even in the 21st century, not everything’s electronic. Students still manage a massive amount of paper during college.

This is especially true for students who follow my advice and take class notes using pen and paper rather than electronic devices.

4. It’s especially important that students have a way to organize the notes they take during class.

Spiral notebooks are not the best option for this. A manilla file folder that holds both notes and other class-related paperwork is a far better option.

5. Students who know how to file and retrieve papers make better, more confident future employees.

Even CEOs feel more competent and more in control when they manage their own work-related paper flow using a quality filing system. Your son or daughter might as well start now.

6. A filing cabinet makes a fine bedside table.

Put a lamp on it; experience instant homeyness.

7. Caring parents are in an ideal position to get students started with filing.

When you and your son are creating the master list of everything he’ll take to college, one of you could call his college or university and ask, “Are there file drawers provided in your school’s dorm rooms? If so, what is the length, width, and depth of those drawers?”

If there are no file drawers provided, purchase a good quality (yet relatively inexpensive) two-drawer filing cabinet for your child. I like this one because it’s both inexpensive and well-reviewed:

Once you know the measurements of your child’s file drawers, take him or her down to Staples, Office Max, or Office Depot, and purchase the Pendaflex frames, Pendaflex hanging folders, and file folders that will fit in that drawer and keep files from sliding around and spilling. Explain to your child the concept of having a home for every paper, grouping like papers together, and filing alphabetically. Show him or her how to add new papers to existing files by sliding them in behind existing papers, and in this way keeping papers in time order.

Move this filing cabinet to college the easy way.

You don’t have to haul a heavy filing cabinet up four flights of dormitory stairs. Read this article I wrote about dorm room moving made easy.

Help your child succeed.

Take these few simple steps, and you’ll help your daughter decrease stress, reduce time spent managing paper, locate study materials fast, and build important paper management skills she’ll use for a lifetime.

It’s one of the best uses of $67.55 I can think of.

If you’ve found valuable info in this article, please help me by tweeting it out to the people who follow you.

Remember, packing the right items for dorm move-in day is nowhere near as important as strategizing to get your kid through college debt-free.

For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free and into jobs they love afterward, get your copy of the reference book I wrote on this subject:

You can get 10-minute, fast-paced video instruction on how to use this book most efficiently at

You can see more than 90 reviews of it on Amazon at:

(Tell your friends.)

You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCHhere.

You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCHhere.

Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.

And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.

Do you have specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?

It’s my members that get most direct access to me. Doors to my membership open each year for just 5 days in March, and 5 days in September. Space is limited. Join the Waiting List here.

Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 18–23?

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What about you?

What one physical item do you believe can most impact student college and career success? Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26 and their parents and grandparents. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.

Jeannie also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.