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Dorm Room Check List That Every College Student Needs

Dorm Room Check List That Every College Student Needs

Dorm Room preparation season is upon us! Going off to college can be scary! What makes it less scary? Having all the supplies you need for your dorm room. You don’t need the added stress of suddenly realizing you don’t have whatever you need in that exact moment. This dorm room checklist will make sure you are ready to start the year off right.

Please keep in mind that every college is different. And each dorm building is going to be different! The college I went to had buildings where there was a shared bathroom for the whole floor and others where there were private bathrooms and full kitchen space. The nicer ones had a personal bedroom even. The space and building you are going to be staying in, is going to affect what you need and how you decorate. Obviously, if you don’t have a kitchen space you won’t need pots and pans or if you share a bathroom you might need special shower sandals.

Here is the ultimate dorm room checklist:


Dorm room beds are usually pretty uncomfortable. My first dorm bed felt like a cot, not a mattress. Your bed will be your sanctuary, so treat it well.

  • Bedsheets
  • Comforter/blanket
  • Pillows
  • Mattress cover
  • Mattress topper- this one I really wanted to mark essential. Here’s the thing though, in college you really don’t want to spend more money than you need to. These will make your bed extra comfy, but make sure you are comfortable spending the money!
  • Bedside lamp

Dorm Room Check List That Every College Student Needs

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Tech Gadgets

Most classes are going to have online resources or ebooks to use. Some textbooks come with a code that you need to access online to do different activities. So needless to say tech is really important to bring with you, even if your school has computers to use.

  • Laptop
  • Headphones-I like to believe that these were critical to my success at college. I was able to drown out roommates or listen to intense study music.
  • Wireless mouse
  • Printer
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Chargers for everything
  • Portable charger or battery pack
  • HDMI cord

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School Supplies

Even if everything is online (notes included) you’re still most likely going to need some kind of school supplies or desk supplies. I personally still took notes on paper. If I had my laptop out when I didn’t need it, I was probably online shopping or scrolling through Facebook.

  • Notebooks
  • Planner
  • Paperclips
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Bulletin board
  • Whiteboard- you can find a cheap whiteboard and bulletin board combination on Amazon!
  • Desk Organizer
  • Folders/Binder
  • Extra paper

Dorm Room Check List That Every College Student Needs

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Yes, you have to clean your dorm room. At least every now and then. Before I went to college I did not like to clean, but having my own space made me appreciate it. The difference between cleaning a dorm room and a house is the chemical use. With a smaller space and regulations, most places won’t allow things like bleach or multisurface sprays.

  • Vacuum- try to find a simple handheld one so it doesn’t take up too much room.
  • Broom
  • Sweeper mop
  • Clorox wipes
  • Feather dusters
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Magic Erasers-these are so useful! The get most stains out and can be used on pretty much any surface.
  • Carpet Spot Remover
  • Lint Roller
  • Air freshener

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Kitchen Gear

Even if you plan on surviving on ramen, you’re going to need at least a bowl. I really enjoying cooking, so one of the first things I bought when I was planning to move out was cooking supplies. Obviously, this is going to depend on what equipment is available to you. Some dorms at my college had a full kitchen and others only had a sink and a few cabinets.

  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Cups and mugs
  • Baking sheets
  • Pots and pans
  • Utensils
  • Plastic containers
  • Coffee pot
  • Mini fridge- talk with your roomie about this one. They might already have one or you might need to be responsible for your own.
  • On the go drinking containers- think coffee cups, water bottles, etc.
  • Cutting board and a small knife
  • Electric kettle

Dorm Room Check List That Every College Student Needs

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Surprisingly, I had more bathroom things than I thought I would have. I thought I was just going to need a few essentials, but I ended up having to constantly go out and get new stuff.

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Face wash
  • Washcloth/ loofah/ etc.
  • Shower caddy
  • Toilet brush
  • Towels
  • Shower sandals
  • Toothbrush
  • Razor
  • Makeup storage- I liked to use a makeup bag for my go-to items and then a storage bin for my extras!

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See Also

Decorations (The Fun Stuff!)

This is everyone’s favorite part of moving into their dorm room. I loved decorating my space. One thing to keep in mind here is if your roommate is going to have their own style. Make sure you talk with them to figure out how much you can decorate.

  • Fairly lights
  • Peel and stick wallpaper
  • Pictures of friends and family- you might get a little homesick.
  • Cute frames
  • Cute blankets
  • Fun throw pillows
  • Nice rug
  • Wall art
  • Stylish storage containers
  • Fake plants

Dorm Room Check List That Every College Student Needs

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A quick tip: pick a laundry day. Do your laundry on one day, not when everyone else is doing theirs. I did Thursday evenings because 1) I didn’t have class 2) who else is doing that? Also, being a routine really helps!

  • Detergent
  • Dryer sheets
  • Hangers
  • Laundry basket- one with wheels is a good choice or a mesh pop up.
  • Wooden drying rack
  • Stain remover pens
  • Mesh bags

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Here are some little things you should think about getting for your dorm room

  • Trash bags
  • Backpack
  • Extra fans
  • Mini toolkit
  • An umbrella
  • Trash can liners
  • Command hooks- you can also use washi tape or wall putty to put things up.
  • Water filter
  • Batteries
  • Bed risers
  • Mini first aid kit
  • Medicine
  • Earplugs

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Are you dorm room ready? Share with your friends so they don’t forget their toothbrush.

Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash

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