Everything You Need To Prepare For Dorm Life

Preparing for college takes some time on its own, especially because this is going to be your new home for the next year. This being the case, you got to know the essentials before you start your first semester. Here’s an essentials checklist on what MUSTS you need for a comfortable dorm life!

Want even more guidance on what to buy for easy campus living? Bed Bath & Beyond has got your back with their College Expert Picks! Thanks to these pro selections, Bed Bath & Beyond gives you the opportunity to get items that solve your most common (& most annoying!) dorm room problems! Go visit their website once you read through our essential checklist!

Bedding Essentials

Let’s be honest: dorm beds are NOT the most comfortable. Because of this, you are gonna have to take some extra steps to make your bed your new home. The following are necessities for every dorm bed:

  • Comforter
  • Sheets
  • Extra Blankets
  • Mattress Foam
  • Pillows

The comforter, sheets, and pillows are obvious must-haves… but why the extra blankets and mattress foam you may wonder? Well, winter is gruesome in college, especially if you are up north. During the winter, your most peaceful state will be in bed smothered in your comforter and tons of extra blankets. Also, it prevents you from getting a cold. Regarding the mattress foam, you are gonna need some extra support beside the rock-hard mattresses colleges provide for you. Though it may seem excessive, would you rather have a craned neck before a huge exam or a comfortable solution to this problem?

Since we really want to help you get the most comfortable bed ever, here’s our pro tip: check out Bed Bath & Beyond’s Build a Better Bed Guide – it’s a lifesaver for students! It helps you figure out everything you need to create an allergen-free, clean and comfortable bed so you can get the best and well-deserved rest you need!

Are you having shared-space problems? Well, then you need to optimize your space. Add this to your checklist:

  • Underbed Stacking Drawers

Underbed stacking drawers are a fantastic way to save space and keep your room organized. Get them here:

Kitchen Supplies

Some dorms have kitchens and some do not, so please accommodate everything listed according to your own dorm style.

  • Plates, Cups and Utensils (Forks, Spoons, and Knives)
  • Microwave
  • Mini Fridge
  • Toaster Oven (Preferable over a Toaster)
  • Rice Cooker
  • Cooler
  • Pots and Pans
  • Dishwashing Soap and Sponge
  • Dish Rag

Of course, you need the basics: plates, cups, and utensils. In college, you are going to have A LOT of Ramen and/or microwavable foods if you do not have a kitchen. However, microwavable foods are not healthy at all, and they get old after a while. Getting a microwave is still useful though to heat up foods, make tea, or even cook food; therefore, if you are a natural microwave-user, it will definitely benefit you. Along with that, toaster ovens are definitely a great choice to make toast, pizza sliders, mozzarella sticks, or generally heat up anything; that is why a toaster is not the best idea because it only has one serving function whereas toaster ovens have multiple.

Now, you see rice cooker, and you are probably wondering why something so bizarre is so included. In fact, a lot of college students have rice cookers. Eating microwavable foods or toasted foods is not enough sometimes, and you usually do not have the time to cook much. Rice cookers do the job for you in a lot less time, and it is a light meal to have before you go to bed. People always look at me confused when I tell them to get a rice cooker, but trust me… it is a LIFESAVER!

Coolers are only useful if you plan to go to the pool or the beach a lot, but what you should really have is a mini-fridge. Here, you can store your sodas, bottled waters, yogurts, cheeses, etc. Mini-fridges are a must for college dorms since it also preserves food to be heated up the next day if you do not finish.

Lastly, you have the choice between only using plastic/paper plates, cups, and utensils, or actually getting ceramic plates. If you get the disposable choice, you have to spend a lot more money to stock up a lot, but it is easier to maintain and keep clean since you simply just throw it away and get a new set after each meal. If you choose a ceramic option, you will have to constantly wash your dishes, but you save a lot more money. Or you can also have a third option: microwavable plates and bowls! Bed Bath and Beyond offers super-affordable sets of plates and bowls that are not only microwave-safe but also dishwasher-safe!

Get your microwavable dinnerware collection here:

And get your microwavable plates here:

With this, go with whatever you work with best and also your budget!

Laundry Necessities

Even though many may dread it, laundry is a struggle that every college student has to go through. You never realize how many clothes you run through in just one day, so you will constantly have to be ready to do some laundry. Here are the basic laundry essentials you need for your college dorm:

  • Tide PODS OR Laundry Detergent (Your choice)
  • Fabric Softener
  • Laundry Basket
  • Ironing Board (Optional)
  • Sewing Kit (Optional)

Laundry entirely depends on what you wear. You will need either Tide PODS or laundry detergent, and the choice is up to you. Tide PODS are more expensive but are easier to use and a lot lighter. However, laundry detergent is cheaper and bought in bigger quantities. Fabric softener, on the other hand, is optional, but it is definitely a plus because the comfort of soft clothes will brighten your stressful day.

Your choice of laundry basket depends on who you are as well. There are tons of different forms of laundry storage: laundry baskets, laundry hampers (collapsible, wheeled, two-section three-section, bench storage), cloth bags, storage carts, or laundry racks. Personally, my advice is to get the wheeled laundry hamper because after a while, laundry gets super heavy and it will make you exhausted carrying the large load. All the other choices are usually hard to drag, too lanky, or too wide. It is unnecessary space to have the other options, so it is best to have a wheeled laundry hamper to just store all of it.

Ironing boards and sewing kits depend on how much you care about your clothes. If you are going to constantly go out for fancy nights, an ironing board would be recommended for a professional look. Sewing kits would prevent damage to your clothes and would also be more presentable because nobody wants to have holes on their clothes when meeting for a job interview.


A huge aspect of dorm life is knowing what is most comfortable for you. If you like to have comfy spots all over your room, pillows and beanbag chairs are a good fit for you. Along with this, knowing your organizational skills also come into plan when preparing for a college dorm. Here are some furniture ideas that will make dorm life exponentially easier for you:

See Also
  • Bookshelves
  • Desk
  • Desk Chairs
  • Big Trash Can
  • Beanbag Chairs
  • Drawers
  • Shoe Rack
  • Hanging Organizer
  • Lamps

Bookshelves, a desk and a desk chair, and a lamp are essential for every college dorm. You have to have a place to organize all your binders, notebooks, and textbooks, so a bookshelf will help you keep your study space clean. Also, a lamp is necessary for you to be able to see what you are doing in the first place.

Beanbag chairs will help make the room a lot more comfortable for you, but of course, they are optional depending on who you are. They are just highly recommended.

Throughout the semester, you will realize how much trash you accumulate, so a big trash can is a way better purchase than a mini trash can because it will get the job done and save time from you constantly emptying your trash can.

You have to organize your closet so it works exactly perfect for you. Drawers will help organize your clothes and have a placement for them. Shoe racks are especially useful so you can keep your shoes in one place. Along with this, a hanging organizer is extremely important so you can organize all your stuff into mini cubbies, such as your towels, sweaters, or extra clothes.

And if you need some decor that also solves your cold floor problem, then add this to the checklist:

  • Fluffy rug

Fancy, cute and problem-solving! Get it here:

Extra Items

The following include some extra items for your dorm. Not all of them are necessary, but they are a good reference to decide on what is best for utility, comfortability, and your own personal touch.

  • Power Strip
  • Rugs
  • TV
  • Clothes Hangers
  • Broom and Dustpan
  • Wipes
  • Toilet Paper
  • Shampoo, Conditioner, and Soap
  • Shower caddy
  • Paper Towels
  • Towels
  • Bedside Desk
  • Picture Frames
  • Mirror
  • Headboard

And don’t forget to decorate your plain walls! If you’re not a fan of posters and pictures, don’t worry. Here’s another great option:

  • Memo Board

It’s functional and absolutely adorable. Get yours here:

What do you do to prep for your college dorm? What did you think of this list? Tell us in the comments!

Featured Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/734227545478885541/
Stephany Matat

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