It’s never too early to start dorm room shopping. If this is your first year of college, you might not know what to pack. Well thankfully, we’ve gone through and arranged a list of things you may need to pack for your first college dorm room! 

Note: We understand that the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic may be affecting on-campus classes and living accommodations.

  1. Bedding (Twin XL) – You’re going to need some bedding for your new bed. Most dorm room beds are a size Twin XL which makes them longer than your traditional bed. Your university will likely send you a catalogue with bedding to choose from and while you can buy from them, you can easily find cheaper bedding options at other stores like IKEA.  
  2. A fan – It gets hot and humid in dorm rooms, so make sure to bring a fan (or fans) with you!
  3. Disinfectant Wipes – Cleanliness is so important! Seriously, wipe down everything with disinfectant wipes whenever you can. 
  4. Wall or Desk Calendar – A wall or desk calendar, in addition to a planner, really helps you keep yourself accountable and stay organized. You can easily write down all the assignments, exams and projects you have in a month. My favorite part of a calendar is being able to check something off as done. 
  5. Shower shoes/flip flops for the shower – Back when I used to dance, my group stayed in a college dormitory for a few days. Back then, I did not understand why shower shoes were important. All I remember is how icky the floor felt and how quickly I wanted to put my sneakers on as soon as I got out of the shower.  However, after going to college orientation several years later, I understand that shower shoes or just flip flops for the shower are a MUST. Remember, you are likely sharing a shower with everyone on your floor. Please, wear your shower shoes. 
  6. Ethernet Cable – You’re going to be sharing the internet with several thousand other people so that means that wifi speeds might not be super fast. An ethernet cable can help speed up that WiFi speed! 
  1. Phone Charger/Power Bank – A portable phone charger/power bank is essential when you’re out of your dorm all day. My favorite part of portable phone chargers is that I can plug my phone wherever I am and it will charge up fully. My personal favorite is the Mophie charger. Remember to have a usb cable with you though so you can plug your phone in! 
  2. Batteries – Batteries are always a must. You might need them for your calculator or a remote control. Make sure to always have batteries around. 
  3. Adjustable Bed Riser – Many dorm rooms are rather small. An adjustable bed riser system will lift your bed which will allow for more underbed storage (if you need it). 
  4. Under Bed Storage – Thanks to the adjustable bed riser we just mentioned, you may now have some much needed storage space! Stores such as Target sell storage units that will fit perfectly under your bed and this will also allow you to have more space in your dorm room! 
  5. Laundry Hamper – Laundry can pile up quickly when you’re a busy college student so you’re going to need somewhere to keep it until you get a chance to do your laundry. 
  6. Amazon Prime Student – Amazon Prime Student is a blessing! You can buy your textbooks to even your groceries using Amazon Prime. With the student discount, you’re saving 50% on your Amazon Prime subscription. The best part is that you can do a 6-month free trial to decide whether or not you want to keep Amazon Prime! 
  7. Shower Caddy – Since you likely don’t have a bathroom in your room, you’re going to need a shower caddy to transport your bathing necessities to and from the shower. 
  1. Command Strips – You are not allowed to hammer nails into the walls of your dorm room so you’re going to want to invest in some command stripes if you’re looking to hang something up. Command strips are easy to put on and to take off! I’ve been using mine for years and highly recommend them. 
  2. Lamp – It can get dark in your dorm room and a lamp can really brighten up the area. This doesn’t have to be a huge lamp (after all, dorm rooms are pretty small) but a lamp that you can keep on your desk at least. 
  3. Power Strip – There are only so many outlets in a room. A power stripe can help you plug in more electronics. Don’t go overboard with how many electronics you plug in, though. 
  4. Towels – Bring multiple towels; you will need them. 
  5. Wastebasket – A necessity that I think is all too often forgotten. You will need a wastebasket in your dorm room. 
  6. Trash Liners – For your waste basket, you’re going to need some trash liners or even plastic grocery bags. 
  7. Keurig for Coffee – If you love coffee, a keurig for your dorm room is always a great idea! After all, it is widely known that many college students survive midterms and finals thanks to the help of coffee. 
  8. Electric Water Boiler for Tea – I’m not a coffee drinker, but I love tea! With that said, it’s a great idea to keep at least a mini electric boiler in your room so that you can make yourself some tea. 
  9. Travel Size/Handheld Clothing Steamer – This is my favorite thing I have ever bought. I am actually obsessed with a handheld clothing steamer. Don’t let wrinkles keep you from wearing your favorite blouse! It honestly takes me three minutes tops to steam a blouse and it’s magical watching all the wrinkles come out. 
  10. Mattress Topper – You never know how many people have slept on your mattress before you. Honestly, at this point, it might feel more like a collection of springs digging into your body than a mattress. Well, a mattress topper can solve your problem! A mattress topper is exactly what it says it is, a top piece for your mattress. It will make your mattress feel new again and let you get a good night’s sleep. 
  1. Reading Light – You’re likely living with a roommate who you have never met before. You both might have different sleep schedules. Maybe your roommate prefers morning classes while you don’t head off to class until after lunch. If you find yourself doing homework after your roommate has fallen asleep, don’t turn on the light! Invest in a reading light which will allow you to get your work done but also allow your roommate to sleep. 
  2. Mini Fridge – I think a mini fridge is a must for a dorm room. Although your dorm building may have a fridge in the kitchen area, remember that’s available to all students. Also, it’s more convenient to just store the food in your room rather than running around your building just to get one thing out of the refrigerador. 
  3. Microwave – Although most dorm buildings have a common area where there is a microwave available, you won’t want to compete with all the other students to use it. Having one in your dorm will make microwaving food a lot easier! 
  4. Mini Toolkit – This is always helpful! It’s great for when you’re building furniture (like your IKEA shelving units or bookcase) or for making new friends when someone needs to borrow your toolkit.
  5. Travel Bag – This is great for the weekends when you decide to go home. It’s a lot easier than carrying all your belongings in a trash bag (yes, I have ripped a trash bag full of clothes when taking the train home once). 
  6. Insurance Cards and Medicine – Make sure to have all your insurance cards and medications with you at college. This includes your social security to your medical insurance. It’s always best to be safe than sorry. 
  7. Hangers – Many dorm room closets will only provide you with about 10 hangers (if even that many) so make sure to bring some hangers when you move in. 
  1. Microwavable Bowls, Plates, etc. – You’re probably going to be microwaving lots of food, especially if you have a microwave in your dorm room. Make sure to have bowls and plates that you can microwave your food in. 
  2. Small Handheld Vacuum – Just like the handheld steamer, a small handheld vacuum is magical for getting rid of food crumbs you may have on your bed or around your dorm room. 
  3. Swiffer – If you’re vacuuming, you might as well get to swiffering! If your dorm room has hardwood floors, they can quickly become nasty and sticky. You can easily hide a swiffer in your closet and pull it out whenever you need to clean those hardwood floors. 

Don’t stress out too much when packing. If you forget anything, you can ask a parent to help you buy something or even buy it off Amazon Prime (and get same day or next day delivery). Once you’re settled into your dorm room, you will know what else you may need to buy or what you didn’t really need to buy! 

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