My oldest is off to college so I thought it would be a good time to share our college dorm checklist with you. I did a ton of research online, spoke with college students, and polled my Instagram audience to create the Ultimate College Dorm Checklist so that we can send our kids off to their university with everything they need to be successful. After moving him in and a week of him being in the dorm, here are all the things that worked. Let me tell you, a college dorm checklist is far more extensive then a back to school one.
College Dorm Room Bedding Essentials
- No Nails Faux Headboard with USB Outlets— this faux headboard mounts with 3M Tape and features 2 USB ports and 3-prong outlets to help keep all of your electronics handy and fully charged.
- Cozy Comforter & Sham– PB Teen has a bunch of great options for dorm rooms!
- Twin XL Mattress Pad– because used mattresses are gross and they typically are not very comfortable either.
This memory-foam mattress pad also has great ratings!
- Twin XL Sheet Set– it was recommended that you buy two in case something spills and to remind them to change their sheets.
- Pillow– Sleep is essential for learning, it’s worth investing in a good quality pillow. This Casper pillow is awesome and washes well.
- Reading Pillow/Backrest– this came from many recommendations from current students!
- Bedside Caddy/Organizer– this is great for storing a laptop, books, phone etc… And, works especially great for loft beds. There is also this one if you prefer a table-top version.
Fun Decor & Organization For Their Room
- Dorm Trunk– for storing all your random items!
- Desk Lamp– or there is this one from PB Teen doubles as a wireless charging pad!
- Desktop Cable Organizer– to help keep your cords from falling behind your desk!
- Cozy Chair– if you have the space these are super comfortable!
- Pants Hangers– another college student recommendation, these organizers help save space in your teeny tiny closet. They also have these closet organizers for shirts.
- Underbed storage– make the most of the space you have with these under the bed storage bins. These zipper closure bins are great too for compact storage.
- Hanging Closet Organizer– drawer storage might be limited, this closet hanging shelf is great for shoes and sweaters.
- Calendar with cork board– keep note of important dates and we love this cork board feature on this one.
Cooking & Kitchen Items for your College Dorm Checklist
- Shelving– this adjustable shelving rack is just the right size for all your kitchen gear.
- Microwave– many students split the microwave and fridge purchases. Plus, some universities have them for rent.
- Mini Refrigerator– many students split the microwave and fridge purchases. Plus, some universities have them for rent.
- Brita Water Pitcher– some campuses also have water dispensers available for rent.
- Blender– it doesn’t get much easier than to make a healthy smoothie to take for a meal on the go.
- Electric Indoor Grill– current students recommended this one.
- Dish Set– this one microwaves well.
- Compact Air Fryer– this one makes some yummy meals and super easy to use.
- Utensils– this set comes with a holder too.
- Oven Mitt– i was told silicone mitts are easier bc they can be rinsed off in the sink when they get dirty.
- Kitchen Towels– these are very affordable for a 3 pack, and work really well.
- Ice Cube Tray & Ice Bin– this one with a lid is for the mini fridge. This bin is great to have too.
- Trash Can– this an affordable option with a lid.
- Trash Bags– flex is best to hold up while taking it out.
- Vacuum– let’s be honest, there will be little time spent on cleaning so this robot vacuum will be a huge help.
- Small Broom & Dust Pan– under $5 and gets the job done.
- Disinfecting Spray– definitely important to have on hand during the cold/flu season.
- Disinfecting Wipes– convenient and useful for quick cleaning.
- All Purpose Cleaner– to freshen up the space.
- Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
- Laundry Hamper– this foldable hamper is perfect for the dorm to keep your laundry separated.
- Laundry Backpack– it’s convenient and heavy duty material for hauling laundry to the washing machines.
- Laundry Detergent– the time has finally come to start doing all of their own laundry.
- Dryer Sheets– stay smelling fresh.
- Stain Remover– this one has stain removing nubs for tough stains, and you can remove the stain and wash later.
- On The Go Stain Remover Pen– super handy to have for on the go.
- Travel Steamer– it’s compact and makes it easy to get the wrinkles out.
- Shower Caddy– this hanging shower caddy makes it easy to transport all your shower essentials back and forth.
- Towel Set– this set has 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, and 4 washcloths for under $30.
- Hanging Toiletry Organizer– this one has all the compartments you need to keep your shower essentials organized.
- Shower Sandals– a must have to keep you protect from all the bacteria that could be living in those showers.
- Headphones– it can be hard to focus with roommates around. Noise cancelling headphones are a must.
- Laptop– MacBook Air or HP Envy are both great choices. For a more budget friendly option, check out the Pixelbook Go, you can score open box deals for under $350.
- Printer– this bluetooth printer is great for printing basic documents and scanning wirelessly.
- Power Strip with extended cord– with few outlets and lots to charge, an outlet extender will be useful.
- Outlet Tower– there are only a few outlets provided and students have so many things to charge so these towers come in handy. This is a power strip version.
- External Hard Drive– make sure to back-up important files and homework.
- Flash Drive
- Portable Speaker– this one is a bit of a splurge but will get so much use, it’s worth getting a good one that will last.
Health & Safety
- First Aid Kit– this handy tin has everything you need to treat minor cuts and scrapes.
- Water Bottle– hydration is key to staying healthy, don’t leave home without a good refillable water bottle.
- Multi + Probiotic– to help stay on top of nutrition.
- Elderberry Syrup– really great for immune system support.
- Emergen-C– for immune boost during cold/flu season.
- Backpack– this Herschel backpack is great quality and has a laptop compartment to keep it protected
- Pencils, pens, erasers
- Index cards– Up & Up at Target has all the good budget friendly paper goods and supplies.
- Sticky notes
Unexpected Things To Bring To College
- Tower Fan– this one is great value for a cooler and heater.
- Ethernet Cable– to connect to the TV
- Small Tool Kit
- Eye Mask
Good Things To Know
- Target and Bed Bath & Beyond offer pick up near campus. This service allows you to shop your items online, or in-store at Bed Bath & Beyond, and pick it up at a store location near campus which really helps if you are flying in or don’t have much room in your car to pack.
- Check with your campus’ housing department. Some allow amazon deliveries once you are assigned a room.
Don’t forget hangers. Also, I remember bringing binders freshman year, but I didn’t use them once. I just kept my spirals color coded for class to make my backpack more comfortable and lighter. Also, binders are too bulky for college desks so that’s something to keep in mind. Hope this helps.