ULTIMATE COLLEGE DORM CHECKLIST + WHAT YOU DO & DON’T NEED
I am a person that is much happier and calmer when I am over prepared for something. My freshman year of college was no exception! My roommates from last year will probably laugh when they read this because they can 100% back me up that I had WAY TOO MUCH STUFF! Honestly though, I don’t regret it. Because I over-packed I was able to feel confident going into my year and I am now able to help you all decide what to bring and what not to bring to college.
Some of this info depends on what size dorm you have, I lived in a suite last year so you may not need all this stuff if you are only living with one person. Make sure to read to the bottom because my readers sent me in their #1 dorm must haves that you need to know about! P.S. – can we start a petition to allow dogs in dorms? Because my pup wants to go back to school with me 🐶
I typed out all of this info so you can copy and paste, but I also have a pin-able/printable list at the bottom if you want to use that! So let’s get into it…
→ College Packing List ←
What to split up among roommates:
□ Full length mirror
□ Rug for room
□ Rug for bathroom
□ Curtain for bedroom
□ Mini fridge
□ 2 Tall trashcans (one for recycling – trust me both our trashcans filled so fast)
□ Curtain rod/curtain for shower
□ Curtain for living room
□ Clorox wipes
□ Paper towels
□ Trash bags
□ Dish soap
□ Air freshener
□ Toilet paper (dorm toilet paper sucks)
□ Comforter / duvet insert and cover
□ Sheets (2 sets)
□ Waterproof and bug resistant bed cover
□ Mattress pad (this will make your bed so much comfier)
□ Plastic utensils
□ Paper plates
□ Water bottles
□ Chip clips
□ Zip lock baggies
□ Shower caddy
□ Cotton balls
□ Nail polish remover
□ Nail polish
□ Contact solution & case
□ Make up
□ Organization drawers
□ Hair products
□ Razor heads
□ Tooth paste
□ Tooth brush
□ Mouth wash
□ Hair ties
□ Bobby pins
School Supplies & Desk Accessories:
□ Three hold punch
(Check out everything I purchased in this blog post)
□ Laundry basket
□ Dryer sheets
□ Lockable jewelry box
□ Lint roller
□ Sports bras
□ A few t-shirts
□ Nike shorts
□ Cute going out outfits
□ Tennis shoes
□ Command hooks
□ Command strips (the velcro kind)
□ Canvases for walls
□ Phone charger (extra long)
□ Door stop
□ Extension cord with multiple outlets
More things you DO need and what you DON’T that I think are worth mentioning:
Medicine ball. This may seem odd, but a lot of freshman don’t have time (or don’t want to use their free time) to work out. Having a medicine ball in my room gave me the chance to workout every once in awhile without having to go all the way to our campus gym. I highly recommend Kayla Itsines because it’s easy to do in a dorm!
Wristlet. Last year I had a Lilly Pulitzer wristlet and this year I decided to buy another because I loved it so much! It’s unbelievably convenient to have all your money, cards, IDs, and keys with you at all times. Especially if you’re not use to having a house key or ID you need all the time, this helped me remember to bring it with me when I left my dorm!
Portable phone chargers. I can’t tell you how many times I got home from a day of classes and forgot to plug in my phone. By the time I was ready to go out for the night I was so mad at myself that my phone was on 10%! It’s important to have a charged phone especially if you’ll be out at a bar, fraternity, or somewhere you aren’t familiar with. I purchased two of these from Target and I always kept them plugged in so I could grab one on the go!
Extra phone chargers. I don’t know about you, but my phone chargers tend to break all the time (I see what you’re doing Apple 😐). Because of that I purchased two phone chargers for back to school. One to keep plugged into my wall, and another in a drawer for back up. My roommate was the first one to need it when hers broke so she used mine until she could buy a new one. Then my boyfriend’s phone charger got stolen so I gave my spare to him until mine finally gave out!
Medicine. I was my roommates pharmacy (okay that sounds kind of bad, not in a bad way y’all). I was constantly letting my roommates and hallmates borrow advil, tums, and, everyone’s favorite, my Emetrol which was is for nassau. Funny thing is, I hate taking medicine so I think everyone else used it more than I did!
A cooking knife. After awhile dining hall food gets old so you end up making some of your own food in your dorm. I don’t know why but my cooking knife got used quite a bit throughout the year! Side note, you can actually open wine bottles with a cooking knife – you’re welcome 😆.
A toaster. They’re not allowed but just hide it (trust me).
Step stool. I used these as step stools to climb into my raised bed and they were life savers! I’m not super short, but I definitely would not have made it into bed every night if it weren’t for these. Plus they make for great storage!
All your clothes. I made the mistake of bringing so many clothes that I never wore my freshman year. The only time you really dress up for college is when you go out or the rare occasions when you have a presentation in a class. On top of that you can receive a ton of free t-shirts from your college at different events and even more if you join a sorority!
Too many school supplies. You never really know what you need until you go to syllabus week of your classes (by the way, actually attend class that week). I suggest buying most of your school supplies in your college town after you get there. With that being said, school supplies in college towns usually get picked over pretty fast so if you want to bring a binder or two to be safe you could.
Too much food. Bring a few favorites and buy the rest as needed or else you’ll be like me and end up having way too much!
Extras of things. I wanted to be really prepared and brought extra toiletries, face washes, shampoo, etc. Chances are you’ll have a target in your town and plenty of time to go get things you need during the year.
Ironing board. If you have a rug, don’t bother bringing an ironing board. It sounds weird, but I only used my ironing board twice my freshman year (once to craft my halloween costume, and another time to iron clothes before formal haha) – so just use carpet instead of a board!
#1 Dorm Must Have Contest
My college aged readers sent in their #1 dorm must haves, so here is more advice from people who have experienced dorms first hand…
“Tbh my number one college must have is my dog except colleges don’t allow pets because they’re “loud” and “messy”. Yeah, I’m pretty bitter about it.
Since I can’t pick my dog, I’m going with a shower speaker. Listening to happy up beat music during my morning shower is the number one thing that gets me wide awake and I am NOT, I repeat not, a morning person. Listening to music also helps me keep track of how long I’ve been in the shower so I don’t miss my first class. I got the Sound Bot shower speaker from Amazon for $12 bucks. It works great and for that cheap who could resist?”
– Eloise, eloiseedition.blogspot.com (@eloiseedition)
“This may seem weird, but the first thing I bought for my dorm was a microwave pasta cooker (like this one!- http://www.
– Rebekah Lander (Instagram: @rebekahlander)
“My #1 Dorm Must Have would have to be the chalk board I made! I took a frame from Hobby Lobby, used the card board inside and covered with with chalkboard tape, painted it, and added flowers! I use this to keep on top of assignments and due dates. It’s very crucial.”
– Amanda Johnson (Instagram/Twitter @thecommonmandy, Tumblr thecommonmandy)
“Well I just finished my freshman year of college and I thought of some things like random stuff new freshman need. One thing it seems like everyone forgets is nail clippers- sounds weird but people forget them. Possibly ear plugs if you go to a big school and frequent partying happens in the dorms . . Or your roommate snores. You need sleep to sustain life so I highly suggest making sure you get a decent snooze every night! Also weird- a shoe bag! It’s great because you can just throw your shoes in the bag and put it under your bed and no one has to see your mess! Also important your phone- an extra phone charger to always have in your bag so you don’t have to risk not having one.”
– Grace Phillippe (@gracephillippe)
“I don’t think it matters what season it is or how thick my sweatshirt is, I always seem to be frozen. ‘Cozy’ is the one word I want my dorm room to be next fall (other than ‘classy’ and ‘Organized’…though that last one is a stretch) and thankfully I know that can be accomplished with the help of my mom’s quilts. Bless her heart, I think she’s quilted over one hundred…featuring fabrics of everything from Audrey Hepburn to star fish to my old cross country shirts. All made with love, all different, and most importantly, all of the, are perfect for capes and covers. The trick is finding the right sheets to match! I don’t think I could I could survive on campus without one. Thanks for hosting the giveaway, I look forward to seeing who you choose/what item they pick!”
– Macy Calder (Instagram @spacey_macy_ Tumblr: @east–coast–prep)
“I would say definitely a tool kit! You never know when you might need to get handy with something!”
– @katieellexo on instagram
“A first aid kit definitely came in handy!”
– @aimeebenish on Instagram
“My must have dorm accessory is a comfy chair. The reason is because it has so many uses. If you’re having a bad day then you can just sit down a relax in it. If you don’t feel like hanging your clothes, you can just put them there until you pick up the motivation. That’s why a comfy chair would be a perfect thing for my dorm.”
– howaboutyeslove on Tumblr
“My number one dorm must have is my bulletin board. Not only does it let me display pictures of all my loved ones bu post reminders that keep me organized!”
–loseourshadows on Tumblr
Thank you so much to everyone who entered the contest, it was so hard to choose a winner for the Target gift card, but Rebekah Lander’s tip defintely stuck out to me because I love food and had never heard of a microwave pasta cooker! Thanks so much to everyone who sent in their tips.
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Lauren Emily Lindmark
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