College Dorm Room Checklist

Awesome Dorm Room Essentials Packing List To Be Organized For College

This is the ultimate college dorm room checklist to get you ready to go back to school.  Whether you’re a freshman leaving home for the first time or if you’re a returning student, this college shopping list has you covered.  I’ve covered all areas of dorm life, to make sure you’re set up for success.

Grab your FREE downloadable College Dorm Room Shopping List here!

Print it out and highlight all the items you will need to make your shopping trip go seamlessly.  There’s also a big section for notes for you to add your own items.

We all know that going off to school, especially if you’re a freshman can seem overwhelming.  It’s your first taste of freedom and responsibility.  You’ll want to make sure that you have all the basics of life covered and I am here to help.  Besides giving you a ton of ideas of what you’ll need and what to bring I also have a few tips to give you to help make your transition to college a smooth one:

  • Consult your dorm guidelines, not everything on this list may be allowed, and some of it may be provided for you by the school.
  • Talk with your future roommates if possible to coordinate who brings what. You may not need to buy something that you would jointly share if they already purchased one.
  • Not everything has to be brought from home before you leave. You can always make a supply run after you arrive on move-in day when you have a better understanding of what’s needed. This also helps you pack lighter when you leave home.
  • Enjoy yourself, college is an amazing time, have fun!

So, here it is. The ultimate college dorm room checklist. Comment below if you have any questions!

Ultimate College Dorm Room Checklist


You’re going to miss the comforts of home, and believe me, dorm room mattresses won’t provide that comfort. Below are a list of items to help you stay relaxed after those long nights of studying.

1. Comforter

2. Sheets and pillowcases

3. Light throw blanket

4. Pillows

5. Mattress Pad

6. Decorative pillows

Bathroom supplies

No matter what your dorm situation is, the items in this section are essential.  Dorm bathrooms come in many variates but personal hygiene does not!

1. Shower caddy

2. Shampoo and conditioner

3. Soap

4. Toothpaste and tooth brush

5. Mouth wash

6. Towels

7. Washcloths

8 Hair dryer

9. Curling iron

10. Razors and shaving cream

11. Makeup and makeup bag

12. Shower cap

13. Bath robe

14. Sandals

15. Deoderant

16. Tweezers

17. Toilet paper

18. Tissue

19. Comb/brush

20. Gel/hairspray

21. Nail clippers

22. Q-tips

23. Cotton balls

24. Lotion

25. Sunscreen

26. Chapstick

27. Female products



One thing many college dorm rooms lack is space, so you’ll want to make the most of what you have.  These items will help you organize your room in the most efficient way possible.

1. Hangers

2. Laundry basket/bag

3. Storage tubs (Get both big and small tubs, these can go under the bed or in the closet. Or both)

4. Hanging shoe organizer

5. Magazine holders


You’ll want to keep your grades up because that’s the whole point of going to school isn’t it? Making sure you have a great workspace is a vital first step to success with your homework.  The items in this section will help you stay proud of that GPA as you cruise through your classes.

1. Desk lamp

2. Pen/pencils/Sharpie

3. Pen/pencil holder

4. Bulletin board and thumbtacks

5. Calendar

6. Sticky notes

7. Paper clips

8. Stapler and staples

9. Rubber bands

10. Scissors

11. Index cards

12. Highlighters

13. Ruler

14. Calculator

15. Backpack/messenger bag

16.  Notebooks

17. Binders/dividers

18. Folders

19. Printer paper

20. Pencil sharpner

21. Erasers

22. Planner or bullet journal

23. Desk chair (make sure it has good back support)

24. Page flags

25. White out


Add your own unique style to your living space. It’s your room, you get to decide how you want it to look. Again, you’re going to want to check the dorm rules to make sure you can hang things on the wall.

1. Posters/wall art

2.Wall hanging supplies

3. Succulents

4. Flowers/plants

5. Pictures from home

6. Salt lamp

7. Candles (You can also get battery powered ones if real candles aren’t allowed.)

8. Removable decorative wall decals

9. Mirror


Of course there is no way to get by in the modern world without the proper technology, and college is no different.  The items in this section are vital to your college experience.

1. Computer

2. Printer

3. Ethernet cable/HDMI cable/USB cable

4. Flash Drives

5. Speakers

6. Surge protector

7. Phone charger

8. Headphones

9. Mouse

10. Mousepad

College Dorm Essentials – Kitchen

The kitchen probably has the most variation among all these categories.  I’ve been in dorm rooms with no kitchen at all and some with a full kitchen including a fridge and dishwasher.  So definitely customize this section to fit the specific needs of your dorm.

1. Plates and bowls

2. Silverware

3. Cups/mugs

4. Paper towels and napkins

5. Coffee maker and coffee

6. Coffee filters

7. Tea

8. Bottled water

9. Non perishable food

10. Food storage containers

11. Dish soap

12. Sponges

13.Dish rack

14. Can/bottle opener

15. Sandwich and freezer bags

16. Microwave

17. Toaster oven

18. Mini fridge

Cleaning supplies

Much like the bathroom section, this is another must have.  Nobody likes cleaning up but it has to be done and you need the proper supplies to do it.

1. Disinfectant spray

2. Wash rags

3. Broom and dustpan

4. Vacuum/dustbuster

5. Dust rags

6. Air freshener

7. Swiffer

8. Garbage bags

9. Garbage can

10. Cleaning gloves/masks

11. Toilet bowl cleaner

12. Toilet brush

13. Plunger

14. Glass cleaner

15. Scrub brush for shower

16. Laundry soap

17. Fabric softener


You never know what problems or situations might pop up, and the items in this section should have you prepared to tackle anything unexpected that might pop up.

1. First aid kit

2. Mini tool kit

3. Mini sewing kit

4. Batteries (AA and AAA)

5 Scotch tape

6. Masking tape

7. Extension cord

8. Alarm clock

9. Umbrella

10. Lightbulbs

11. Lint roller

12. Earplugs

13. White noise machine (YouTube also has some great white noise videos)

14. Coasters

15. Gaming system

16. Your favorite books and movies

17. Boardgames and cards

18. Yoga mat/exercise equipment

19. T.V.

20. Ironing board

Download your College Packing Dorm List PDF here!

College Dorm Room Shopping List

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About the Author

Annie Brown is a frugal living expert and the founder of Savvy Honey.

Her expert advice has also been featured in Buzzfeed, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GOBanking Rates, Woman's Day, The Spruce Crafts, and more.

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