Dorm Room Checklist: A Complete College Dorm Packing List

What should be on your dorm room checklist? This Complete college dorm packing list will provide all the information you need.

Many families know some common items that freshmen should bring to college, but it can be difficult to come up with them all. Sure, personal household items will help with the transition, but as a freshman student, to be able to get through the year you need more than your laptop and bedding.

Check out our college packing list to find everything you need for your dorm room as we have listed them in this article.

Before buying or packing anything, be sure to check with the school about which items are allowed and which are not. Most schools have to follow health and safety regulations very closely, and the regulations vary from place to place. One school may ban microwave ovens, another may have specific rules about the size of the refrigerator allowed.

If you attend an out-of-state college, consider only what you need during the weather season. It may seem necessary to pack your entire wardrobe, but when you’re in an apartment, finding a place for everything can be more difficult.

A tip for students who are studying out of state is to buy something when you arrive at your new home, which saves on shipping costs and gives you more room to pack other things you need.

Also, talk to current students about what to bring. They can tell things that you shouldn’t bother and other things you must have. They might even know the details of your building, which would be a real help.

And remember to fill out and check the housing contract carefully. Leaving information out or sending it back incomplete can have a huge impact on your living situation.

When you first come to campus, you might be trapped in a life situation you don’t like, just because of some mistakes.

The question is what should be on your dorm room checklist? We have compiled a complete college dorm packing list that will make your living experience easier from the beginning.

dorm room checklist

Things you should know before you start your list

First, start with the dorm room checklist we’ve put together for you. This is a completely exhaustive list, so feel free to modify it as needed. Our checklist can also give you ideas for other items to add, so start here and edit it to create the perfect checklist!

Check with your college dorm or your housing policy to see what is allowed and what is not. Examples can be pets, certain household appliances or even temporary interior changes.

Be sure to check what it contains. New apartments are sometimes sold with furniture, kitchen appliances or simple furniture. Dorms can have basic elements such as a desk, chairs, beds/mattresses and lights.

Find out who your roommate or roommates are. Plan to meet with them virtually or in-person to discuss shared interests, room ground rules, and what each of you would like to bring.

Find out in your course which subjects may be necessary for your studies. You may need special software such as Adobe or Microsoft Office, or lecture headphones.

Know your study preferences. Before making a list at your desk, ask yourself what you need to learn and what environment works best for you (think: colour, lighting, type of chair).

Important documents

This class might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re getting ready for school, but there are some important documents you don’t want to forget to bring with you.

We recommend that you use paper or electronic versions of some important documents during the academic year, including:

  • Credit/debit cards
  • Driver’s license and/or passport
  • School ID or access documents
  • Vehicle registration/insurance information if you’re coming with a car
  • Health insurance card
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • A copy of the social security card
  • Emergency contact list (if available, add your emergency contact information to your phone)
  • Information about financial aid
  • Class Schedule
  • Meal plan card

Put things in order

Is your school offering storage options for its dorm rooms? Many college dorm rooms have at least one chest of drawers. If so, buy box liners and give the inside of the box a quick wipe down before putting the liners in place.

You can also include these in your college dorm packing list:

  • Closet organizers
  • Hanger
  • Organizer above the door
  • Shoe organizer
  • Hooks and hangers
  • Plastic storage basket for under-the-bed storage
  • Drawer organizer
  • Drawer and shelf liners
  • Jewellery organizer

List of Complete Dorm Room Parking Checklist

We listed things needed for college for a dorm room in a way that you can pick the most important ones for you.

We have divided them into different categories as you will see below:

  • Items For Bathing And Bedding
  • Items for Health and Groom
  • Clothes and Laundry
  • Items for Interior design
  • School Supplies Items
  • Electronics and Equipment
  • Food and Snacks
  • Miscellaneous

Also Read: 100 Positive Affirmations for Students

College Dorm Packing List

Items For Bathing And Bedding

A comfortable twin XL mattress is one of the things that makes a dorm room very beautiful. Don’t worry – it’s easy to replace this with a good mattress topper or comforter. if you can find one that is reversible, it will help to change how your room looks when the colour starts to go down.

Your dorm room may also be equipped with other things, but you probably need a bigger table for your homework in the evenings.

For night owls, using the right alarm clock instead of relying on your phone to wake you up can be the difference between being on time for class or falling asleep unexpectedly.

Don’t forget storage containers and organizers! They are your best friends, especially when you are creating such a small space. When there’s no time to organize during midterms or finals, an under-bed and closet organizer helps hide your stuff and hide the mess.

  • Quilts and/or comforters (consider carrying durable, easy-to-clean items).
  • Blankets
  • Sheets (recommended size: Twin XL)
  • Pillow
  • Pillowcase
  • Mattress cover
  • reading pillow
  • Alarms
  • Napkins
  • Tissue
  • Under bed storage
  • Towels: bath towels, hand towels and washcloths.
  • Shower shoes (public showers)
  • Shower bucket/basket/cart
  • Provide extra pillows if you want to relax/study in bed.

Items for Health and Groom

It’s important to take care of your health and hygiene, regardless of whether you go to university or not! If your dorm has a shared bathroom, including in shower caddy in your college dorm packing list can make it easier to carry everything you need in one trip.

You should also be prepared for minor injuries, especially if your campus health office is closed. The first aid kit contains everything you need in a practical little bag. Better to be safe than sorry!

If you’ve not been to the area before and don’t know where to get a good haircut, you might be brave enough to consider getting one for yourself or having a friend cut your hair for you. In this case, a reliable grooming kit may be the right choice for you.

With the wireless kits listed below, there’s no problem and you don’t have to worry about untangling wires when you want to change the look. Research shows a strong correlation between self-care and academic performance. If you want to achieve a 4.0 in your first year, start by taking care of yourself! This dorm room checklist will be of help.

  • Body wash or body soap
  • Shower cap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Hair grooming equipment (combs, hair dryers, brushes)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Lotion/skin cosmetics
  • Women who wear make-up may need a portable cosmetic case/purse.
  • Bathrobes (especially important if the shower is in the corridor!)
  • Soap travel container
  • Dental floss
  • Eye drops
  • Q-tips
  • Mouthwash
  • Nail clippers
  • Loofah
  • Cotton swabs
  • shaving kit
  • Hand mirror
  • First aid kit with basic plaster, vitamins, aspirin, cough drops, etc. (This will reduce the number of clinic visits!)
  • Prescription drugs and a copy of each prescription
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • Shower mat
  • Air fresheners
  • Scale
  • Thermometer
  • Heating Pad
  • Air purifier

Also Read: 32 Questions to Ask a Potential Roommate for College

Clothes and Laundry

Doing laundry is one of the things many students do not like to do, whether it’s loading and unloading baskets or folding clothes afterwards. While we can agree that doing laundry isn’t the most exciting activity you’ll experience in college, it’s necessary.

Storage in your dorm may not be the best, so instead of wishing for more closet space, consider buying a clothing rack as part of your college dorm packing list. It’s a great way to display your favourite clothes and helps keep everything organized. While most students tend not to pay much attention to the detergents they use, Tide strikes a good balance between thorough cleaning and maintaining the structural integrity of the clothing.

Investing in a high-quality detergent will pay off when your clothes can withstand a tougher formula. This, along with the other items listed below, can help you enjoy taking care of your clothes more—a habit that will serve you long after your freshman year of college!

  • Clothing. Your space is limited, so only come with what think you’ll want to use. You can always take more to school after the first home visit. This is one of the most important things you should get right on your dorm room checklist.
  • Weather-appropriate outer clothes.
  • Dryer sheets
  • Hangers
  • Shoe storage
  • Coat rack
  • Suitcase/ Luggage
  • Quarters
  • Lint brush
  • Stain remover stick
  • Underwear
  • Laundry basket and/or bag
  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach
  • Gloves and scarf
  • Belts
  • Watch
  • Iron or steamer
  • Ironing board
  • Starch
  • Jewellery
  • Sweats
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Sportswear
  • Loungewear
  • Pyjamas
  • Socks
  • Shirts
  • Jeans
  • Shorts
  • Sneakers
  • Boots
  • Sandals
  • Businesswear
  • Dress shoes
  • Swimwear

Items Decor.

Your apartment or dorm is your home all year round. While it may not feel like home when you first check-in, there are many things you can do to help you relax and rejuvenate. Use this as an opportunity to modify the room and experiment with the decor.

A rug is a great way to liven up a room and add colour, while a poster can add character to a room and reflect your interests. If you enjoy drawing or sketching in your spare time, this is your chance to treat yourself and your friends to a private art exhibition. decore is more than just appearance and aesthetics. It can also be functional! Adding extra seating for guests is much better than a table, chairs and floor.

In a dorm, space management is very important. You are confined to a small room and may even be sharing with roommates.

Closet organizers and storage racks help keep your closet clean and tidy, giving you more space. No matter how you decide to decorate your dorm, have fun and take the time to explore to make yourself feel at home. Below are the things that should be on your dorm room checklist as regards decor.

  • Personal photos, pictures and other favourites. Avoid heavy frames because you can’t hang them.​​​​
  • Curtains and spring rods, i.e. if you want and your school allows them.
  • Carpet or rug (if you have vinyl floors) can be cold and uncomfortable. Check if the school allows it.
  • Extra guest seat (futon, bean bag, pouf)
  • Posters. You can also buy some of these on campus.
  • Sticky wall mount and removable self-adhesive hook. Most schools do not allow nails to be hammered into the walls, so you will have to use other means of hanging.
  • Trashcan
  • Floor lamp
  • Curtain
  • Clock
  • Sticky hook
  • Closet rack
  • Bedside table
  • Bed risers
  • Hangers above the door for storage
  • stepladder
  • Bulletin board
  • Desk chair
  • Decorative area rug
  • Table lamp
  • Dry erase marks
  • Fan

Also Read: Complete College Prep Checklist for High School Juniors: High School Junior Year

School Supplies Items

Get ready to succeed in the classroom with some office supplies. Whether you’re a STEM student or not, you’ll probably need a calculator at some point in college.

Although your university may have a printer on campus, this can save you a lot of time because you can print papers in your own dorm or apartment.

While a laptop is great for taking notes, studies show that writing by hand can improve content comprehension and help you retain information.

Buying a pack of notepads as part of your college dorm packing list is a solid investment, especially for courses that require regular review of notes. The pages also slide out easily and don’t get stuck in other things in the backpack, like those annoying high school spiral notebooks.

It can be difficult to adapt to classes, especially for first-year students, but little things like supplies make learning easier and more fun such as the dorm room checklist of items listed below.

  • Durable backpack or school bag for everyday use.
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps
  • Markers
  • Computer Mouse
  • Desk Storage
  • Index Cards
  • Computer and all necessary accessories/supplies. Some schools also offer deep discounts or provide computers, printers, and other basic electronic equipment.
  • Calendar or planner
  • Paperclips
  • Tablets
  • Sticky notes
  • Highlighters
  • Ruler
  • Calculator
  • Stapler
  • Pens
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Notebooks
  • Binders
  • Earphones
  • Extension cord
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Whiteout
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Hole punch
  • Printer paper

Electronics and Equipment

Though it is important to have a laptop and a good internet connection, they are now more important than ever to succeed in college. Especially with many universities transitioning to online learning, it’s important to have a device that keeps you connected to your virtual classroom.

Between your phone, laptop, and other electronics, two outlets may not be enough to keep everything fully charged and ready when you need it. In this case, you may need an extension cord.

They are also useful for power cords that don’t seem long enough to reach the table or bed. High-quality headphones are essential for online lectures, as the white noise and other clutter of your dorm room won’t disturb you. A mouse is another good investment that frees your wrists from constantly using the trackpad.

Food and Snacks

Your dorm probably doesn’t have satisfactory kitchen space, if any. There are many great add-ons such as the dorm room checklist of food and snacks that can help you make cooking even easier. If you don’t like coffee yet, you might change your mind soon.

If you want, you can even bring a milk frother with you to boost your morning dose. Grab a box of individually wrapped snacks to munch on between classes, especially if you don’t have a lunch break.

Even though your dorm kitchen may not feel like home, don’t let that stop you from preparing healthy meals for yourself. There are many easy-to-use and easy-to-store options!

  • Mini fridge. During the first week of school, refrigerators and microwaves can be rented or bought from the school.
  • Microwave, stove, coffee maker, etc. Check first – many schools have particularly strict safety regulations for these items. Also, find out what space is available in the shared kitchen if this is possible for you consider adding it to your college dorm packing list.
  • Plastic cups
  • Microwave-safe bowls
  • Food storage containers
  • Coffee mug
  • Water bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Scrubber
  • Small dish towel
  • Foil
  • Napkins
  • Disposable forks and spoons
  • Can opener
  • Oven mitt
  • Pot & Pan
  • Ziplock bags
  • Popcorn
  • Chips
  • Sodas
  • Bottled water
  • Cereal
  • Granola bars
  • Soup
  • Condiments
  • Juice boxes
  • Peanut butter & jelly
  • Sandwich meat
  • Bread
  • Fruit snacks


It would be scary to be stuck in a building for hours just because you forgot to bring your umbrella. Making it worse Imagine you’re completely wet on your way to class. Always keep a mini umbrella in your backpack, it will help you prepare for unexpected weather changes.

If you plan to bring a bike, remember to bring a bike lock! Trust us when we say you’ll need it when you’re leaving your bike on campus.

While a cash box may seem optional, you can always use it to store other valuables if you don’t have cash. Likewise, toolboxes have proven to be surprisingly useful in many situations. If you add your own furniture to the room, you must definitely assemble and disassemble the furniture when moving in and out of the dorm.

Don’t let the fact that these dorm room checklist items are labelled “Miscellaneous” fool you into thinking they are less important than the other categories we’ve listed! They are equally necessary to facilitate university life.

Things that should be checked with roommates

There are things you can share with your roommates. If where you are accommodated in a traditional dorm room hall where two or more students share a bedroom, space is limited, so check availability to show respect to your new roommate.

Things you can share with your roommate include TV, mini-fridge, cleaning supplies, rug, microwave, coffee maker, and fan or heater.

If you have a large shared room, such as a shared apartment or house, you can share furniture and probably most kitchen utensils. Check with everyone who brings something to avoid twins. Bonus tip: List everything you’re bringing into your dorm or apartment so you don’t get confused when you move out.

What can’t be taken to the College?

It’s understandable that you might want to take everything you love with you, but some things are best left behind.

Below are some of the things that should not be part of your college dorm packing list.

  • Large appliances: These are probably not allowed in the living quarters and you may not have enough space.
  • Your favourite pet: Most universities do not allow pets in the dorms, and many dorms do not have pet policies
  • Your entire wardrobe
  • All new décor: Bear in mind that you will only stay here for 9 months



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like