College Dorm Room Checklist
Getting ready to move to college can be scary and stressful, but shopping for the dorm room shouldn’t be. I have compiled a complete College Dorm Room Checklist to assist you as you navigate the aisles of the super store or order online.
I have stocked three kids with items to go to college and each one (especially my daughter as compared to my sons) has ended up with slightly different items at school depending on their tastes and desires
Your student most likely won’t need or want every item on the list, but the list will help you think about what they should bring.
And best of all, the list is printable!! The list is available in the Printables Library. You may sign up to access it below.
And new for 2020: Don’t forget a collection of masks and hand sanitizer for your room, your backpack, your car….
Also check out:
College Dorm Room Checklist
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Dorm Room Bed
Two items I have neglected to put on the list (and are not on the pdf printout) because I had only sent boys to school until last year are a headboard and long bedskirt. A headboard is comfortable to lean on, dresses up the bed, and many come with electrical outlets in them. A long bedskirt is a matter of taste. It covers up all of the storage under the bed, but gets in the way of actually accessing any of the stored items.
Dormify carries both headboards and long bedskirts.
- Twin XL Mattress pad
- Twin XL Mattress topper. This is the one we bought my daughter and she said it was awesome. Made her bed so comfy! Her dorm bed was a twin, which is unusual. Here is a similar one in a twin xl.
- Twin XL Mattress encasement
- 2 sets of twin XL sheets
- Twin XL Comforter
- Bedside shelf/pocket
- Bed risers (These are super cool with electrical outlets.)
- 2-3 Towel sets
- Shower caddy
- Shower shoes (Check out these awesome Showa-Flops. They are anti-microbial and have drainage holes.)
- Over the door towel rack
- Shower wrap towel
- Hair wrap towel
- Caddy to carry your things to the bathroom (I bought this one for my son 4 YEARS AGO and he is still using it. He used it even when he was in a suite or apartment to hold his bathroom things.) My daughter chose this one.
- Double closet rod
- Hanging jewelry organizer
- Hanging organizer for sweaters, shirts, purses, etc.
- Shoe storage (Lots of choices – either a hanging shoe organizer or a shoe organizer for the floor of the closet.) My daughter preferred to buy some baskets to put her shoes in. No sense buying an organizer if it is going to be easier to pile your shoes in a basket.
- Make your own Cleaning Supplies Gift Basket with ideas and a free printable
- Small trash can for under the desk
- Larger trash can for the room
- Small or handheld vacuum
- Air Freshener
- All-purpose cleaner
- Plates, bowls
- Eating utensils
- Water bottles
- Travel mug
- Food storage containers
- Keurig coffeemaker
- Coffee pods
- Make them a Going Away to College Coffee Gift Basket for this area
- Refrigerator (Check with your school All of of my kids’ schools require a particular “micro-fridge.”)
- Ziploc bags
- Paper towels
- Fridge cart
- Hot pad
- Dish soap
These fridge carts are perfect for your microfridge. They are very sturdy and hold a lot of items. We ended up going to the Container Store and buying one for my daughter’s room when they realized they had no place to store their food.
Don’t forget K-cups and a mug if you plan to drink coffee in the room. This gift tag is also available in the Printables Library.
- Shelving unit
- Underbed storage
- Storage trunk
- Storage Furniture (These Poppin box seats support 275 pounds and can be collapsed when not in use. Our daughter used hers as a step stool for her lofted bed.)
- Drawer organizers
- Makeup organizers
- Over the door hooks (Great for jackets and coats)
- Stacking drawers (I LOVE these modular drawers that can be configured to meet your exact storage needs.)
- Elfa drawers (These are amazing, come in many sizes, can be customized and will last forever. We have had some of our Elfa units for over 20 years. They will go from your child’s dorm room to their first apartment to their first place after graduation and beyond. They are also great for packing in.)
Health and Safety
- The Best First Aid Kit
- Prescription medications
- Health Insurance card
- Room safe (For jewelry, some prescription drugs, laptops, and other electronics that are easily stolen.)
- Computer lock (There is a tremendous amount of “opportunity theft” on college campuses. No fun to walk away from a laptop for a second and turn around and it is gone.)
- Surge protector (Fried electronics are not any fun either.)
To Make the Room Comfortable and Personal
- Throw blanket
- Magnetic dry erase board, markers, and magnets
- Bulletin Board (Minted will even custom make one.)
- Door stop
- Speaker or Amazon Echo
- Washi tape
- Over the door mirror
- Command hooks (To hang what you want on the walls without damaging them.)
- Command picture Hanging strips
- Bed phones (Thin, comfortable headphones for sleeping.)
Other Practical items
- Tool kit
- Sewing kit
- Rain jacket
- Gym bag
- Reusable shopping bags (some cities charge customers for shopping bags)
- Weekend bag or duffle
- Bike lock
- Amazon Student Prime for FREE two-day shipping on textbooks and tons of other stuff, deals and promotions exclusively for students, unlimited streaming of movies and tv shows. Sign up for a FREE trial membership.
- Laptop computer
- Planner and Planner Accessories
- Personal bathroom supplies
- Enough clothing, socks, underwear to last a week
See 25 Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips to see what we bought and how we set up my daughter’s dorm room.
The first goal of dorm shopping is to purchase just enough items to comfortably set up a dorm room, but not more than you need. The second goal is to purchase just enough storage items to organize the above items, but not more than you need. Print the College Dorm Room Checklist. Take it with you to the store or use it as you order online.
Some college websites give the exact dimensions of dorm rooms, closets, and any other furniture in the room. If you have this information, take advantage of it, and plan out the room. If not, work with whatever information you have knowing that you can always go to the store or order additional items after you arrive.
If you have taken a child to college, share your advice about what to take, what to leave at home, and how to store it all in the comment section below.
FREE PRINTABLE DORM SHOPPING CHECKLIST
The Dorm Shopping Checklist is TOTALLY FREE for members of the Almost Empty Nest Community!
The Dorm Shopping Checklist is part of the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. Gain access by becoming an Almost Empty Nest Member.