Hey guys! Welcome back. There are a lot of college packing and shopping lists out there, but to be completely honest, your dorm room isn’t going to look like a Bed Bath & Beyond catalog. It’s going to look like your own space and that’s the way it should be. You need to personalize it to your taste. I made the mistake of buying all kinds of things just because one or multiple lists told me to. It’s not all necessary. So I compiled a list of things you are guaranteed to use while living in your dorm.

  • A Comforter Set. I recommend going to Walmart or Target and getting a comforter set because it has all of your bedding all in one nice little package.
  • You don’t need a mattress pad. I know you might think that the bed is going to be super uncomfortable and you’ll need extra padding, and if you really think that, go for it. But no one I know has a mattress pad. It’s perfectly fine to not have one. You will get used to the bed itself in no time.
  • Pillows. Bring as many pillows as you normally sleep with. The bed is probably smaller, so you go take away pillows if needed. But it’s always better to have too many than not enough.
  • A throw blanket. It’s just never a bad idea.
  • A Husband Pillow. I recommend one of these because it allows you to sit in bed comfortably. I invested in one this previous semester and it was a great decision.
  • Under Bed Storage. It’s always a good idea to have as much storage space as you can because you have limited space.
  • Adhesive hooks or strips. Some schools don’t allow these, so just keep that in mind. But if they do allow them, these are good to have on hand. Inevitably there are going to be some things that you want to hang up. These are a great way to do that.
  • Bulletin Board and Dry Erase Board. This is another optional thing, but I have found them to be super useful. I write notes and put up my schedule and to-do lists. It really helps with my organization.
  • Hangers. Most dorms come with a closet and you want to be able to hang stuff up. Your closet doesn’t come with hangers usually, so you will want to have some.
  • Trash Can. Having a trash can, even a small one, is absolutely essential. You don’t want to have to leave the room every time you want to throw something away.
  • Drawers. Having those storage units with drawers is something I don’t know what I would do without. Easily stored and easily accessed.
  • Laundry Basket or Bag. You will want somewhere to put your dirty clothes. Your roommate will want you to have that as well.
  • Laundry Soap and Dryer Sheets. You want to be able to wash your clothes and chances are, your school won’t supply these things.
  • Food. Anything you eat that can easily be stored in your dorm. Trust me, you will want to have food on hand.
  • Backpack. Something to carry all of your stuff around. Yes you will need this.
  • A calendar. I mean one to hang on your wall or keep on your desk. Just something to write down important things so you can quickly glance and see.
  • Desk Organizer. You will want to keep your desk organized (or as organized as possible) because you will be spending a lot of time there.
  • Folders or Binders. This is just a preference thing. You do not need both. Whatever you think works best. I switched from binders to folders to save space.
  • Notebook Paper. Never a bad idea to have some on hand.
  • Notebooks. If you have five classes I highly recommend just buying a five-subject notebook. This way you never have to worry about grabbing the wrong notebook.
  • Index Cards. This one needs no explanation.
  • Pens and Pencils. You need some way to write.
  • Colored pens. They help with organization and they are just fun.
  • Permanent Marker. Another thing that is just always useful to have on hand.
  • Highlighters. For notes and studying and planning.
  • A Planner. I cannot stress the importance of one of these enough. Buy one you will actually like and actually use. It’s good to write your assignments, obligations, meetings, and more in.
  • Scissors. You will need them and you will use them.
  • Stapler and the works. You will have a lot of papers and you don’t want to be the person who never has their paper stapled.
  • Tape. You may not need it, but if you do it is good to have.
  • Textbooks. Buy your textbooks. You will need them more than you think.
  • Three-Hole Punch. Another thing that is just good to have.
  • Microwave and Mini Fridge.
  • Dishes. You can wash them instead of buying plastic all the time. It will save you money and it’s just better.
  • Tupperware and Ziploc Bags. For obvious reasons.
  • Paper Towels.
  • Dish Soap. To wash those dishes.
  • Hand Soap. To wash your hands.
  • Disinfecting Wipes. To clean your room because I know you will do that.
  • Broom. To sweep your floor because I know you will do that.
  • Laptop. To do your work and procrastinate.
  • Chargers. Don’t leave home without them.
  • Portable Phone Charger. This is an absolute life saver and a must have.
  • Headphones and spare headphones.
  • Surge Protector. You will need this and you will use this. I promise.
  • Batteries of all kinds.
  • Air Freshener. Especially when you first move in.
  • Shower Shoes. An absolute necessity. Don’t think you get away with not having them. You can’t.
  • Shower Caddy. Especially if you have a communal bathroom. You will need something to carry all of your essentials.
  • Bath Towels and Wash Cloths and a Bath Pouf.
  • Body Wash and Lotion.
  • Shampoo and Conditioner.
  • Face Cleanser and Moisturizer.
  • Mask.
  • Shaving Cream and Razors.
  • Deodorant.
  • Makeup Products (if you use them).
  • Any hair supplies and tools you use.
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste.
  • Hair Brush and/or Comb.
  • Tissues.
  • Cotton Balls/Swabs.
  • Clothes for Summer/Fall. You can get winter clothes if you will be returning home for Fall/Thanksgiving Break.
  • Anything else you use on a regular basis.

Those are all the things most people need in their dorm room. I hope this was helpful. Don’t buy anything you don’t think you will need. It’s a waste of time, money, and space.

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