College Dorm Checklist: Top Essentials Every Student Has To Bring To The Dorm Room - CleverrUP

College Dorm Checklist: Top Essentials Every Student Has To Bring To The Dorm Room

Still wondering what dorm room essentials you need to pack for your freshman year? Read our college dorm checklist to handle packing with ease!

10 min read

Do you already have your own college dorm checklist? If not, then it is just the right time to change this! It is not a secret that enrolling in a college can be pretty stressful. It is a whole new world that students need to adjust to. And, to complicate matters, there you have another big thing to take care of – your college move-in day.

To make the moving as carefree and effective, it is important to have a plan. To help you get on the right track, we’ve prepared a detailed college checklist that covers all essentials.

College Packing List: Why Do You Need It?

At this point, you may be wondering why you even need to have a checklist. Well, there are some good reasons for that. Moving away from your parent’s house and settling in a new place can be tough. This life-changing time in your life can bring along lots of stress and anxiety. Needless to say how these feelings can affect your concentration.

Another big reason is that, though future students and families may know about some essential supplies freshman students need, be sure that there is much more than you can think of. It is not enough to grab some clothes, books, and personal items to survive through the first year of college.

Also, one of the hardest parts of packing for college is the understanding that you need to bring along plenty of things that will ensure your comfortable life in a dorm over the next few years. With so many things you’d want to bring with as your college dorm essentials, it is easy to miss something out. Therefore, to ease the stress from this moment and make sure you don’t forget something important, it is vital to have a good college dorm checklist.

What To Bring To College: A Student’s Ultimate Checklist

Deciding what you need to bring along to a college dorm can be quite hard. Many students don’t even realize how many things they actually need before they start packing. The basics include lots of items from different categories such as school supplies, bedding, clothing, and much more. And it is vital to get things right.

Need help with shaping your bring-along list? Here is a detailed checklist of all things to bring to college for your freshman year:


First things first, moving into a college dorm, you shouldn’t expect it to feel just like home from the start. But, there are some things you can do to make your dorm a comfortable and cozy place to live in. That’s why bedding comes as the first category. It is one of those essentials that directly affect your comfort.

This category covers everything you need to make the dorm comfy. So, here is a checklist of bedding items you want to have with:

  • Bedsheets (2 sets)
  • Pillowcases (2 sets)
  • Pillows (2)
  • Mattress pad
  • Comforter
  • Blankets
  • Under-bed storage

Pro tip: When it comes to buying bed linen, be sure to check with the college to clarify the needed size. This will help you avoid inconveniences.

Computer And Desk

The next important category consists of all the needed office, computer, and desk supplies. As a student, you will be spending plenty of time at the desk, studying, which is why it is important to make sure you have everything you need.

Here is our college essentials list for this category:

  • Pencil sharpener
  • Pencil holder
  • File organizer
  • Desk lamp
  • Book holder
  • Desk organizer with charging station
  • USB flash drives
  • Laptop and charger
  • Laptop stand
  • Laptop cleaning wipes

School Supplies

Among all the different items students bring with them to the dorm, school supplies are probably the most important. After all, these are the things you will be using daily. So, check with this list to make sure you don’t forget anything:

  • Textbooks
  • Notebooks
  • Planner
  • Folders and binders
  • Pens and pencils
  • Highlighter pens
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stapler with staples
  • Sticky notes


Personal care is important wherever you are. Thus, the next category covers all the items related to personal care and hygiene. Here are some of the most basic things everyone needs to bring to a dorm:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash
  • Shower shoes
  • Shower gel, soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Skin lotion
  • Makeup kit
  • Nail clippers
  • Grooming tools
  • Shaving tools
  • Cotton swabs
  • Bathrobe
  • Towels (take at least two of each type: bath, face, and hands)
  • Paper towels
  • Air freshener
  • Compact mirror
  • Hairdryer
  • Hairbrush

Clothes And Laundry

Thinking to yourself “what do I need for college?” you most likely first think of clothes. When it comes to clothes, it is vital to understand that your space may be somewhat limited. That is, you will likely not be able to bring along all of your clothes. You will have to pack only the most essential things. But, don’t worry. You will have plenty of opportunities to travel home and bring more things later.

Also, it is vital not to forget to pack all sorts of laundry items.

To help you get on the right track, here is a short checklist of the essentials:

  • Luggage
  • Underwear
  • Loungewear
  • Pajamas
  • Socks
  • Sportswear
  • Swimwear
  • Businesswear
  • Shirts and t-shirts
  • Jeans, pants, and shorts
  • Accessories (e.g. jewelry, sunglasses, belts, hats, gloves, scarves, watches, etc.)
  • Seasonal outer clothes
  • Dress shoes
  • Sneakers
  • Sandals
  • Boots
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Shoe storage
  • Coat rack
  • Clothes hangers
  • Laundry basket
  • Mini sewing kit
  • Laundry detergent
  • Fabric softener
  • Stain remover
  • Lint brush


Taking care of your own health is vital. And it gets especially important that you have everything needed for your health in store now that you are no longer living with parents.

Below is a list of college necessities related to health:

  • Antacid
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Aspirin or other pain relievers
  • Vitamins
  • Antidiarrheal medicine
  • Cough drops
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Any prescription medicines as well as copies of prescription for each


Moving into a dorm can be stressful, but it is also lots of fun. And one of the parts students love most is the possibility to decorate their new place of living however they want. If you also want to make your dorm room a bit cozier and personal, here’s your college dorm checklist for freshman with some decor items you should pack with you:

  • Photos
  • Posters
  • Pictures
  • Curtains
  • Rugs or carpets
  • Garlands
  • Candles
  • Lamps
  • Bulletin board
  • Clock
  • Organizers
  • Large mirror

Pro tip: Decorating a dorm room is never a bad idea. Bringing a bit more of you into the room’s style will help reduce stress and adjust to a new environment faster. But, before you pack plenty of decor items, be sure to re-think it again. In most cases, you will be able to buy some of the decorations on campus or nearby.


While college years are often associated with challenges and stress, they can be pretty fun as well. New friends, gatherings with peers, new experiences, and lots of new memories – all this makes college fun. So why not to bring with you a few items for fun as well? Here is what you should consider taking with:

  • Computer and/or laptop
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Camera
  • Headphones
  • Speakers
  • TV
  • DVD player
  • HDMI cord
  • Game systems
  • Musical instruments
  • Table games
  • Favorite books

Kitchen And Food

Finally, the last, but not the least important category of items you will need to bring along to a dorm is “kitchen and food”. This category includes all the kitchen supplies as well as food and snacks you may take with.

Here is a college dorm list of foods and kitchen supplies:

  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Coffee maker
  • Mugs
  • Water bottle
  • Bowls
  • Plates
  • Food containers
  • Forks and spoons
  • Pan
  • Pot
  • Storage bags
  • Dish soap and a scrubber
  • Kitchen towel
  • Can/bottle opener
  • Bottled water
  • Sodas
  • Granola bars
  • Cereal
  • Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit and nut snacks
  • Soup
  • Bread
  • Sandwich meat
  • Jelly
  • Peanut butter
  • Condiments

These are some of the most essential things every freshman should consider when packing for college. Of course, depending on each student’s unique situation, the list may change. But, you can use it as a starting point to save your time!

Things You Need For College: Bonus Tips

Now, as you have a general idea of your packing list for college, we’d like to share a few extra tips that will make packing and moving in even more comfortable:

  • Check with your school. Before you buy some items and pack, be sure to check with a college about their rules. Often, colleges can get pretty specific about safety regulations. So, it is vital to find out what items are allowed in their dorms and which are not.
  • Start with an audit. Probably the most effective way to start packing is by defining what you already have. Do a brief audit of all your belongings. We recommend dividing everything you have into different categories straight away. For example, you can categorize your stuff as can’t-do without essentials, things you’d like to take, and stuff you leave at home. Such an audit will give you a good idea of what you have and what you still need to buy.
  • Check with roommates. This tip can be very handy. There’s no secret that college dorms are quite small. This means that not all items (especially big ones) that you and your roommates bring in can fit into a tiny room. So, it is always a good idea to coordinate and decide on what dorm room essentials you can share or buy together.
  • Be selective with clothing. You’ll have to pack enough clothing, but there is no need to take everything. We recommend focusing on clothing less than on other essentials. Pack only for a season. Later, you will be able to travel home and grab more things for the next season.
  • Pack light. Be very picky with the items you are taking with. Be sure to pack only those things you actually need.
  • Pack efficiently. To pack everything you need and not have to carry dozens of boxes, it is vital to learn how to save space and pack efficiently. For example, use vacuum bags to save space, use containers like a laundry box as additional space to pack other items, etc.
  • Pack your items of a top priority together in a separate labeled box. Let’s face it – packing lots of stuff for college, chances are that you will still forget to grab something. It is important to ensure that even if you do forget one box at home, it won’t contain your top-priority items. We recommend packing your items of a top priority like documents, phone charger, toothbrush and toothpaste, and so on in a separate box and label it.
  • Choose quality over the price. Deciding what to pack for college, you’ll likely need to buy some additional supplies. When doing this, be sure not to cheap out and get items that have good value for money. It is wise to invest well in certain things that can serve you through all four years of college.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, this comprehensive college dorm checklist will help all future students to reduce stress and pack effectively to last through their freshman year. But, there is one more thing to keep in mind.

Surviving through college depends not only on how well you pack, but it also depends on how well you do. That’s when our service can come in handy! Our team of expert tutors knows how hard it can be to cope with everything in college, and we are here to help you succeed. Thus, if you ever need help while in college, come to us and get assistance from the best tutors!

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