College Dorm Room Checklist: Everything You Need

This post has a college dorm room checklist with everything you need to start your Freshman year! From kitchen essentials and cleaning supplies to bedding and decor, this list has everything you need to get your college career started right. Plus, I’ve created a printable checklist that you can download to take with you shopping.

College Dorm Room Checklist: Everything You Need

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College Dorm Room Checklist

As summer winds down, it’s time to consider which college essentials you’ll need to bring with you. Deciding on everything you’ll need for the year can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to forget something. This college dorm room checklist provides a straightforward way to ensure you have everything you need.

College Dorm Room Checklist: Everything You Need

College Dorm Room Checklist: Bedding

Trust me when I say that comfortable bedding is one of the most important things you’ll need in your dorm room. Sleep is incredibly important, especially when you are working your brain for hours on end. So making sure you are comfortable enough to get your 8+ hours should be on the top of your priority list. Here are the essentials you’ll need:

  • Sheets: Unless you can’t get your laundry done in one day, there’s no reason why you need 2 sets of sheets. Make sure you get a Twin XL size for that dorm bed.
  • Pillowcases: I do recommend getting multiple pillowcases. I like to change my pillow case often so I don’t break out.
  • Comforter: A quality comforter is super important. Some comforters are stiff and plastic feeling. Buying something that is warm and (bonus) cute can make you feel more at home and cozy.
  • Accent Pillows: Not a necessity, but recommended. Accent pillows can make your space look nice and add a touch of personalization.
  • Blanket: Dorms can get cold at night. Keep an extra blanket on hand for those extremely cold winter nights.
  • Mattress Protector: A mattress protector isn’t a must, but it can safeguard your mattress from spills, stains, allergens, and dust mites. It keeps your mattress cleaner and maintains a healthier sleep environment.
  • Mattress Topper: SO IMPORTANT! Dorm beds are very uncomfortable, so a mattress topper can make or break how comfortable you are.
  • Mattress heater and/or Heated Blanket: For those cold, drafty nights, having a heated blanket or mattress pad can make everything feel a lot cozier.


College Dorm Room Checklist: Electronics

Of course, you can’t forget your electronics! Make sure you have all of the chargers and cords you’ll need to keep everything up and running. Trust me, you don’t want to be in the middle of a project and have your laptop suddenly die on you!

  • Phone Charger: I recommend getting a long (10 Ft) phone charger for your dorm. Outlets are limited, so you may have to have it reach pretty far for easy access.
  • Laptop + Charger: This goes without saying for your college days. You’ll be on your laptop a lot doing homework and reading text. I always recommend a Mac Laptop if you can afford it. Yes, they’re pricey but when I was in college my Dell crashed on me mid-10-page paper and let’s just say, I’ll never get anything other than a Mac again.
  • Surge Protector: With limited outlets, having a surge protector is a must. not only does it protect your electronics in case of a power outage, but it also creates extra plugs for everything you need.
  • Calculator: A graphing calculator is needed for all those hard math classes.
  • USB Drive: A must for keeping a backup of all of your important files and assignments.
  • Sound Machine
  • Extension Cord


College Dorm Room Checklist: Cleaning Supplies

You will have a small space in a dorm room, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep things tidy. Here are some essentials to help keep things clean:

College Dorm Room Checklist: Kitchen Supplies

You won’t have a kitchen while living in the dorms. But It’s helpful to have a few items on hand for eating in your room and saving leftovers.

College Dorm Room Checklist: Clothes

Bringing what you need is going to be a priority. Closet space is limited, so having a weekly wardrobe is a great idea so you can maximize space.

  • Socks
  • Bras
  • Underwear
  • Shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Cardigans
  • Jeans
  • Dresses
  • Joggers
  • Leggings
  • Shoes
  • Boots: Good Quality boots are super important during the winter! Make sure they’re waterproof because you’ll be walking a lot.
  • Jacket
  • Rain Jacket
  • Jewelry
  • Hats
  • Swimsuit
  • Pajamas
  • Winter Coat: Something durable and warm!


College Dorm Room Checklist: Personal Items/Toiletries

This is a very thorough list of personal items. You probably won’t need every item, but there may be something here that you may have forgotten.

  • 2 Bath Towels
  • 2 Hand Towels
  • 2 Washcloths
  • Towel Wrap: This is super handy to have since you’ll need to walk from the bathroom back to your room.
  • Shower Caddy: I highly recommend mesh so that your products can air out in between showers.
  • Shower Shoes
  • Loofah
  • Shampoo + Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Lotion
  • Makeup Organizer
  • Makeup Mirror
  • Makeup Remover
  • Face Wash
  • Basket for Hair Products
  • Hair Ties
  • Hair Spray
  • Hair Dryer
  • Curling Iron
  • Flat Iron
  • Shaving Cream
  • Razor
  • Cotton Balls
  • Q-Tips
  • Tissues
  • Nail Polish: Just bring your favorite shades – no need for a full collection.
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Nail File
  • Makeup
  • Makeup Brushes
  • Perfume
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Retainer
  • Tweezers
  • Medications
  • Small First Aid Kit: Make sure you at least have band-aids.
  • Tampons + Pads

College Dorm Room Checklist: School Supplies

You’ll of course need some school supplies for college. This list will vary depending on your classes and major. Here are some basics you may want to pick up:

  • Quality Backpack: I always recommend North Face.
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Notebooks: A 5-subject notebook is great so you don’t have a lot of single-subject notebooks.
  • Stapler
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Binder
  • Binder Dividers
  • Hole Punch
  • Planner

College Dorm Room Checklist: Decor

  • Bulletin Board: It’s super handy to have a catch-all place for you to keep your new and chaotic life organized. Having things at eye level can help you remember them better.
  • Photos
  • Command Hooks: These make hanging decor and other items mess-free and damage-free.
  • Rug
  • Shelf
  • Lamp

Printable Checklist

Click the image below to download and print your FREE college dorm room checklist!

College Dorm Room Checklist: Everything You Need

I hope you found this dorm room checklist helpful!

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