What Do I Need for My Dorm?

Dorm Title

Going off to college can be an exciting feeling. You’re about to get some freedom. You’re about to gain some responsibility. You’re about to make your own decisions. You’re about to become a young adult. When I graduated high school in 2012 I was very excited because in the fall I was about to leave the nest and go off to college. As I thought about leaving I had a lot of questions that I asked myself. What is it going to be like? Am I going to get lost? Will my roommates be a pain in the butt? But most importantly what in the heck do I need for my dorm? I was curious and like any other teenager I turned to Google. I found some great lists on things I would need and I nearly bought everything that they recommended.

After living in a dorm for two years and moving my items back and forth from college to my home I realized that I really didn’t NEED everything on the lists that I had purchased. After coming to realization with myself and being annoyed with moving all my crap back and forth I realized what essential items I really needed and I am going to share them below.


1.      Comforter/Sheet Twin XL

2.      Pillow(s)

3.      Mattress Pad/ Mattress Protector

4.      Bed Bug Spray

Desk / Storage Organization

1.      Door Mirror

2.      Bed Lifts

3.      Thin Hangers

4.      Closet Organizer

5.      Storage Cart – most dorms provide you with a desk, chair, and dresser but an extra storage bin like I have in my pictures below are helpful with storing other items like hair products, polish, etc.


1.      Surge Protector

2.      Head Phones

3.      Ethernet Cable

4.      Floor Lamp

5.      Router*

6.      Printer/ Ink/ Copy Paper

7.      Long Cable Cord

8.      Clock

Laundry / Cleaning

1.      Rolling Hamper

2.      Broom and Dustpan*

3.      Small Vacuum*

4.      Trash can*

5.      Laundry Detergent

6.      Iron/Ironing board – Unless you get up on time every day or iron the night before I doubt you will use this often.

7.      Air Freshener*

8.      Bath Towels and Rags

9.      Shower Curtain, Mat*

10.    Toothbrush Holder

Kitchen / Dining

1.      Plates, Bowls, Cups

2.      Pots and Pans

3.      Eating Utensils

4.      Microwave*

5.      Trash can*

6.      Dish Rags*

7.      Dish Soap*

8.      Zip lock Bags

9.      Foil

10.    Oven Mitts

Clothes and Shoes

Please don’t pack your whole closet at home and think you are going to wear every piece of clothing. I promise you won’t. All it does is weigh your arms down more when you’re moving in. I suggest you bring what you KNOW you will wear, not what you MIGHT wear. You might be reading this and think I’m wrong but when you go off to college you almost always go shopping at one point while living on campus. The numerous amount of clothes you brought from home will get pushed to the back of your closet and take up more space. Just bring what you know you will wear and leave space for your closet to grow.

When you look at the lists that stores give you they are beneficial. I also learned that half of the items on the list are unnecessary and you will probably never use it. Your dorm room isn’t that big and you may have to share a room with a roommate. Trust me, it can get a little tight and you want to be able to utilize all the space that you’re given.

*Communal Items

Communal Items are items that can be used by everyone in the dorm. There are some things that you will want to be your personal items but there are also items that you and your roommates can agree to share. It would be a great idea to get in touch with your future roommate and decide on who will buy some of the communal items. There isn’t a need to have two of everything, especially when you can share them. Be fair on buying the communal items. Both of you are college students so sharing the weight of expenses is the courteous thing to do. If your roommate is bringing the microwave then try to match them by buying communal items that will equal up to that price.

My Freshman College Dorm. As you can see the space was small so utilize your space.

Dorm Bed

Our beds were lofted so we could utilize our space. We used our desk to get on our bed. For people who wear glasses like me, I put a command strip above my bed to hang my glasses on instead of leaving them in the bed or putting them on my desk. It was one of the most helpful ideas I had thought of.

View from my Bed

The view from my bed. Also the cable cord was taped along the wall. Lol we had to do what we had to do.

Under the Bed

Desk and dresser, eventually my printer was placed on my dresser

Snacks Area

The Snack Area. The stuff on top was placed in the pink tub.


Closet. I didn’t have a rolling hamper that year, but after i moved i purchased one. The rolling hamper was easier to use since the laundry room was on the bottom floor and we were at the very top.

Tip: I also recommend that when you buy some of the things that can go quick like tissue, soap, deodorant, toiletries, etc. to buy them in bulk. Go to your local Sam’s, B.J.’s or whatever wholesale store in your community because it will save you money in the long run.

DISCLAIMER: The items below are things that I believe you really need for your dorm. You do not have to listen to what I say. This list is what I recommend as the main things that will get you through college while living on campus.


Any questions, feel free to email me or comment, I’ll be happy to answer.

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