Dorm room essentials

Dorm room essentials


Back-to-school season is easy when you’re a kid—the school sends home a detailed list of supplies that you’ll need, and your parents usually take care of it for you. But when college arrives, your list seems to be “everything you need for survival but not too many things because you’re sharing a 10′ x 10′ room with a stranger.”

To keep things organized and reasonable, you can divide your needs into categories: bedroom, bathroom, personal, and shared.

Bedroom essentials

Bedding: You’ll need at least one set of sheets, a comforter, a blanket, and pillows for your twin or twin XL bed.

Alarm clock: This can be a phone or even a fitness watch if you prefer. Just keep it charged!

Clothes: Choose versatile clothes that can be layered. You can’t go wrong with school tees and comfortable jeans. Bring at least two sweatshirts because classrooms can often get cold.

Laundry bag, hangers, detergent, and quarters: These will help you keep your clothes clean and put away. You don’t want to be the smelly roommate.

Bathroom essentials

Towels and washcloths: Bring at least two of each, and remember to hang your towels up so they don’t end up damp and moldy on the floor.

Flip-flops: You’ll want a dedicated pair for the communal showers. Trust us on this.

Shower tote: Put your shampoo, conditioner, soaps, and other toiletries in a small plastic basket to carry back and forth to the bathrooms.

Personal essentials

Laptop: Many dorms have computer labs, but having your own laptop is helpful for midnight study sessions.

Desk lamp: Having a personal light means you can read after your roommate has gone to sleep.

Medications and supplements: Bring your current supply and any required documentation for refills.

Decorations: A bulletin board, posters, and pictures will add personality to your space.

Shared items

(You’ll need to speak with your roommate before arrival or plan to shop together for these items when the semester begins.)

Mini-fridge: Keep healthy snacks and bottled water within easy reach.

Cleaning supplies: The dorm may have shared vacuums, mops, and brooms. Check with the school to see what you need.

Appliances: Some schools allow microwaves, hot plates, and coffee pots. Others do not. Find out what is allowed before making these purchases.

Dishes: A few dishes, cups, plasticware, and reusable mugs are nice to have on hand.