Dorm Room Checklist

If your child is going away to college this year, you probably have been shopping all summer in preparation.

dorm room necessities

I have done that a few times and wanted to share what we have on our necessary dorm checklist:


Sheets (usually extra long)



mattress pad


Personal Items

shower caddy

towels (bath and beach)


medications (incl OTC cold, fever medicine)

first aid kit

collapsible laundry bag



swim suit


shoes/flip flops


shoe bag

tall mirror

hangers (the thin fuzzy kind will maximize space)

laundry bag

small plastic stackable bins/drawers

paper towels

plastic plates, cups

trash bas


Simple tool kit & extension cord

School Supplies 

laptop or computer


printer ink

power cord

lock for computer


lined/printer paper

dry erase board or clipboard

binders/file folders

desktop storage

desk lamp/light bulbs

College Dorm Life

When shopping for dorm items, many stores will add many things to your suggested supply list.  From my experience there are several things that really are not necessary. For example, if you can send your student with a cell phone, most likely it has an alarm on it so you do not need to purchase an alarm clock.  Most computers and cell phones also have calculators on them, so they probably do not need to take a calculator.  (Unless of course, your child needs a specialty financial or scientific calculator).

Nowadays, so many TV shows and movies are available on line.  They can use their computer for those things and really do not need a TV.  Besides, if they live in a dorm, there are lots of TV rooms on campus.

Similarly, you do not need to send a stereo with your student.  With radio stations and sites like Spotify and Pandora, all one needs is a computer with speakers.  A small MP3 player is a nice thing to send with your student.

Refrigerators and microwaves are usually available to rent on campus. It is easier to rent them and not have to haul them around after the school year ends.  It is especially nice if one roommate rents the microwave and another rents the refrigerator.  Toasters, hot plates etc, are usually not allowed in most dorms so check before you plan to buy any of these items.

Snacks and sodas or juices are nice, but they will be more likely to get something from the school cafes.  Cereal, oatmeal and dry soup is nice to have, but they will most likely buy what they need on campus, as they need it.

As far as decorations, consider bringing a bulletin board and maybe some photos.  Your student will be getting freebies as a freshman with the college logo and will soon fill their dorm room with souvenirs from their new life.  Trust me, it may look sparse to start out with, but that will change once school starts.  They do not need to bring lots of decorative items from home.  Those items will stay with you long after they move out of their dorm, maybe even forever if you let them.

I hope this lists helps, as we over bought stuff when our son went to college and I know that you want to send your child with all the comforts of home, but the truth is, they do not need much.  There will meet so many people and will be too busy studying and socializing to notice that they are not without the excess things.  Besides, there is a student store that carries just about anything they might need, in case they forget something.

Do you have a student going off to college this year? Or if you are a recent student, did I leave anything off of this list?




  1. Super helpful tips! Moving into a dorm seems so much easier now than when I was in college. Not having to lug all the electronic equipment alone (because everything is on your computer or phone) is a huge help!

  2. Have I told you how much I admire you? The way you put things together and how clearly you express yourself on organization is amazing… no wonder I can’t organize my own drawer! LOL! 🙂 I guess we’re all different! 🙂

  3. Wow that is quite the list! Stopping by from a blog hop, feel free to stop by mine when you get a chance:

  4. OMG!! I remember going off to college!! I had soo much stuff and had to haul it up three flights of stairs!! Haha those were not the days! Love your blog!! too cute! Can’t wait to read more!

  5. This really brings back memories of when I first went away to college. I absolutely love college shopping. I’m sure my mother did not feel the same way though :p

  6. Oh the good old days of sharing a room, staying up late to study and working to make that late deadline. Cafeteria food and new friends.

  7. Scattered Musings of A Creative Mind says:

    Great tips, I have a few years before I’ll have to do this type of planning and shopping

    dropping by via Friendship Friday hop. I’ve enjoyed my visit and I’ll be stopping back by in the future. (following in all the networks we have in common)

  8. Food Stories says:

    Looks like you thought of everything, good job 🙂


  1. […] Help your kids organize a 3 ring binder to keep their school subjects organized using my favorite Avery Plastic Insertable 2-Pocket Dividers. […]

  2. […] Dorm Room Checklist @ Organized Island […]


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