college freshman dorm checklist

Going to college soon and looking for a college freshman dorm checklist to know what you’ll need to bring to school? Here is the ultimate college packing list of essentials that you need to bring to college.

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college freshman dorm checklist

If you’re going to college soon, you may be in need of a college freshman dorm checklist to help you pack what you need to for school.

Packing for college can be a big task, so I’ve made this college packing list of everything you’ll need for your dorm, whether it’s stuff for your bedroom, kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, etc.

As someone who has lived in the dorms before, these are things I actually used when living in the dorms. Here is my college essentials list of things you need to pack for living in the dorms!!

This post is all about a college freshman dorm checklist.

College Freshman Dorm Checklist

Dorm packing list pdf


  • Mattress Topper
  • Twin XL sheets (2)
  • Pillows
  • Pillow cases
  • Comforter
  • Mattress Protector
  • Back Pillow
  • Throw Blanket
  • Weighted Blanket


  • Full Length Mirror
  • Laundry Basket
  • Rug
  • Curtains
  • Trash Can
  • Command Strips For Decorating
  • Desk Lamp
  • Padlock Or Safe For Valuables
  • White Noise Machine

Related: The Best College Freshman Advice For Your First Day At College


  • Shower Caddy Tote
  • Shower Shoes
  • Towels (4)
  • Washcloths (4)
  • Head Towel
  • Robe
  • Bath Mats
  • Shower Curtain


  • Hair Tools
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Face Wash
  • Deodorant
  • Moisturizer
  • SPF
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shaving Cream
  • Razor
  • Body Wash
  • Nail Stuff
  • Hair Brush
  • Hair Ties
  • Tweezers
  • Medicine

Related: 16 Super Important Things To Do Before College


  • Microwave Safe Dishes (4)
  • Microwave Safe Bowls (4)
  • Microwave Safe Mugs (4)
  • Cups (4)
  • Tupperware Set
  • Reusable Ziplock Bags
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Travel Mug
  • Silverware Set
  • Can Opener
  • Dish Sponge
  • Dish Rack
  • Dish Towels
  • Mini Fridge
  • Microwave
  • Coffee Maker
  • Toaster/ Toaster Oven
  • Mini Skillet
  • Electric Kettle
  • Blender


  • Mini Vacuum
  • Clorox Wipes
  • All Purpose Cleaner
  • Dish Soap
  • Room Spray
  • Garbage Bags
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Fabric Softener
  • Dryer Balls
  • Wrinkle Release Spray
  • Stain Remover Stick
  • Lint Roller
  • Toilet Cleaning Brush
  • Plunger

Related: 8 Super Useful Dorm Kitchen Essentials That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier


  • Hangers
  • Under-Bed Storage Containers
  • Over The Door Organizer
  • Drawer Organization
  • Hanging Closet Shelves
  • Plastic Storage Drawers


  • Laptop
  • Ipad & Apple Pencil
  • Headphones
  • Kindle
  • Video Game Devices
  • HDMI Cord
  • Chargers
  • TV
  • Roku
  • Extension Cord
  • Batteries

Related: 18 Amazing College Tips For Freshman | The Most Important Things I Learned My Freshman Year Of College


  • Plants
  • Wall Art
  • String Lights
  • Letterboard
  • Peel And Stick Wallpaper

School Supplies

  • Binders
  • Planner
  • Notebooks
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Backpack
  • Lunchbox
  • Calculator
  • Flash Cards
  • Mini Stapler
  • Tape
  • Bookmarks/ Sticky Notes

Related: No BS Ways To Make Money In College With Side Hustles


  • Drivers License
  • Student ID
  • Copy Of Birth Certificate
  • Health Insurance Cards
  • Auto Insurance Card
  • Financial Aid Documents


  • Safety Tools
  • Eye Sleeping Mask
  • Earplugs
  • Umbrella
  • Rain Boots
  • Rain Coat
  • Bike

The Best Dorm Essentials

Here are some things from the college freshman dorm checklist that are absolutely essential to have when living in the dorms.

1. Twin XL Memory Foam Mattress Topper

college freshman dorm checklist for freshman girl

Dorm beds are literally the most uncomfortable thing on earth. A mattress topper is a must.

When I first went to college I skimped on getting a good mattress topper and bought a super cheap one. I quickly learned that the thin mattress pad I had bought was just not gonna cut it for the uncomfy dorm beds, and ended up switching to a memory foam one. It helped me sleep so much better.

All of that to say, investing in things that will help you sleep better in college is so worth it, and if you invest some money into anything, a comfy mattress pad is one of the best things you can spend money on for living in the dorms.

Related: 9 Life-Changing Hacks For Introverts Living In The Dorms

2. Twin XL Comforter And Sheets

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printable college dorm checklist

Most dorm beds are size twin XL. Most people don’t just have that size of comforter/ sheets just laying around, so it’s important to grab some before you go to school.

3. Mattress Protector

college packing list pdf

A mattress protector is something I never thought to buy for my dorm, but in retrospect, I wish I had.

They don’t switch out the mattresses when new people move in, so who knows how many people have slept on the bed you’re going to have. They likely clean them beforehand, but thinking about everything that could be in that mattress from people who slept on it before is kind of gross.

So, getting a mattress protector is a good idea. It will also keep you from getting charged for the mattress if you happen to spill something on it.

Related: 10 Amazing Reasons To Start A Blog In College

4. Full Length Mirror

college essentials list

A full length mirror is one of the first things I bought after moving into my dorm. It is really helpful to have one when you’re planning outfits. This one is super cool because you can stick it to things, so if you don’t have a lot of space for a mirror, you can just put it on the back of your door.

5. Laundry Hamper

college packing list

A laundry hamper is super important so you don’t clutter up your space with dirty laundry. I would recommend one like this that isn’t see through that way your room doesn’t look messy even when your hamper is full. It is also cute and can be used as a decor.

If you want to make sure you do your laundry often, I would get a small hamper that way it will fill up quicker and you know to do your laundry when it’s full.

However, college students don’t have a whole lot of time to do laundry, and going to the on-campus laundry mat isn’t the funnest thing. I personally had a big hamper and would wait until it filled up with laundry and then take it home and do my laundry there.

Related: 18 Insanely Cute Study Table Ideas That Are Perfect For Small Spaces

6. Over The Door Organizer

college dorm checklist

This is another thing I didn’t think to buy for college, but when I got there I saw my roommate had one and I thought it was the smartest thing. Adding an over the door organizer to your closet/ wardrobe gives you so much more storage space and keeps you from having too much clutter.

7. Mesh Shower Caddy Tote

dorm room checklist

A shower tote is a must. Having one is super important if you have communal bathrooms in your dorm. You’ll need something to carry your toiletries back and forth from the bathroom, and a mesh shower tote is perfect because you don’t have to worry about it getting wet and molding like you would with a plastic one (speaking from experience).

Even if you don’t have communal bathroom, you’ll likely be sharing your bathroom with people. It’s important to have a shower caddy so all your bathroom stuff is in one place.

8. Bath Robe

what to bring to college

A bath robe is super useful when you’re living in the dorms because you’re probably going to be around other people all the time and probably don’t want to be walking around in a towel. It’s also useful to be able to pull it over your pjs if you have to get up and be around people after you’ve gotten ready for bed. Like if your roommate randomly decides to invite their friends over without saying anything (speaking from experience).

9. Dish Set

college list for dorm
college packing list for girl

You only need about 4 of each dish when you’re living in the dorms. This will prevent you from letting dishes build up in the sink because you won’t have as many to use. There also just isn’t a lot of space in the dorm for more than 4.

This dish set is perfect because it’s cute and also microwave safe.

10. Reusable Ziplock Bags And Leak-Proof Tupperware

college freshman dorm
college freshman packing list

I highly, highly recommend getting some reusable ziplock bags and some Tupperware for living in the dorms. You might not have time to come home and eat between classes, so having leak proof Tupperware is perfect for putting your lunch in your backpack. They’re also awesome for taking food back to your dorm from the meal hall.

Reusable ziplocks bags can be used for the same things and are nice because they take up less space and are easier to carry around! I’d recommend getting both that way you can use the Tupperware when you need to carry more and the baggies when you need to carry less.

11. Travel Mug

college dorm checklist freshman year

Having a travel mug is a really good idea so that you can take coffee or hot beverages to your classes to help you stay awake. I don’t know about you, but having something warm to drink also helps me focus better.

12. Mini Vacuum

college dorm list freshman year

Dorms don’t have a ton of space where you can store a vacuum, so a mini vacuum is perfect for living in the dorms because you’ll still be able to clean your floors without the vacuum taking up a lot of space.

I took a huge clunky vacuum to college with me and it was a huge pain. It took up all the room in my closet where I needed the space for shoes and such. So, I would definitely recommend investing in a mini one. Having a mini one is also a plus because you’ll likely be moving around a lot in the next few years and won’t have tow around a big vacuum.

13. Storage

college packing list girl
college packing list
off to college checklist

Having extra compact storage that you can hide away in your dorm room is essential because you don’t have a lot of room. These underbed organizers are perfect for storing things under your bed, these closet shelves are perfect for extra storage in your closet, and these stackable plastic drawers are perfect because you can just put them wherever they’ll fit if you need some extra drawers.

14. Roku Streaming Device

college packing list girl pdf

I could not have lived without my roku in my dorm. This isn’t exactly an essential for everyone, but it was for me. It fits all your streaming services into one tiny little box that you just hook up to your tv.

15. Planner

Extreme college packing list

A planner is absolutely essential in college for time management. With all of the demands for your time, like work, a social life, and school, it is impossible to keep it all together and prioritize what’s important without a planner. I highly recommend getting one before you go to school and writing down everything you need to do in it. I literally would not have made it through school without using a planner.

16. Safety Tools

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college list packing
dorming essentials

Having things for safety in college is super important. It’s sad, but true. A lot of sketchy things can happen, especially when you’re living in the dorms.

Here are a few safety tools that would be good to get for college. This portable door lock keeps people from opening the door from the outside (even people who have a key), and this pepper spray and stun gun set, along with this alarm, would be great for self defense in an emergency.

17. Earplugs and Eye Mask For Sleeping

dorm essential
essential for college

Like I said earlier when talking about investing in a mattress topper, investing in things that will help you be able to sleep in the dorms is a really good idea. Earplugs are helpful because dorms are generally very noisy, and they can also be really helpful for studying.

An eye mask can be helpful when taking naps during the day or in the mornings when your roommate gets up before you and turns on all the lights in your room while you’re still trying to sleep (speaking from experience again).

18. Rainy Day Essentials

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college list for dorm

Something I literally did not think about at all before going to college was getting stuff for when it rained. It was such a joy to wake up and get ready to walk to class one day and realize it was pouring down rain and I didn’t have an umbrella, rain boots, or a rain jacket.

Coming from someone who knows, sitting in a classroom with dripping wet shoes, clothes, and hair is not only kind of embarrassing but also SUPER uncomfortable. Don’t be like me and forget to get stuff for when it rains!!

This post was all about the best college freshman dorm checklist to help you pack for school.

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