Dorm Room Essentials Checklist

Whether you're heading to college or sending a child off, pick up these essentials for dorm living.


  1. Check Alarm clock

    So you can make that 8 a.m. biology class.

  2. Check Bed linens

    Bring your own comforter, sheets, and pillow(s). You may want to have two sets of linens—laundry tends to pile up! Note: Check whether the dorms have regular twin or extra-long twin beds.

  3. Check Clothes hangers

    Bring just one type of hanger, and your closet will look more orderly.

  4. Check Clothing

    There’s only so much room in a dorm closet, so pack just enough clothing to make it from one laundry day to the next.

  5. Check Computer

    Most colleges have computer labs, but it’s more convenient to have your own laptop. Make sure to bring appropriate software.

  6. Check Desk lamp

    Essential for late-night cramming while your roommate is sleeping.

  7. Check DVD player, stereo, and television

    They can’t be too large or powerful if you’ll be sharing a room with others. Contact your roommate(s) before moving in and coordinate who will bring what.

  8. Check Laundry basket

    The lighter the better, as you might have a long walk to the laundry room.

  9. Check Posters, pictures, and other decorations

    You want your room to have a bit of personality, so bring along some artwork and pictures of family and friends.

  10. Check Storage boxes and stackable crates

    Great for stowing things under the bed or in a little-used corner.


  1. Check Bath linens

    Bring your own washcloth and towels. Two sets are better than one.

  2. Check Bathrobe

    A must-have for the trip to the bathroom.

  3. Check Flip-flops

    Shower shoes are essential for anyone who shares a public bathroom.

  4. Check Shower tote

    It’s much easier to transport your toiletries to the bathroom in a handy carrier.


  1. Check Appliances

    Find out what appliances you are permitted to have (such as a toaster oven), and coordinate with your roommate(s).

  2. Check Dishes, glasses, and utensils

    Even if you’ll be eating most of your meals in the cafeteria, it’s nice to have these on hand.

  3. Check Snacks

    Sometimes you need a boost while writing that thesis on chaos theory.


  1. Check Important papers

    Be sure to pack any important documents or ID cards you may need, such as a driver’s license, registration forms, and financial-aid forms. If you plan to get a job, bring a copy of your birth certificate as proof of age.

  2. Check Medications

    If you require prescription medications, bring enough with you to last until the next time you go home, or make sure that you can refill them at a pharmacy on campus or near the school.