College Series // ULTIMATE Dorm Room Checklist!

As I’m now going into my senior year of college, I definitely have experience with college shopping. I lived on campus in dorms my first two years, and an apartment last year and this coming year. I lived in the suite-style dorms, so I don’t have personal experience with traditional dorms where you have to share a community bathroom, but I have friends that did have that experience. So, I feel like I’m definitely qualified enough to share my version of a college dorm room shopping list, whether you’ll be in a suite or a traditional dorm room!


  • Backrest pillow // definitely not a necessity, but this is nice to have for the days where you’re tired of your desk and just want to study in bed
  • Blanket(s) // I always keep one on my bed and one on the couch! (if you have a couch in your dorm)
  • Body pillow & cover // I prefer doing this than just buying a pillow already designed. This way, I was able to buy a memory foam pillow and I’ve been able to switch up the covers to match my room theme each year!
  • Mattress pad // this is a NECESSITY. You don’t know who used those beds before you, and they also prevent bedbugs!
  • Pillows // the more, the better.
  • Comforter (Twin XL) // make it cute, but nothing over the top. You want something that you won’t get tired of looking at every day!
  • Mattress topper (Twin XL) // these beds are very uncomfortable, trust me. Investing in a comfortable mattress topper is worth it!
  • Sheet sets (Twin XL) // you could get away with just buying a twin comforter, but if your dorm bed is a twin XL, you NEED twin XL sheets. Regular twin ones will not fit!



  • Area rug or small rugs // this is a preference. Personally, I just liked having a small one next to my bed and a small one by my sink
  • Decorative lights // i never had these, but I think Christmas lights look so cute around peoples’ beds and/or windows. Make sure it’s allowed first!
  • Decorative pillows
  • Desk lamp // this is great to have for when your roommate is studying but you really need to stay up studying
  • Door mirror
  • Floor lamp // i only suggest this if you have a suite with a common area — it’s not really necessary otherwise!
  • Picture frames // to keep pictures of your loved ones from home in
  • Wall art
  • Curtains
  • Command hooks/strips // these are definitely needed because you can’t use nails or screws in the walls! Tape will also damage the paint a lot of the time. Some people say command strips also strip the paint, but I’ve been using them all three years and have never had that issue.


  • Flip-flops // this is needed if you share a community bathroom to prevent diseases!
  • Hair wrap
  • Body wrap // especially if you’re going to be walking down the hall after your shower back to your room
  • Shower caddy // if you have your own bathroom, get one that hangs in the shower! If not, buy a portable one to carry all of your things to and from the bathroom
  • Shower curtain/liner // If you have your own bathroom!
  • Shower hooks // some colleges provide them and some don’t. Mine said they did but didn’t, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Loofah
  • Towels // I recommend 2 or 3
  • Washcloths// I suggest getting a big pack if you use them to wash your face every day! You’re only going to be doing laundry once a week, at the most, so you’re going to need enough
  • Hand towels

Storage & Organization

  • Closet organization
  • Drying rack // especially if you don’t have your own shower, because that means you can’t just hang your clothes on the rod to dry them
  • Hangers // i recommend the thin velvet ones! They take up the least amount of room
  • Laundry basket/bag
  • Shoe organizer
  • Storage bins
  • Trash can // i like to keep one in my room and bathroom
  • Wall/door hooks // to hang things like towels and a robe


  • Nightstand // you can find inexpensive folding ones at Bed Bath & Beyond that are cute and don’t take up much room! They’re great to keep things such as an alarm clock, phone, and tissues
  • Bed risers // check to see if you need one. My school actually didn’t allow them because the height of the bed was already adjustable!
  • Bookcase // i’ve never gotten one for school, but if you think you need one then go for it!
  • Lounge chair // a nice folding one can be good for when you have friends over to watch movies
  • Ottoman // again, great for people to sit on. But it’s also a great foot rest and storage space!
  • TV stand

Personal Care

  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Shaving gel
  • Razors
  • Skin care
  • Antacid
  • Tylenol or other pain reliever
  • Vitamins
  • Band-aids
  • Cough drops
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Comb/brush
  • Hair dryer/straightener/curling iron
  • Lotion
  • Moisturizer
  • Makeup
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs
  • Clothes // I plan on doing another post on essentials!



  • Backpack // or tote bag. Something to carry around your school things in!
  • Corkboard // personally i didn’t need this, but it’s a personal preference!
  • Desktop organizer
  • Dry erase board // i like the calendar ones!
  • School supplies // i plan on doing another blog post on specifics 🙂


  • DVD/blu-ray player
  • USB drive // you may need more than one throughout your college years!
  • Computer lock // you really only need this if you have a roommate you can’t trust. Luckily, I’ve never needed one! But they can be good to have, especially if you’re going into it with a random roommate that you don’t know too well yet.
  • Cords/cables/power strips // especially power strip surge protectors!! You’ll need the extra outlets.
  • Gaming system/games // I definitely had some fun times playing Wii with my friends!
  • Headphones // again, great for when your roommate is sleeping or you don’t want to bother them.
  • Lap desk // another great thing for when you want to study in your room!
  • Mouse // I never got one of these either, but some people like to have one while using their laptop at their desk!
  • Printer/ink/paper // this definitely isn’t a necessity because you can always use the printer at the library or other places on campus, but I love having one for when I have to print something last minute or I just don’t feel like leaving my room!
  • Speakers // but please be respectful of your neighbors. I’ve had enough bad experiences with rude neighbors blaring music—don’t be that person!
  • Tablet
  • TV
  • HDMI cord
  • Ethernet cord
  • Extension cords // check with your school to see if you’re allowed to have these. Personally, I wasn’t allowed, but they would have been GREAT to have


  • Iron // I prefer a steamer, though!
  • Mini ironing board
  • Steamer // Seriously, they sell mini ones that will save your life
  • Vacuum
  • Fan // even if your building has A/C, they come in handy. I can’t sleep without one, no matter how cold it is! And if your building doesn’t have A/C, you will DEFINITELY want one
  • Mini toolkit // you never know when it could come in handy

Kitchen & Dining

  • Bottle opener
  • Can opener
  • Coffee maker/Keurig
  • Cooking utensils // for the community kitchen! Plus, you’ll be able to save them for your future apartment.
  • Cookware/bakeware // for the community kitchen! Plus, you’ll be able to save them for your future apartment.
  • Dish towels
  • Forks/spoons/knives
  • Ice cube tray
  • Microwave
  • Mini fridge
  • Pizza cutter
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Cups
  • Mugs
  • Pot holders
  • Toaster // check with your school, because I wasn’t allowed to have one! (Even though we could have microwaves… doesn’t really make sense to me!)
  • Water bottle/pitcher
  • Water filter

Paper & Plastics

  • Food storage bags
  • Garbage bags
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper


  • Broom & dustpan
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Dish soap
  • Dish wand
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Dryer sheets
  • Laundry detergent
  • Mop/bucket
  • Sponges
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Toilet brush
  • Plunger
  • Stain remover
  • Lint brush