It’s difficult to know what to bring to your first college dorm room or apartment. Every university has different dorms, rules and dimensions — outfitting your college dorm can be overwhelming. How do you know what to buy?
Luckily for you, we crafted the perfect dorm checklist so you don’t have to. Our budget-friendly list includes every item you’ll ever need, grouped into helpful categories.
Plus, we listed a few of our favorite brands and recommendations. (You can also check out our dorm decorating guide for tons of fun, creative ideas to add personality to your room.)
College Dorm Checklist
Tip: buy an easy-to-wash comforter.
(Especially crucial if you don’t have HVAC or any control over it!)
- Sheets and pillowcases
We recommend buying two extra sets of each so you don’t have to stress when it’s time to do laundry. Most dorm beds fit Twin XL sheets.
Because you can never have too many cushions.
- Mattress pad
Don’t rely on dorm mattresses. A mattress pad is a must if you like your beauty sleep.
- Bed risers
If you have the opportunity to loft your bed, do it. That extra space can be used to store additional clothes.
How are you supposed to take midday naps with the sun shining in? You can’t, which is why you need Kwik-Hang curtain rod brackets to create the sanctuary of your dreams. Kwik-Hang makes it super easy to hang curtains without drilling and damaging your walls.
Food & Kitchen
- Minifridge and microwave
Check with your university to see if you cant rent them through your school first (they may also be provided). Take measurements of the room before purchasing so you get the right size.
- Coffee maker or electric kettle
Sometimes you just can’t count on the dining hall’s beverage quality. Purchase a dorm-sized Keurig and you’ll never have to leave your dorm caffeine-deprived again.
- Water filter
You’ll probably want something other than tap water. Buy yourself a Brita and never worry about the quality of water. (Plus, it tastes good!)
- Plastic kitchenware
There’s no need for fancy glass plates, cups and bowls. Get plastic kitchenware so you’ll never have to worry about accidentally shattering a glass bowl in the sink.
You don’t have to go crazy with the utensils, but a few forks, knives, and spoons will get you through the semester.
- Sponges and soap
Those dishes won’t clean themselves.
- Trash can and bags
Trash bags or liners are essential. You won’t have to haul your entire trashcan down multiple flights of stairs when it’s time to empty.
- Paper towels
You can never be too prepared for what spills might occur!
- Desk lamp
Dorm lights can be yellow-ish and subpar. A bright desk lamp is perfect for those late-night cramming sessions.
- Storage organizers
The desk clutter commences as soon as school ramps up. Get a desk organizer to contain the chaos.
- Notebooks, folders, pens and pencils
Even though you might not know what books and folders you need right now, it doesn’t hurt to grab a few supplies for the first week.
- Extra chargers
For those lazy days when you don’t want to move your phone charger from your bed to your desk. You’ll thank us later.
Depending on your situation, it can be extremely handy to have your own printer. Even if you have one available to you, there is nothing more convenient than having one in your own room.
- Shower caddy
If you have a community bathroom and shower, you’re going to become best friends with your shower caddy, so take the time to pick it out. Find one that fits your needs and is easy to transport.
An easy-to-forget item, but nonetheless necessary.
- Shower shoes
Dorm bathrooms are notorious for being unsanitary. Don’t take the risk – get yourself a pair of rubber flip flops designed for showers.
- First aid kit
Sometimes a trek to the student health center is just too far, especially for a minor paper cut. Stock up on first aid supplies to have handy in your room.
- Bath mat
Lucky enough to have your own bathroom? Opt for a bath mat so you don’t get your floors wet.
- Toilet paper
As a freshman, journeying to the store on your own can be hectic. If you have your own bathroom, stocking up on toilet paper is key for being prepared and responsible.
- Laundry bag or hamper
The easier to lug around, the better. Try out a foldable hamper or even a backpack laundry bag.
- Drying rack
If you hang-dry your clothes, a foldable drying rack is absolutely essential. While hanging your clothes around your room might work, you’ll just be adding more clutter to an already cramped room.
- Lint roller
You never know when you need to pull out your dusty business attire for a presentation.
It’s always difficult to estimate the number of clothes you can fit in your dorm wardrobe. Buy slim hangers to maximize your closet.
Last but definitely not least! No dorm is complete without the 3M’s reliable Command line. Command strips and hooks are a must for dorm decor.
Now that you have everything you need to survive your freshman year, it’s time to spruce up your space with some finishing decorative touches.
Unsure where to begin with your decor process? Start with something simple such as a poster, a fun photo collage, or homey curtains with the help of Kwik-Hang’s no-drill, damage-free curtain rod brackets.
Dorm Life Made Easy With Kwik-Hang
Kwik-Hang has turned the hassle of hanging curtains into a simple installation process.
Just position the Kwik-Hang curtain rod brackets above your window trim, tap into place and you’re done! No measuring, drilling or damage. Kwik-Hang is the perfect college dorm decor solution!