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My good friend texted me this weekend and wrote that she needed a college packing list. As lots of places are having sales right now, it can be a good time to stock up on everything for your dorm room. If I could give any advice to college freshmen, it is not to over-purchase. Most times you won’t need the things you bought for your dorm room ever again, and trust me the year goes by in a blink. So here is my comprehensive list for dorm life:

Bed Supplies

  • Mattress Protector– Bed Bugs
  • Mattress Topper — This will save you, I promise!
  • Extra Long Twin bedding — This is the standard size for dorm rooms
  • Good Pillows — You won’t have a headboard, so if you are laying in bed with only one pillow your head will bang against the wall. Bring a few pillows to be comfortable. I have seen some people buy headboards and I would not recommend that. You most likely will never have use for it again.


This category is so important! When I first showed up to college, I realized I only had a tiny dresser to put all my clothes in.

  • Storage Bins with Drawers — These can be slid under your bed for maximum storage.
  • Crates for Cleaning Supplies  Perfect for stashing Clorox in your closet or snacks under your bed.
  • Clothes Hangers
  • Bed Pocket — A must if your bed is lofted, it is a nightmare to go up and down.


  • Mini Fridge — In my freshman dorm, we had a big refrigerator, but it was the scariest thing I had ever seen in my life. If you have to make one splurge, I would go for this item. People will eat your food and they may leave burritos in there for three months…
  • Lighting — Your room will not be well lit at all. This could be a small lamp or string lights, anything will help.
  • Power Strips — Most dorms don’t allow extension cords, and these will solve that problem.
  • Door Hooks — These hooks just slide right on top of the door and allow you to hang stuff up. You wouldn’t realize it, but these are really helpful.
  • Command Strips — These are great for hanging lights, decorations, keys, jackets, etc.


Don’t forget to keep in mind your home life as it is now. For instance, when I got to college, I brought a coffee maker because I drink it every morning. I brought a hot water machine mid-semester to make tea and coffee. My family drinks French Press and I eventually broke down and got one for my dorm room. I was afraid of people judging me for drinking French press coffee, but about three months in I realized that no one cares. Bring things from home that will give you comfort! The first semester can be stressful and it’s nice to have familiar things from home.

  • Electric Kettle — Perfect if you are a tea drinker.
  • Tide Pen — The washing machines aren’t great, and this will get out stains easily!
  • Laundry Bag/Basket — I had a laundry basket in my room and then lugged my laundry down in a reusable shopping bag. Trust me, you won’t want to lug your laundry basket down five flights of stairs.
  • Small Rug — Dorm room floors are gross.
  • Decorations! — This is the fun part. Bring some things from home and don’t go overboard. I would recommend only getting decorations that you know will be used again.
  • Small Trash Can — Bring some plastic bags from home too. This will make taking out the trash so much easier. Our kitchen trash bag was always 4,000 pounds and it smelled, so I just started keeping track of my own garbage and that’s it.
  • Cleaning Supplies  A must.


The dining hall food wasn’t great, and I had a twenty-five minute walk every time I wanted to eat. I promise when it is thirty degrees and pitch black when your class ends at 7:30 you won’t want to walk to the dining hall.

  • Microwavable Mugs/Bowl — You won’t have much space so these two-in-one mugs are perfect. You can put your coffee in them and also your soup.
  • Soup/Pasta/Snacks — Soup can sit unopened for a while, so when you have a really late night it will come in handy. I also used to make pasta in the microwave. You just put the uncooked pasta in with water, microwave it, drain it, and enjoy! Also, snacks are a must, specifically chocolate.
  • Silverware — Just bring a few from home. No need to go crazy, but this item is a necessity.

I hope this list sheds a little night on what you might need. This is a stressful time and I really feel for the graduating class of 2020. I hope this fall goes smoothly and that everyone stays safe!

Kathryn Collins is a Sophomore at the College of Charleston this year. She is majoring in arts management with a minor in creative writing. She loves traveling, watching terrible movies, eating brunch and other fancy lady activities. Instagram: @katiecollins_7
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