Dorm Essentials You Need to Pack Before Leaving for College

Everyone knows the basic necessities for college living: sheets, pillows, power strips, etc. Sometimes, though, it’s the little things that make all the difference. Here are some dorm room essentials you might not know you need. 

  1. 1. Mattress Pad

    woman sleeping in bed

    Dorm beds are not comfortable. A cushy mattress pad will save your life, and ensure that you’re able to get a good night’s sleep before your first day of class.

  2. 2. Fan

    drying off underarm sweat with hairdryer

    Believe me when I say this is an absolute must, especially if your dorm doesn’t have air conditioning. You definitely don’t want to melt into a student-sized puddle before your college experience begins.

  3. 3. Laundry Hamper

    a person sits crosslegged on the ground folding laundry, including jeans and shirts which sit in piles before them

    Taking multiple armfuls of dirty laundry up and down the stairs, dropping socks all along the way? No thank you. Better to just load up the hamper and take one trip.

  4. 4. Bathrobe

    Nothing is more awkward than passing random people in the hallway wearing nothing but a thin towel. Save yourself some embarrassment and feel more comfortable with a cozy bathrobe.

  5. 5. Shower Caddy

    set of natural toiletries

    Speaking of taking only one trip, a shower caddy will be a big help. You’ll get to haul all of your toiletries down to the showers in one go rather than trekking up and down the hall in your robe.

  6. 6. Clock

    close up of white alarm clock

    It may be easy to set an alarm on your phone as you’re falling asleep, but that means it’s just as easy to hit snooze and fall back asleep in the morning. There’s no doubt that an alarm clock is a rude awakening to the morning, but it’s a purchase that will get you to class on time. 

  7. 7. Broom/Dustbuster

    woman wearing black shirt eating popcorn

    Between all of the meals after classes and late-night snacking with friends, your dorm room will definitely get a little bit gross. That’s the truth. Why bother with the hassle of borrowing something from the building manager when you could bring a broom or dustbuster of your own?

  8. 8. Dish Towels

    Another thing that will help with messes is dish towels. Whether you’re using them to clean up spills or dry your dishes so they don’t drip all over, this is an item you won’t regret bringing.

  9. 9. Mirror

    Don’t forget to head out to class without your first-day fit check! A mirror will be your best friend for looking your best and feeling your best.

  10. 10. Pitcher

    Don’t forget to hydrate! Use a pitcher to fill up your water bottle and make sure you’re drinking enough water every day. Britas are especially popular, but any pitcher will work, and it’s definitely better than taking eight trips to the water fountain every day to fill up a bottle.

  11. 11. Rug

    There’s no doubt that dorm rooms are bland and impersonal. While most places don’t allow tapestries or oversized decorations, a rug is an excellent way to add personality and a pop of color to your new home.

The transition from home life to dorm living is definitely tough, but there are ways to make it easier. With some smart packing and adequate preparation, you can turn any dorm room into your space in no time.