Dorm Room 101


Planner, notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters
Post-its, index cards
Stapler, staples, tape, scissors
Erasable message board and dry erase marker
Bulletin board, push pins
Envelopes, stamps
Computer paper


Alarm clock
Laptop or desktop computer, printer, mousepad 
 Desk lamp
CD or MP3 player, headphones, CDs
Small TV
Cell phone and charger
Fridge, microwave (if not provided)
Extension cords and power strip
Small fan
Camera and/or video camera 


Plastic shower caddy
Hairbrush, comb
Shampoo, conditioner, soap
Lotions, creams, deodorant
Razor, nail clippers, and tweezers
Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash 


Mattress pad
Two sets of sheets
Blanket, comforter 
Towels, washcloths


Flip-flops or shower shoes 
Lots of jeans, sweatshirts, and sneakers
Hanging shoe bag or shoe rack
Laundry basket, laundry supplies


Contact info for family and friends
Contact info for doctors, employers, service providers, etc.
Health insurance card
All forms of personal ID


Dishes, silverware, food storage containers
Paper towels
Cleaning supplies (mini-vacuum, air freshener, etc.) 
Adhesive mounting products such as removable double-sided tape   
Snack foods 
First-aid items
Simple tool kit
Small sewing kit
Extra light bulbs 
Photos and posters

So you got into the college of your choice, you’ve figured out how to pay for it and you’re even thinking about starting to pack, but what are you planning on bringing? Well, don’t worry, we’ll help you get ready for dorm room life with all its quirks and tight spaces.

Before you start packing, check out our packing guide. And, find out if you’re ready for life in tight dorm-room quarters with our etiquette quiz. This page just might make your college experience a little more enjoyable.


Dorm Room Etiquette

Know what to do and how to behave in such close quarters.


In your welcome pack for school with information about your dorm room, find out what size your room is, how many roommates you'll have and what type of bed you'll be sleeping on. Many college dorm room beds are extra long and require extra long sheets.

Knowing whether you have a dresser, closet and or wardrobe will be helpful in choosing storage items like plastic bins for under your bed, or portable shelves to hang inside your future closet.

Also, check the weather for the area where you'll be living. What are the temperatures during the different seasons? Think about what type of clothes your should bring in relation to the climate. You should consider the types of activities you'll be doing too. Do you need anything formal? Some work out clothes? Think about all the possibilities.


Before you pack your favorite posters and a bunch of items to decorate your room, pack the things you absolutely need first. Here's a list to get you started:

The Necessities

  • Vital Information -- Bring personal IDs, a contact sheet of family and friends, medication information for doctors and your health insurance card.
  • Clothes -- Pack enough for different types of occasions, activities and weather.
  • Toiletries -- You know what you use everyday -- pack it! Don't forget towels and washcloths.
  • Shower Caddy -- Find something that can go in and out of the shower with you to hold you shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.
  • Shower Sandals -- Protect your feet from foot fungus and wear flip-flops in the shower.
  • Robe -- You might not have a bathroom in your room, so bring a robe to wear to and from the bathroom after showering. You might not feel comfortable in just a towel.
  • Slippers -- You probably won't want to put your shoes on every time you walk out into your hallway.
  • First Aid Kit -- For those scrapes and bruises you might get rushing to class!
  • Sewing Kit -- Just in case your favorite top loses a button.
  • Hangers -- Schools typically do not supply hangers, so you'll need to bring some to hang your clothes.
  • Set of Eating Utensils -- Bring a cup, bowl, plate, fork, knife and spoon. You might get sick of dorm cafeteria food, so you should bring the right stuff to eat in your room.
  • Bedding -- Bring a comforter, extra long sheets, a pillow, pillowcase and any other items you need for your bed.
  • Laundry Basket, Hamper or Bag
  • Computer -- Bringing a computer will help you study more and keep all of your work in one place. If you have a lap top, bring a lock.
  • Power Strip with Surge Protector -- If you're bringing a computer, you need to protect your electronics. And don't forget chargers for all your other electronic gear.


You're going to want your dorm room to feel like your new home. If you have room, bring some items to make you feel a comfortable in your new space, but keep in mind you are sharing it. Here are some ideas to brighten your new mini-abode:

  • Photos and Posters
  • Fridge and Microwave
  • Hair Dryer
  • Message Board for Your Door
  • Alarm clock
  • Fan
  • Desk Lamp
  • Laundry and Cleaning Products
  • Flashlight
  • TV and/or DVD Player

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