College Dorm Essentials

Dorm shopping is upon us and stores are stocked with everything you will need to go back to school. College is different to high school when it comes to supplies though, as many students will move away from home and into a dorm. While there’s plenty of things you don’t need for your dorm (see my post here), there are also plenty of things you do need. Keep in mind these are just the most important things/items to splurge on. For a complete list of EVERYTHING you need for your dorm, view my post here.

Mattress Topper

This is my biggest must have when it comes to dorm living. Dorms are supplied with furniture is mass quantity, and schools aren’t exactly shelling out the money for temperpedics. The bed are thin and cheap and really not that comfortable. If you’ve ever been to a summer camp it is the same style of beds. Sleep is such an important factor in mental health and academic success, so invest in a good mattress pad for your dorm bed.

Mattress Protector

Right along with a mattress pad is a mattress protector. You don’t know when the last time the dorm bed was replaced and they’re almost never cleaned. Keep others germs from you by protecting your mattress topper and bedding with a mattress protector.

Laundry Basket

This is a big item people tell to put little thought into when they shop for them. While it is only a laundry basket, it is important to take into consideration that you will need to carry it to and from the laundry room. Additionally, if you’re like most college students you’ll probably want to pick a large one, because you’ll unlikely do laundry as frequently as you did at home.

Cleaning Supplies

Make sure you remember to bring some cleaning supplies with you when you go to move in. While many dorms have a few communal items like vacuums and trash bags, they often don’t have items like lysol wipes. If you have a connected bathroom to your dorm you will want to make sure you bring a few basic bathroom supplies as well.


Headphones are also definitely an important thing to remember to bring to college. When you’re trying to study the last thing you want is to not be able to focus because your roommate is blaring Netflix because they don’t have headphones. If you don’t want them to do it to you, be polite and put some headphones on when you listen to things.

Water Bottle

Many dorms have drinking fountains in the lobby or hallway and the last thing you want to do is leave your dorm every time you’re thirsty. Avoid this problem and bring a water bottle that you can fill up heading to and from your dorm. Plus, a nice water bottle will keep you from wasting single use plastic bottles.

Stay tuned for a full dorm packing list late July. (It’s live! Read it here)

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