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The Ultimate Shopping List for Your Dorm

The Ultimate Shopping List for Your Dorm

Just in time for back to school shopping, here is a list of everything you'll need in your college dorm! This is amazing, amaryllismoon! —Sparkitors


  • Paper plates, paper bowls, napkins, paper towels, plastic silverware
  • Water bottle and travel coffee mug to bring to classes (I recommend a Tervis! I have one and it’s awesome…it keeps drinks hot AND cold, whoa!)
  • Sandwich and snack baggies for leftovers, and snacks to munch on in classes
  • Cups, mugs, and plastics bowls and plates (at least 2 of each item)
  • Water pitcher and filters (depending on the water quality, you will definitely want one of these because it’s cheaper than buying water bottles constantly)
  • Coffee Maker
  • Mini fridge
  • Toaster/Toaster Oven (check safety regulations to see if you’re allowed these)
  • Microwave
  • Mattress protector
  • Mattress pad
  • Foam topper
  • Bed set (Fitted sheet, flat sheet, comforter, pillow, bed throw). It might come with a bed skirt—mine did—but you will find you probably won’t use it because you use the area under your bed for storage and that will just get in the way.
  • Body pillow
  • Armchair pillow
  • Bedside caddy—a thing to go between your bed frame and mattress to use for a nightstand because you won’t have room for one if you’re in a standard dorm room
  • Alarm clock/iHome
  • Floor lamp (I kept mine behind my bed for extra lighting because dorm lighting isn’t that great. I also used it when I would read before bed.)
  • Garbage can
  • Desk lamp
  • Light bulbs
  • Desk calendar—either in dry erase form on wall next to desk or actual monthly calendar to lay on top of your desk. I preferred the dry erase because it left me more room on top to use for studying.
  • Bulletin board and push pins and magnets (I like magnetic!)
  • Surge protector
  • Flash drive
  • Audio recorder
  • Drawer organizer. You will realize there will never be enough drawer space so you want to make the most of the little that you have.
  • Bookends
  • Door mirror (check to see if your dorm comes with one)
  • Area rug (especially if your room is carpeted)
  • Window panels/blinds (if not supplied)
  • Frames and posters. Command Strips will become your best friend!
  • Floor cushions/back rests for entertaining
  • Towels (at least four)
  • Washcloths (at least eight…you will be surprised how often you use them)
  • Hand towels (at least two)
  • Bath sponge
  • Shower shoes. Old flip flops that you won’t wear for anything else would work just fine…that’s what I did.
  • Bathroom caddy. I used a plastic one with holes in it so that the water rinses through it; make sure it is big enough to hold your shampoo/conditioner, body wash, and soap.
  • Laundry basket
  • Hair dryer/straightener
  • Robe
  • Slippers
  • Drying rack (for bras and sweaters that can’t go in the dryer)
  • Stepping stool
  • Toothbrush holder (travel one)
  • Cleaning supplies (vacuum, Swiffer wet/dry mop, laundry detergent, Febreeze, Lysol spray and wipes, dish soap)

This all depends on what type of dorm you end up in:

  • Shower curtain/liner/rod/rings
  • Tub/bath mat
  • Under-bed storage. Used one for food, one for extra bedding and blankets, and one for movies and board games.
  • Shoe storage (I used one that hung inside my closet to save space)
  • Storage cart/chest for craft/project things, and top drawer for first-aid stuff. (Mine was three drawers.)
  • Bed lifts
  • Small tool kit
  • Hangers. I use the Slimline ones because they are sturdy and flat so you can fit a lot more in your closet!
  • Laptop lock
  • Crates. I used one to keep all my school binders in, and a second one to store my shower stuff when not in use.

Is amaryllismoon missing anything? What do you recommend?

Related Post: The Drama of Choosing a Dorm Room

Topics: Life, College Advisor
Tags: sparkler posts, college, back to school, school, moving, roommates, dorm gear, dorms, dorm rooms, living on your own

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