Starting the next college year is exciting for everyone, especially if they’re moving to another city to start their next life chapter. If you’re going to start your college life soon, it’s time to get your college essentials in check. Not A Hobby Moving created a checklist to ensure you’re prepared for college move-in day!
Keep in mind that moving to a dorm room is much different than packing for any other thing like a trip. In most cases, you will have to pack everything you need to survive a full school year if you don’t want to spend all your savings once you move. Remember, packing and unpacking are only a tiny part of the college move-in process. The most important thing is to be prepared to avoid stressful situations.
Still, things may change a little depending on the dorm room you decide to go to. In most cases, taking too many things to your new dorm room may make your trip overwhelming, so we recommend you make a dorm room packing list to make things easier.
We aim to make things easier for you, which is why we’ve drafted the ultimate college packing list for you. The following list will walk you through all the things you need to get for your new dorm room, according to your own style.
From getting a shower caddy to a first aid kit and important documents, we’ll go over each section carefully so that you can make your college checklist without any problems.
Ultimate College Packing List | All the Dorm Room Essentials You Need
Keep in mind that this is a general college dorm list that you can adjust to your liking. There are also some things most students should keep in mind before moving, but we’ll get to that part in the end. There might be differences from a usual apartment or residential move, but we’ll try to cover as much ground as possible.
Things to Bring for Sleeping
In most cases, you will not get the most comfortable bedding for you to sleep in. Whether you get a twin XL mattress or a single bed, these are known for being comfortable. Sleep is one thing you cannot ignore when you’re studying, and considering most dorms don’t come with a comfortable dorm mattress, it’s time to consider some things you can get to make your resting sessions more pleasant.
Some of the things you can get for your room include the following:
- Mattress pad
- Bed risers
- Pillows (and pillow cases)
- Alarm clock
- Under bed storage
- Bed sheets
- Fans (in case there’s no air conditioning)
Before you choose anything, make sure to assess that you have enough room to fit everything you want. You don’t want to get a huge mattress pad to later discover that you can’t fit it in. Some bonus points you can get include an extra blanket or pillow, as well as a mattress topper.
As for the alarm clock, even if you tend to wake up early, you never know when you’ll have to pull an all-nighter. In these cases, it’s always best to have help from your handy alarm clock so that you can wake up when you have to.
Electronics and School Supplies
First, we have school supplies for your college packing list. Overall, you must take enough items so that you can ensure a comfortable and successful class journey. Most colleges offer most of the things that you will need, such as printers, computer labs, and more. However, if you provide yourself with these tools, you may be able to save some time and money in the future.
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If you get a printer, for example, you won’t have to spend time going around campus and waiting in lines so that you can get something printed. Moreover, there are some other supplies that should never be missing in your shoulder bag or apartment, including the following:
- Dry erase board
- Sticky notes
- Paper clips
- Spare pencils and pens
- Backpack or shoulder bag
- Rubber bands
- Printer and printer paper
- Tape, scissors, and other accessories
Even if you already have a laptop, using things like sticky notes to write down important stuff may save you one day. Moreover, having a calendar or a planner in your apartment will make it harder for you to forget things.
As for electronics, there is a wide range of things you can get to make your life easier. Most people go for the basics, which include a cell phone, a tablet, a laptop, and more. If you want to make things easier for you, consider taking these to your new dorm room too:
- Extension cords
- Graphic tablet (or standard tablet)
- Surge protector
- Charging bricks
Toiletries and Personal Items
This category goes mostly according to your personal preference. Regardless of where you are, you should always take care of your health and hygiene. If you’re going to live with a roommate, you may not want to share your items with them, so make sure you include some of the things on this list on your checklist:
- Shower caddy
- Shower shoes
- Shower curtain
- Hair dryer
- Hand towels
- Shaving kits
- Makeup kits
- Dental floss
- Nail clippers
- Trash can
- Nail kit
- Curling iron
In case you have any skincare routines or health routines for your skin in general, make sure to add all of those to your list; that way, you will ensure a much cleaner and safer experience while you live in your new room.
Clothes and Shoes
This is another category that you should adjust according to your preferences. If you’re going to move somewhere that experiences all the seasons over the year, you must ensure you’re getting clothes that match all of the seasons. Moreover, it shouldn’t hurt to take some professional clothing and casual clothing on the side so that you’re prepared for meetings or hang-outs with your friends.
Finally, if you’re one of those with a fitness lifestyle, make sure you get some fitness clothing and shoes on your checklist. Check the following list to have a better idea of what you can take in this department:
- Cold weather clothes and gear
- Hot weather clothes and gear
- Professional clothing
- Everyday wear
- Rain jackets
- Formal outfit/dress
- Gym clothing and shoes
- Flip flops
You can also go light in clothing if you plan on buying some new clothes once you’re in your new room. However, if you’re planning on saving some money, we suggest you take all of the things mentioned into consideration.
Cleaning and Organization Supplies
Not everyone is a fan of cleaning, especially students. Some colleges offer you a laundry room where you can take care of the cleaning process a bit easier. However, don’t expect all colleges to have them. Even then, you must take care of other things like folding clothes, loading and unloading, and taking care of storage.
In essence, you want to be as efficient as possible so that you make this daunting task something a bit more exciting. First, check whether your campus has a laundry room where you can take care of your clothes and how much it will cost to clean everything. Moreover, you should check which type of detergent will work best for your type of clothes.
When it comes to storage, most dorms don’t have as much space, so investing in clothing racks could be a decent option to consider. Now, cleaning isn’t only about clothes. You must also keep your room clean to avoid getting health issues or bad odors.
Regarding cleaning, here’s a list of cleaning supplies that you should always keep in mind:
- Laundry detergent
- Dryer sheets
- Disinfectant wipes
- Shoe storage
- Clothing racks
- Lint brush
- Ironing boards
- Dust wipes
- Air fresheners
- Glass cleaners
- Brooms and dustpans
When it comes to organization, consider taking only the necessary stuff so that you don’t clutter your room. In the end, having more storage/organization options will allow you to fit a few more things in your room without it looking horrible.
Some of the things you can take for being more organized include the following:
- Small trash can or recycle can
- Bed storage
- Additional storage solutions (drawers, desks, etc.)
Food and Drinks
In most cases, you won’t get a fancy kitchen in your dorm. Most rooms involve a small kitchen where you can do “basic kitchen stuff.” Overall, you must take some basic stuff, as well as other additional items that will make your cooking life much easier.
Even if you’re not feeling like a chef, there are some things you can get for your dorm to get a quick snack and move on with your day. Regarding your kitchen area, here are some things you should consider getting:
- Mini fridge
- Paper towels
- Coffee mug
- Water bottles
- Dish soap
- Paper plates
- Juice boxes
- Granola bars
- Sandwich bread
- Fruit snacks
- Sodas and chips
- Can openers
- Disposable cutlery
- Plastic cups
- Scrubbers and sponges
- Peanut butter
- Meal plans (if you have them)
Out of all the things on this list, the mini fridge may be one of the most important ones. You likely won’t get a fridge in your dorm, which is why you should get a small one to store most of your things and keep them fresh. As for the plastic cups and disposable cutlery; it will be much easier for you to eat/drink and then throw it all away instead of having to clean everything.
If you’re someone who cooks a lot, you know how fast a kitchen can get messy. Even if you enjoy cleaning in your free time, consider taking some plastic items so that you can save yourself whenever you’re in a hurry.
In most cases, your dorm room will be your home for quite some time. Not feeling at home can make your studying experience more depressing, and while it’s impossible to make a simple dorm feel like your old home, there are some things you can take from your home so that you can add more personality to the area you’ll live in.
This is where it gets fun since you’ll be able to be as creative as you want considering the space you will be given. Remember you must always ask your college about the things you’re allowed to do in your dorm to customize it, such as painting, hanging paintings, or others.
If you take way too many things to your dorm, it may feel like too much, which will make things even worse, especially if you’re sharing the space with a roommate. Still, here are some things that you can take:
- String lights
- Desk lamp/Table lamp/Floor lamp
- Area rug
- Personal pictures
- Additional seating (bean bags or futons)
- Desk chairs
With so many things to bring on your college move-in day, it’s essential to take all the help you can get! You can hire a moving company to take some stress off your shoulders; there are many benefits of hiring professional movers so that you can focus on other things like unpacking and getting settled into your new dorm.
Health and Safety
Taking care of your health should be your number one priority. All colleges have a health center nearby, but it can become overwhelming if you have to go there for even the most inoffensive thing. While you cannot expect to take care of any health emergency from your bedroom, there are some things you can definitely take with you to make you less likely to need a trip to the health center:
- First aid kit
- Prescription medicine
- OTC medicine
- Cough drops
- Antibiotic creams
Entertainment and Leisure
Not everything in your college life will be studying. Everyone needs a space during the day or week to relax and feel comfortable. As with other sections in this article, you may adjust this one according to your preferences.
If you’re unsure of what you can take to your new dorm, consider the items on the following list:
- Gaming system
- Portable speakers
- Streaming services and devices
- HDMI cables
- DVD/Blu-ray player
- Gaming computer/laptop
COVID-19 Safety Supplies
Unfortunately, the pandemic is still upon us, so you must take care of yourself as much as possible to avoid any health problems. Keep in mind that local health guidelines regarding COVID keep changing every month depending on how the pandemic behaves.
While it’s impossible to be 100% prepared for this situation, there are some things you can take with you so that you don’t need to rush to a hospital or pharmacy to get what you need. Moreover, you should check with your college to see which items are essential for you to carry at all times.
Some learning institutions are still strict when it comes to safety supplies for COVID, so make sure you ask away before moving. Overall, some items you might need include:
- Anti-bacterial sprays and wipes
- Face masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Pulse oxygen meter
- List of nearby hospitals that accept your insurance
- Vaccination card (if you have one)
- Emergency funds if you have to travel elsewhere due to COVID restrictions
In case you cannot get vaccinated for any reason, you may get a doctor to sign a letter explaining the medical reasons why you cannot do it.
You’re almost ready for move-in day! There are some things that, while they’re not essential for college, they may save you a few trips down the road. Remember, the goal here is to make your college journey much easier, so it would be best for you to take as many essentials as possible! The following list will also include some documents you should have in your packing checklist just in case:
- Small toolkit
- Driver’s license
- Social security card
- Car insurance and registration
- Additional backpack for trips
- Financial aid forms (if needed)
- Debit/credit card
- Bicycle and bike lock
- Emergency card with contacts
Make Your Dorm Room Checklist!
You don’t have to take everything in your home for move-in day. However, college tends to get overwhelming sometimes, especially if you don’t have the items and back ups necessary to live in a stress-free environment.
Make sure to double-check all the categories here before making your final move-in checklist for college. In most cases, packing up things that may not seem necessary like a dry erase board or a bed lamp for late-night study sessions can certainly make everything much better. We know that moving is stressful, but we hope that with our help, it’ll be a little less so!