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Dorm Room Checklist

Our dorm room checklist for college students covers "What to Bring & How to Pack in 3 Easy Steps"

This dorm room checklist includes the essentials for campus living plus a few tasks for college bound students to complete prior to move-in day! While our dorm checklist may seem like a lot to pack, many items suggested are dorm size and easily stored in a dorm room! Watch our Dorm Room Reveal Video on Youtube!


  • 1PRINT DormSmart's Free Dorm Room Checklist. Need Adobe Reader? Get it here. (Tip: Use our Campus Housing Connector to check your school housing info and make any necessary adjustments to your checklist. Know your school's policies about what to bring or what not to bring to campus.)

  • 2Make room in your home to store your college dorm essentials as you acquire them. (Tip: Save money, pack the items you have at home first. For items you must buy, shop early to give yourself time to check purchases, make returns.)
  • 3Inventory as you pack for quick access. For example, if you pack sheets in Box #1, write Box #1 next to that item on your checklist. (Tip: Use your dorm room checklist as an inventory for your College Property Insurance Policy.)

Dorm Room Cooking / Eating Supplies

    Box #     Box #
  UL Listed Compact Refrigerator or Microwave Refrigerator Combo - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE     UL Listed Auto Shutoff Small Coffeemaker (NO Hotplate) - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE  
  Dorm Dishes (Non-breakable, BPA Free, and Microwavable) - 2 dinner plates, 2 small plates, and 2 bowls     4 Glasses (Non-breakable)  
  2 Water Bottles     Insulated Travel Cup  
  Water Pitcher (Make sure it fits in your dorm size refrigerator.)     Eating Utensils - 2 forks, 2 teaspoons, 2 tablespoons, and 2 knives  
  Microwavable Cookware (BPA Free)     Storage Containers (BPA Free. Square containers save space.)  
  Can Opener     Chip Clips  
  Measuring Cup     Measuring Spoons  
  Paring Knife or Peeler     Pizza Cutter  
  Salad / Spaghetti Tongs     Small Funnel  
  Spatula / Turner     Strainer / Colander (Collapsible saves space.)  
  Check to see if dorm sink needs a stopper - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE     Dish Scrubber  
  Dish Liquid     2 Pot Holders  
  2 Dish Towels     Trash Bin  
  Trash Bags     Paper Towels  
  Paper Plates and Plasticware (Great for move-in weekend.)     Dorm Food / Bulk Snacks (Saves money!)  
  Coffee and Coffee Filters OR Coffee Pods     Other Bulk Drinks (i.e. sodas, water... store them under your bed)  
  Freezer / Storage Bags (One box of large and small bags to store food, toothbrush, and toiletries...)        

Dorm Room Bedding Essentials (Check Mattress Size With College)

    Box #     Box #
  2 Sheet Sets (Remember extra pillowcases.)     Blanket  
  Duvet and Duvet Cover OR Comforter Set     Mattress Cover (Bedbug Protection)  
  Mattress Pad     Foam Topper  
  Pillows (Lots of pillows for sleeping and to turn your dorm room bed into daytime seating.)     Soft Throw (For lounging around your dorm room or outdoor events.)  

Dorm Room Cleaning Supplies

    Box #     Box #
  UL Listed Compact Vacuum Cleaner (consider bagless or 2 in 1 unit that includes a handheld for quick clean up)- CHECK WITH ROOMMATE     Bucket with lid to store cleaning and laundry products safely.  
  Cleaning Products (Bring a few old cleaning rags.)     Toilet Brush (only necessary if you have an in-suite bathroom.) - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE  


    Box #     Box #
  2 Ethernet Cables 14ft and 25ft (Use when wireless doesn't work. Run 1 cable to the desk and 1 to the bed.)     Computer Requirements (Get compatibility requirements from your school.)  
  Laptop / Tablet Sleeve (Protect your computer when running around campus.)     Computer Bag / Book bag (Purchase a bag that will hold both your school supplies and computer.)  
  UL Listed Surge Protectors with Overload Protection (Flat plugs save space.)     Compact  Printer with Cable (Optional. Great for procrastinators.) - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE  
  Ink and Paper for Printer (Optional) - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE        

Dorm Room Decor

    Box #     Box #
  Dorm Room Area Rug - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE     Photos From Home (Consider a digital photo frame to display your photos and save space.)  
  Lightweight Message Boards (White, cork, chalk, or memory boards are great choices.)     Accessories for Message Boards (i.e. dry erase markers, chalk, and an eraser...)  
  3M Command Strips for safely hanging wall decor (Save your dorm room deposit!)     Wall Decor (Removable and reusable wall decals look great and save your deposit! Don't forget a break resistant mirror.)  

Dorm Room Electronics (UL Listed)

    Box #     Box #
  Alarm Clock (Whenever possible, multipurpose to save space. Consider using the alarm on your cell phone.)     Portable Music Player  
  Small TV / Blu-ray or DVD  Combo - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE     Noise Canceling Headphones for TV / Blu-ray or DVD Combo and Portable Music Player (Residence halls can be noisy.)  
  Cable Splitter (In case you don't want to share a TV with your roommate.)     Extra Cable (You may need extra cable depending upon where the cable outlet is located.)  
  Extension Cords (Flat plugs save space.)     Phone / Answering System (DECT 6.0 prevents wireless interference.) - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE  
  UL Listed Air Cleaner (Optional. Consider filter free.) - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE     UL Listed Fan (Optional) - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE  
  Pest Control (Optional. Depends on school policy and location.) - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE     UL Listed Desk Lamp (NO halogen)  
  UL Listed Bedside Table Lamp (NO halogen)     Removable Tap Lights for closet, if needed.  
  Inexpensive Camera     Chargers for Electronics  
  Extra Batteries        

Dorm Room Furniture - Check to see what your school provides for students.

    Box #     Box #
  Bedside table that includes shelving or additional storage, such as a trunk cube, to maximize space.     Comfortable Desk Chair (Check with your school.)  
  Additional Seating (If room permits.)     Bed or desk if none provided by school. (Check housing policy before investing in furniture.)  

Laundry / Ironing Supplies

    Box #     Box #
  UL Listed 3-Way Auto Shutoff Iron - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE     Ironing Board - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE  
  Hangers (Approximately 4 dozen - hanging clothes saves space!)     Folding Clothing Dry Rack (Optional. Great for drying sweaters or fine washables.)  
  Sweater / Delicates Wash Bag Set (Optional. Extending the life of your clothes saves money.)     Laundry Staples (i.e. detergent, softener or dryer balls, color bleach and stain remover...)  
  Lint Roller     Sewing Kit  
  Laundry Hamper (i.e. Pop Up, Folding, or Backpack...)        

Dorm Room Safety / Personal Security / Health Supplies / Tool Kits

    Box #     Box #
  First Aid Kit     Flu / Cold Medicines / Cough Drops / Thermometer (For when you feel too sick to get out of bed.)  
  Pain Relief Medicine     Multi-vitamins or Vitamin C (Stay healthy!)  
  Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer (Always use after class or lab... before touching your face or food!)     Prescriptions (Don't forget to pack your prescriptions!)  
  Laptop Lock     Bicycle Lock  
  Dorm Room Safe     Defensive Spray or Alarm (Check your school regulations or state laws prior to purchasing mace or pepper spray.)  
  Flashlight     Key Chain  
  Compact Tool Kit     Rain Poncho  
  Umbrella     Rain Boots (A must have in areas like New Orleans.)  
  Sun Screen     Sun Hat (If you participate in an outdoor activity, take a hat or two for hotter climates.)  

Dorm Room Shower / Bath Supplies

    Box #     Box #
  Waterproof Shower Bag or Caddy (Bring one that dries quickly and won't slime up on you!)     MINIMUM of 2 bath towels or bath sheets, 2 hand towels, and 2 washcloths OR shower scrubbies  
  Spa Wrap or Robe     Slippers  
  Shower Shoes (Pick up a pair of flip flops with good traction and save a little money.)     Shower Curtain, if needed - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE  
  Bath Mat, if needed - CHECK WITH ROOMMATE     Hair Appliances (i.e. blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron...)  
  Hair Products (i.e. shampoo, conditioner, styling products...)     Razors  
  Shaving Cream     Shower Soap  
  Toothbrush / Toothbrush Holder     Toothpaste  
  Mouthwash     Dental Floss  
  Deodorant     Foot Powder (For sports, marching band, cheerleading activities... be kind to your dorm mate!)  
  Q-tips     Tweezers  
  Manicure Kit     Air Freshener / Neutralizer  
  Extra Toilet Paper     Tissues  
  Personal Toiletries (i.e. makeup, perfume, cologne... and those other personal items.)        

Dorm Room Storage

    Box #     Box #
  Storage Bins (Use collapsible or folding storage bins on shelves, under your bed, and in your closet...)     College Trunk (Optional for secure storage, travel, and extra seating...)  
  Under Bed Storage (i.e. a Smart Storage Cart for easy access and organization.)     Bed Risers (Check inside dimensions. Square shaped works best for dorm bed posts.)  
  Hanging Storage for closet. (Check your closet dimensions before purchasing organizers.)     Storage Caddies (Optional. Store school supplies, hair appliances, or makeup... everything!)  
  Storage Hooks for dorm room closet door. (Holds book bags, purses, jackets, and wet towels...)     Space Bags (Optional. Save space by minimizing bulky clothing or blankets when not in use.)  
  Clothing Bag (Optional. Store your business suit. Take one professional outfit for special activities.)        

Getting Around Campus

    Box #     Box #
  Bicycle (Bring an inexpensive bicycle to get around on or near campus.)     Bicycle Accessories (i.e. helmet, bike lock, basket, tire patch kit, and small air pump...) Tip: A plastic shopping bag tied over the seat when not in use keeps your butt dry on rainy days.  

School Supplies

    Box #     Box #
  6 College Ruled Notebooks     6 Folders  
  6 Report Covers     Stapler  
  Staples     Staple Remover  
  3 Hole Punch     Scissors  
  Index Cards     Tape Dispenser  
  Tape     Push Pins  
  Post it Notes     Pens (Red, Black, Blue)  
  #2 Mechanical Pencils     Erasers  
  Highlighters     Ruler  
  Calculator     Rubber Bands  
  Paper Clips     Binder Clips  
  Desk Organizers     Academic Planner  

Everything Else

    Box #     Box #
  Proof of Health Insurance     Immunization Records  
  Accident / Theft Insurance     Create and carry an Emergency Contact Card  
  Check your cell phone coverage area and adjust plan if needed. Don't forget to pack your charger.     Setup a Bank Account / Get a Bank Card  
  Establish a Monthly Budget     Add money to your college / university card for campus purchases, services, and laundry.  
  Only take coins if your college does not have a card system.     Register your bicycle.  
  If taking a vehicle, remember to register your vehicle with your school and get a parking permit.     Pack a few cool weather items such as a coat, jacket... Cool days happen in the summer and early fall!  
  Equipment for activities (i.e. music, sports, cheerleading...)     YOUR CLOTHES! Make a list of everything you'll need first then pack them up! (If your campus has a recreational facility, you need to bring your workout clothes, swimsuit, and a beach towel. Don't pack expensive jewelry.)  
  Luggage for travel over school breaks.     You may want to pack a small air mattress and extra blanket or sleeping bag for overnight company.  

Moving Your Dorm Stuff

    Box #     Box #
  If needed, reserve your moving trailer / transport early! Don't forget a dolly.     Purchase moving supplies such as boxes, packaging materials, tape, and a sharpie marker.  

Move-in Weekend Planning Tip:

Move-in weekend is BUSY! There are thousands of boxes arriving on campus and many students trying to locate those boxes. If possible, it is best to purchase dorm room supplies early, pack them in an orderly fashion, and accompany them to their final destination... your dorm room. If you do ship your dorm room supplies directly to your college campus, remember to use your campus shipping address and give yourself ample time to locate your items during move-in weekend .

Bottom line... you need as much time as possible to get settled into your dorm room on move-in weekend while participating in all the mandatory activities. So be smart, allow your family to help you get organized and settled into your new home. It will make the transition to college life much easier for everyone. Don't forget your dorm room checklist!

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