It seems impossible to pack up 18 years of your life, load it into your mom’s minivan and move it into a 15 x 15 square foot room that you’ll be sharing with your supposedly new best friend. But here we go. It’s the night before move-in and you get out your list.  Bed linens: check. Backpack: check. Hangers: check. Shampoo and conditioner: check. What else could you need?

When leaving for college, no matter how hard you try, there’s always going to be something you didn’t think of or that you left at home. So, after spending some time in a dorm personally, I’m sharing with you my top 10 list of items that every college student should have in their dorm room.

1.  Extra long phone charger

This is a necessity, especially if you loft your bed.  Seriously, the outlet can be a longgg way away. Charging your phone is an essential to waking up on time, remembering your course schedule and keeping in touch with all of your new friends so be sure you have an extra long phone charger.

extra long phone charger

2.  Lights, lights and more lights

Trust me on this, those fluorescent dorm room lights can be harsh. Brighten up your room by hanging twinkling lights, with old string lights and of course, lamps. You can always turn the lights off, but if they aren’t there to begin with, well, you’ll just be sitting in the dark under one harsh fluorescent light.

dorm room lights

3.  Brita pticher, filtersand ice trays

It’s the middle of August. The dead of summer. You just walked 25 minutes across campus with a 10 pound backpack on your shoulders. If the heat of classes isn’t bringing you down, the heat outside is. All you’ll want is a cold, refreshing glass of ice water—good thing you have a Brita and ice trays.  

water pitcher and filters for the dorm

4.  Pictures of friends, family and pets

Make your room more cozy and fight off home-sickness with these pictures of your favorite memories and favorite people. You’ll fight to the death that your dog is the cutest dog that’s ever graced the face of the earth and you’ll need a picture to prove it. You can never bring too many photos.

pictures of family, friends and pets

5.  Step stool

This one may seem silly, but I cannot tell you how many times I’ve used my step stool in my college dorm. It’s easier to step onto a step stool than it is to crawl on top of my desk to reach my top shelf where I keep my snacks. Was it intentionally strategic that I put my snacks out of reach? Maybe. Did I enable myself by purchasing a step stool to make it easier to reach my snacks?100%.

step stool


6.  Storage Trunk

This will be where you store all of the extra things you accumulate through the year. Got an extra set of sheets? Put them in the trunk! Get a free foam finger at the basketball game? Put it in the trunk! Want to escape your roommate for awhile? Get in the trunk! No, just kidding. Don’t do that, really, no don’t. But yes, get a trunk!

dorm storage trunk

7.  Light blocking curtains

You pulled three all-nighters this week, but Saturday is finally here. No alarms are set, you are prepared to sleep until noon. That is, until Mother Nature woke you up. The sun is shining directly into your window at 7 a.m. That’s it. You’re up and can’t get back to sleep. Tired, grumpy, and in serious need of these light blocking curtains. Remember, you don’t have to rise and shine if you can’t see that the sun’s up!

dark curtains for your dorm


8.  Ear plugs and a sleep mask

Noisy roommates will be the bane of your existence. You have an exam at 8 a.m. the next day, but your roommate doesn’t have class till noon and they “study better late at night”. This means their desk lamp is on and you hear the incessant clicking of their keyboard.  All. Night. Long. Or maybe worse, your roommate snores, loudly.  But! With ear plugs and a sleep mask you may never even know they’re there!

sleep mask and earplugs for your dorm

9.  Plants

Whether they’re fake or live, plants and greenery will liven up your room and make it feel more homey. Not only is it important for your dorm room to be a place where you can be productive academically, but it also needs to be a place where you can relax.  Besides, some people claim the oxygen plants produce can help you study! Maybe? Well, it’s worth a try.

plants in your dorm

10.  Mini-fridge

You’ll need somewhere to keep those late night snacks, your favorite drinks and of course those leftovers that you bring back after Thanksgiving break. This is an essential.

No matter what you pack or what you forget, your freshman dorm room will be one where you make memories and meet your lifelong friends, so have fun with it!

Are there other items you would add to the list?  If so, leave me a comment!


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