Dorm room essentials you need

Move-in day is almost here for many college students living in a dorm this fall and we are here to provide you with helpful advice on what dorm essentials you need and what items you can leave at home. 

When living in a dorm, or an apartment, on campus at your university you are usually supplied with a bed and mattress. Sometimes a desk and chair, a couch, tables, chairs, or barstools will be provided as well depending on the school you attend. Besides these items, any extra furniture is not necessary because the living areas tend to have limited space. 

The following will list categories of the items you must bring for your dorm room, as well as items that are just good to have. 

Bedroom and bathroom essentials

  • Bedsheets 
  • Comforters, quilts, or extra throw blankets
  • Mattress pad
  • Pillows and pillow cases
  • Bath and hand towels
  • Shower curtain and rod 
  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Storage bins for under your bed
  • Baskets
  • 3 tier rolling carts
  • Bathroom cleaning supplies

Personal care products

  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner, bath soap
  • Deodorant
  • Comb or brush
  • Hair dryer and styling tools
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss
  • Shaving supplies
  • Makeup, lotions
  • Cotton swabs and Q-tips
  • Nail clippers
  • Plug in air fresheners 

Clothing and laundry supplies

  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Socks and underwear
  • Pajamas
  • Loungewear/activewear
  • Business wear
  • Shoes
  • Laundry basket
  • Laundry detergent
  • Stain remover stick
  • Dryer sheets
  • Lint brush

School supplies

  • Backpack
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Planner
  • Pens and pencils
  • Notebooks
  • Calculator
  • Headphones 
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Room decor

  • Command strips/ hooks 
  • Posters or personal photos
  • Area rug
  • Trashcans (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen)
  • Fan 
  • Curtains and curtains rods
  • Over the door hanger for coats/jackets 
  • TV
  • Speaker
  • Gaming consoles
  • HDMI or other cables
  • Chargers
  • Power strip

Depending on the university you attend, a meal plan for your first few years of living on campus may be required. The list below shares the items needed for a kitchen if having a meal plan is no longer required for you. 

Kitchen essentials

  • Coffee maker/Keurig
  • Cups, coffee mugs, glasses, water bottles
  • Brita water filter
  • Dish soap, sponge, dish towels, drying rack
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Silverware, plates, and bowls
  • Tupperware
  • Tinfoil, Ziploc bags
  • Pots, pans, baking sheet pans
  • Oven mitts
  • Can opener

Make sure to check out the policies listed on your schools housing page to ensure you have all the necessary items for your upcoming move-in day. The housing and residence life handbook for Davenport University shares what items are not allowed in any of the residence halls to make for an easy move in process. We hope this checklist of dorm and move-in essentials helps you this coming fall!


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