Off to College? Must-Have Items For Any Dorm Room

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  • College is an exciting time for any student, but life can be awkward if you don’t have everything you need in your dorm room.

    Use this checklist of items to find out what you need to bring to college, including items that will make your life easier, as well as some that will impress your new roommate.

    Two Sets of Bedding

    Unless you’re planning to sleep in the same sheets all semester, which isn’t advisable unless you want your dorm room to stink, you need to bring two sets of sheets and pillowcases. This allows you to use one set while washing the other. Choose bedding with bright, colorful patterns to cheer up a drab dorm room and help you feel at home. It’s a good idea to bring extra pillows, so you can use them as backrests when sitting on the bed or comfortable padding when sitting on the floor.

    Storage Bins

    The stereotypical student room has clothes, books and pens all over the floor. Living in this kind of chaos can be extremely stressful, particularly when your personal items get mixed up with those of your roommate. Storage bins make it easy to stay tidy; all you need to do is throw books and papers in one bin, clothes or shoes in another and other items in a third bin. Cleaning up has never been so easy!

    Portable Bluetooth Speakers

    Music can help you to bond with new friends, but the tinny sound produced by laptop speakers is unlikely to make your favorite artists sound good. Pack a small set of Bluetooth speakers so you can pump up the volume when you have friends come to your room to hang out. Don’t forget to load your laptop up with all your favorite playlists so you can share them with your new friends during the first week of the semester.

    Long Ethernet Cable

    Most college dorms have Wi-Fi, but wireless systems can sometimes be unreliable. Bring an Ethernet cable so you can plug your laptop directly into the port when the wireless network isn’t working. Make sure the cable is long enough to reach from the port to your desk and your bed, so you can work wherever you feel most comfortable.

    Extension Cords

    Dorm rooms rarely have enough electrical outlets. Bring an extension cord so you don’t end up fighting with your roommate over who gets to charge their phone. Extension cords also give you more flexibility over where in the room your electronic devices are located.

    Mini Fridge

    A compact refrigerator allows you to store snacks, basic meal ingredients and cold drinks in your dorm. Having a place to store food is extremely useful on days when you are too busy to make it to the canteen. Read reviews online to find the best mini fridge for your dorm room. You need a reliable fridge that offers the greatest amount of storage space possible inside a compact unit.

    Slow Cooker

    Even if you don’t have gourmet cooking skills, you can make tasty and healthy meals using a slow cooker. All you have to do is throw in some chopped vegetables, beans, meat, herbs and water, turn on the slow cooker and head out to class; when you get home, a delicious stew will be ready and waiting for you. You can also use this useful appliance to reheat leftovers.

    Clip Lamp

    If you are sharing a room, there will almost certainly be times when your roommate wants to turn out the light and go to sleep, but you need to catch up on your reading. A lamp that clips to your bedframe allows you to read comfortably in your bed, without needing to turn on the main room light.

    Posters and Wall Hangings

    When you first move into a dorm room, the plain white walls can look very cold and clinical, which could make you feel lonely or sad. Bring a selection of posters and wall hangings so you can brighten up the room and help yourself feel less homesick. Many students like to pin up a homemade collage containing photos of friends, family and pets to help them settle into their new home.


    Print off this list and take it to the store with you to ensure you don’t forget to buy any essential items for college. By investing in these few simple items for your dorm room, you can help to make your first semester at college an enjoyable and stress-free time.

    Peter Fuller is a Father of 3 kids, the eldest being in college and the youngest just about to enter high school. He writes about parenting topics in his spare time, working as an accounts manager by day.

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