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Things to bring to College

Updated on September 24, 2014

Freshman College Checklist

With so many things to bring to college, it is easy to forget something. What ever you do, do not over pack. The dorm room is going to be quite small.

You will need to stay super organized and not be bogged down with so many items. Your primary focus will be on studying. Yeah, I know what you are thinking... Fun is good too. But let's just keep focused on studying.

I have compiled the best list of the stuff you will need to be comfortable in your new home. And of course those items you really do not want to forget. your goal on move in day is to get your stuff into your room and organized. Then you can let the festivities... oops! I meant studying begin.

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Bismark State

Wheeled Laundry Hamper
Wheeled Laundry Hamper

Ultimate Wheeled Hamper

Designed to go up and down stairs

Rising Roller - Ultimate Wheeled Hamper

Let's face it doing laundry really stinks! But this rolling hamper is actually awesome. Roll it up and down the steps, side pockets to hold your detergent and is large enough to hold your dirty or clean folded clothes. Also can double as a weekend bag to hold all your clothes for a trip home, clean or dirty.

This is the ultimate laundry bag for college and one you should not be without. Trust me, You will thank me later.

Are you ready to begin this jouney?

What kind of a packer are you?

See results

Remember to Keep it don't have much room!

Beware of the college lists you will see at your favorite stores. These lists are filled with items you will never need. So Freshman you need to control your excitement here. That is why I am here to help you from wasting your parents money and space on items you do not need or have room for.

Hey congratulations on your acceptance and your new journey. Have fun, but remember work hard.

Okay, so I have broken it down into the areas of your dorm room to make it as easy as possible. These areas include the closet, bed, desk, bath/toiletries, and misc items. And last but not least is the section on what you absolutely must NOT to bring to college.

Are you ready? Well then, let get started.

Oh and if you like something... just click on the picture to get some more information.

Dorm Closet
Dorm Closet

Dorm Room Closet Organization

We will start with the closet. Now stand up and stretch your arms to your sides. This is your new closet, if you are lucky because it may be even smaller. You need to fit ALL your clothes in this small closet. Guys this should be pretty easy for you, but Girls this will most likely be one of your greatest challenges you have faced so far in your life. Well maybe that is a little dramatic, but you see what I mean.


I recommend getting those cheap plastic type of hangers. Nothing fancy here, okay. We are just hanging clothes on them. Get about 2 to 3 dozen or more depending on your clothes.

Hang-able Door Shoe Rack

The type to hang on a door. These are great and offer a lot of storage solutions and not necessarily just for shoes. But you can store toiletries, flat irons, brushes, etc. I know how I am and I have a lot of shampoos, conditioners and moisturizers etc.

Plastic Bins

These are nice and can store many items on the floor of your closet. You can use it for clothing you do not need access to all the time. I am thinking mittens, scarves, ear muffs, umbrellas, hats, rain jackets, sweaters, coats.

Simple Dorm Room
Simple Dorm Room

Dorm Room Desk Supplies and Organization

This is tricky and usually the place people overdo it. Lets just focus on what you will need and not over buy!

Storage for Pens/Pencils/Highlighter

Get yourself a little cup to hold these things right on top of your desk. Don't waste space inside the one drawer you will have on your desk.

You can probably find one in a kitchen cabinet you can use right now.


A cheap printer can save you some aggravation from going to the library to retrieve your printed material. You really do not need to spend much to get an awesome printer. Look for a small footprint and wireless. The prices of wireless have drastically come down. Wireless is awesome, who wants all those cables and wires laying around anyway. An All in one printer will allow you many options like copying, scanning and printing. Not that you need it all the time however it is quite nice to have.

Blue Tape (painters tape)

Colleges prefer this and most only allow this type. It is removable without causing damage to the walls. So having a roll or two on hand is good. There are other options for hanging stuff on your walls which will not cause damage. I have included some below.


Only bring a few and bring the type everyone enjoys, since you will be watching these with your new friends.


Notebooks, Folders for Papers, Stapler, Thumbtacks, Highlighters, Sharpies, Dry Erase Board & Markers, Pens, Pencils, & Planner.

Surge Protectors

Do not forget these. You will most likely only have few outlets in your room and you know all the devices and things you will need to plug in. Bring at least two surge protectors. You will thank me later. Outlets are far and few between in a dorm room.


Be sure to check with your roommate to determine who is bringing what so you do not have duplicates.

Dorm Room Bedding Needs


Check with your school to see what size bedding you will need. Usually it will be twin or twin XL. Then you will need sheets, both top and bottom, pillowcases and a comforter or duvet.

Mattress Pad

This is nice to make your bed a bit softer. The dorm mattress are really a thin pad, not much of a mattress at all.

Extra Blanket and Pillows

Just bring one blanket and a one or two throw pillows for fun and comfort.

Dorm risers

Some schools do not allow these. So check first. These are nice to lift up your bed so you can store more stuff. Also check your bed out first because some are adjustable. Your goal here is to fit plastic bins and/or a trunk under the bed.

Clamp on reading light

Find something small so you can read at night without bothering your roommate.

College Trunk or Footlocker

Great item to store stuff away or lock your stuff up. Also a durable trunk can be used as extra seating or as a table to hang around during game night. The key is that it fits under your bed and is durable enough to sit or stand on. Do not waste your money on a cheap cardboard one.

Plastic Bins

These you will store your extra toiletries, snacks, blanket or whatever.

Alarm Clock

Consider a docking station built right in, so you can play music and charge your phone.

Dorm Room Bath & Toiletry Checklist

You will be sharing a bathroom with a few others. So you will have to store your stuff in your room. Here are some ideas for you.


Toiletries are Shampoos, conditioners, soap, shavers, moisturizers, toothpaste, deodorant and more. Do not overbuy here. Just take enough to last you until November, which is Thanksgiving break. Then you can bring more back when you get home. Many make the mistake of bringing 8 tubes of toothpaste, 6 shampoos, 6 conditioners etc. These take up way to much valuable space.

Bath Stuff

Bring a few towels, face clothes, shower caps, anything you use in the shower.

Flip Flops

These are for showering, trust me you will thank me later.

Shower Caddy

You will need one of these to carry your shampoo, soap, razors etc to the shower with you.

Toilet Paper and Tissues

Depending on the type of dorm room you have, the school will not supply this. You and your roommates will sharing the expense on this. Bring enough until November and then get more. Toilet paper takes up a lot of room.

Don't forget quarters. You will need them for laundry and vending machines.

Misc Items You will Not want to forget for your Dorm Room

Cleaning Supplies and Paper Towels

You will need to clean up, your mom will not be there to do it for you. Also, if you have a bathroom which is not a communal type then guess what you have to clean it once in a while. Just bring paper towels, Windex or all purpose cleaner, and a bathroom cleaner.

Dorm Medicine Chest

Having some supplies on hand is essential. Band aids, Tylenol, Pepto Bismal etc.

Laundry Detergent

Skip the fabric softener, you really do not need it. You will need some detergent. Whether you choose powder or liquid, that is up to you.

I really like these because they are small and easy to store.

Laundry Bag

Awww...Mom, I saved this just for you and I missed you so much. Mom will appreciate your thoughtfulness when you bring all your dirty, stinky and smelly laundry home in one of these. Remember to tell her how awesome she is.

Posters, etc.

Decorative items and poster will make your room, well... your room. Bring some photos of friends and create a cool collage on your wall. Get creative and have some fun.


You won't use them often but it nice to have. So get a cup or two, a few plates, some forks, knives and spoons and you are set.


Check with your school. Some may not let you bring one and others may prefer you to rent one from their specified vendor.

If you have a fridge you can have cold drinks by your fingertips.

Tool Kit

Bring a small tool kit. You will be amazed at how many times you will use this.


Bring some AA's and any others you may think you need. Just get a large pack of 12 and you should be good.

Plastic Bins

You will never have of enough of these. You can use them to store just about anything. And they stack so nice and you see the contents without opening the lid. Use these to store you extra shampoo, detergents etc.

Secure Lock Box

This will enable you to lock up your valuables. You will not have the luxury of

Cordless Phone

This will offer you and your roommate some privacy and the ability to walk around while talking on the phone.

Air Freshener

You can freshen up your room. The smell of a dorm is not always pleasant and can linger in the hallways and into your room in no time. It is probably from all the stinky clothes the kids have stuffed in their closets for weeks.

Rent Text Books & SAVE!

Don't Buy a Textbook when You can RENT so much CHEAPER!

Chegg is so easy! Are you tired of paying so much money for a book you will only use for a few months?

It's time to be SMART....and RENT it from Chegg!

Minimus Dorm Medicine Chest

Includes all the items shown...

The college environment can be demanding and having a good fast source of supplies when that unexpected ailment hits can be the helping hand you need. The "Dorm Medicine Chest" is packaged in a thick clear slide-closing vinyl bag.

This is a great item for travel also. It is nice to have what you need on hand.

Minimus Dorm Medicine Chest - As Shown

A few more good reasons to order from Chegg:

No Paper, No Shipping and Chegg Plants a Tree! Order your eTextbooks today!

Let me show you how easy it really is!

1. Create a Chegg Account. click here to create a Chegg account!

2. Find your books - This is made easy by using the ISBN, Title, or Author Name in the search box.

3. Choose your rental period - 60 days, 85 days, or 125 days

4. Select your shipping method and payment preference.

Okay, Now let me show you how EASY it is to RETURN your text books.

1. Log into your Chegg Account.

2. Print the U.P.S. shipping label and invoice

3. Put your text books in the original

box with the invoice, attach the shipping label and send. If you do not have the original box, that is okay because you can use another suitable box. Tape up box closed to secure it.

4. Take the package to the nearest U.P.S Shipper.

It's your turn to save some money and stop spending too much for those textbooks!

Did you know you can Save $500 a Year on Textbooks That's a lot of money and more money for the good stuff.

Visit Chegg Today!

Shy Ferret
Shy Ferret

What NOT to bring to College

All the clothes in your closet is a big no-no. You need to narrow this down to only things you will wear. Lots of comfy clothes and one or two nice outfits. Your a college kid, so start dressing like one.

High School Memories

Just bring your senior yearbook and some pictures if you have to. Keep it simple. It is time to move on from high school. This is the time to make all new memories and start over.

Desk Lamp

You probably will not need one. The dorm rooms are well lit. A clamp on may be more versatile so you can move it around and read in bed. Also, a lamp that is an ipod would serve a mulit-purpose function.

Big Desk Calendar

Remember this isn't Texas. Get a small one or just use your phone or laptop calendar or your planner.

Your Pet Ferret

Sorry guys, there are no pets allowed in dorm rooms. You will have to leave them home with Mom and Dad.

Electrical Appliances

You really need to check with your school to see what they allow as appliances. A word about irons... How many time if any have you ironed at home. Probably never. So why bother, a better idea might be a small steamer. Some will allow coffee makers which will save you a few bucks from buying starbucks all the time. Please do not assume to are allowed to bring these types of things without checking it out with your school.

Large Items

Oh no, absolutely no drying racks, ironing boards or recliners. Nope you do not have the floor space for this. Are you wondering about the recliner, yep there are those who have tried and failed and every year some more try again.

© Dapixstudio | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Cool Dorm Stuff

Looking for more great stuff for your dorm. Then look no further than Cool Dorm Stuff. Get some fabulous ideas on how to make your Dorm Room cool. Please visit Cool Dorm Stuff Today!

There are so many things to bring to college, it is easy to forget something. I hope this list is helpful to those embarking on their new future. Please let me know if I have missed something. Thanks for visiting and have a great day.

Did I miss anything?

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    • Scotties-Rock profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      @The_Kelster: Thanks for the comments.... I wrote it all from experience with my daughter and to top it off, I am one of those overly organized individuals who likes to plan everything out to the finest detail. Oh... and that rolling hamper is awesome! It worked out great for trips to the laundry room as well as coming home for the weekend.

    • Jess Martell profile image

      Jess Martell 

      5 years ago

      This is a solid list! Nice lens

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Such a cool lens! That rolling hamper is awesome, I have never seen one like that before! I actually just made a college lens and added this on as it's related pages. I don't think you missed anything on the list, you added just about anything anyone at college could need :)

    • MysticHipGyp profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome lens! I'm a junior in high school, so slowly but surely getting prepared for college! A big help!

    • Scotties-Rock profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      @BillyPilgrim LM: Thanks, so happy you enjoyed!

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 

      6 years ago

      Pretty comprehensive list, thanks for sharing!x

    • MrMojo01 profile image


      7 years ago

      Lots of great tips here!

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      7 years ago

      great tips, a must for every college student in the dorms, Angel Blessings

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow thanks so much! This was very helpful! :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      Looks like some first-hand experience here. Good tips.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The one item that I brought with me to college all those years ago seemed unusual at the time. It was a small bucket. It carried all my shower supplies with me when I went to the showers in the dorms. I also had a little heating element that I could plug in and put in my soup to heat it up. That was a great help.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great list! ~ I used to buy practical gifts like these for my kids when they were still at home, so when they flue the nest, they would have what they needed.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      7 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Excellent list and advice! :)

    • Camden1 profile image


      7 years ago

      I wouldn't have thought of a surge protector!

    • Ahdilarum profile image


      7 years ago

      nice list to take care before joining hostel in college..liked


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