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The Ultimate Dorm Checklist for College Students [Free Printable]

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College Packing List Hip2Save

Are you ready for college moving day?

Print out this free printable checklist of all the dorm essentials you’ll want to take along to college! Although every campus offers different amenities and has different rules, it’s SO much easier to remember the essentials while shopping, packing, and moving when you have a list like this!

To customize this list:

  • Select only the items that you want from the list below.
  • Click on the Print icon at the bottom of this post.
  • Print a list with just those items!

Now if only finals were this easy! 🤣


big lots dorm apartment shopping finds — pom pom blanket

Where can I find the best college dorm items?

While we never say no to a great store (or sale), check your local Dollar Tree, Big Lots, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and of course Amazon. Some stores will even ship directly to the dorm!

Hip Tip: Check with your specific college or university about what is (and is not) allowed, what is (and is not) provided, and what to expect when you get there. Many schools even provide the dimensions for dorm rooms, beds, and windows to give you a good idea of sizes you’ll need!


Bed & bath dorm essentials:

store shelves with new pillowcase sets and sheet sets in bags

Bed risers or blocks (for more space)

Toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, etc)


Office & desk dorm supplies:

a laptop on a desk

Printer (if not using computer lab/print center on campus)

Printer paper (if bringing a printer)

Camera (if not using cell phone)

School supplies (pens, pencils, paper, etc)


Dorm room items:

Get ready for college with this back to school moving checklist – assortment of window and desk fans


Laundry & dorm cleaning supplies:

Tide, Tide Pods, and Bounce

Cleaning supplies (dish soap, etc)

Quarters (if no laundry card)


Dorm kitchen & household items:

Rubbermaid food storage container

Travel coffee mug (for taking to class)

Hot pot or coffee-maker (if allowed)

Microwave (if allowed)

Small fridge (if allowed)


Other important documents:

checkbook and pen closeup

Insurance cards

Credit/Debit/Prepaid card

List of emergency contacts

Social Security card

Bank info/checks


Miscellaneous dorm essentials:

Duracell batteries


Join The Discussion

Comments 2

  1. Dee

    Having hauled my daughter’s stuff up 8 flights of stairs last fall, and had to move her out early this spring during a two hour window because of the pandemic, I would go as minimal as possible with whatever you buy/move into dorms this year. Invest in the bed and whatever matters the most. If your student spends time studying in the dorm (some don’t) then a good desk chair is a must.

  2. Toni Potts

    My oldest is a senior in college. She lived in a dorm the first 3 years. This year she got an apartment and all of her classes are online. My middle is a freshmen and just cancelled her dorm since all of her classes are online. Both girls attend larger universities in Michigan. My daughters are very self sufficient packed themselves. They are extremely light packers. We might have had 3-4 totes. I just had to drive and help unpack. Usually made a trip to Walmart to pick up a few extras. My son has a few more years at home. I have a feeling he would with just the clothes on his back. He would even forget his toothbrush.

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