The Ultimate Dorm Room Essentials Checklist for College Students (+ Free Printable List!)

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Make your college moving day easier with this ultimate printable dorm room checklist for students.

College Packing List Hip2Save

Are you ready for college moving day?

Print out this free printable college dorm checklist of all the college dorm essentials you’ll want to take along! 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!

printable college packing list

To customize this college dorm checklist:

  • 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 paying for college were this easy! 😅

big lots dorm apartment shopping finds — pom pom blanket

Where can I find the best college dorm essentials?

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 the sizes you’ll need!

Bed & bath college dorm essentials:

store shelves with new pillowcase sets and sheet sets in bags

Bed risers or blocks (for more under-bed space)

Toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, etc)

Office & desk college dorm supplies:

HPP laptop on sale

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

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About the writer:

Jenna has a Bachelor's Degree from Lycoming College and her Master's from Penn State, holding 4 years of writing experience between a variety of publications and Hip2Save.

Join The Discussion

Comments 9

  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.

  3. Mama2Nine

    My oldest moves to college next week. Most universities are asking that students only bring needed items bc of covid. Preparing early for shut down.
    We have only one hour during his time slot to move him in-only two family members allowed.
    Each kid is different…. my friend rented a uhaul and took three loads to move her kid to college last week.
    My kid will barely fill my suburban and he’s not happy taking that much. 😂

  4. Ella

    Iron and ironing board? Do college kids know what those are? LOL!

    • Bee

      I do take offense to that. I find an iron rather essential especially as a person who sews and tends to wear natural fibres. Also, people tend to have less clothing that require ironing with today’s clothing being made more frequently out of synthetic fibres (polyester, nylon, acrylic) as opposed to natural fibres (cotton, silk, linen, wool). So, let us not shame others simply on the basis of age.

    • TS

      I iron something about once a year and that is often a craft project. It has nothing to do with age. Many people simply wear clothes that don’t demand ironing.

  5. kmark

    Highly recommend going to dollar tree and picking up the smaller items there( trash cans, cleaning supplies, dish towels, utensils, plastic bins, coffee things, snacks, spices, paper products, etc ). They have smaller versions of name brand items that are much easier to store and tote up flights of steps on move in to at least get them started!! I FILLED a small trash can from dollar tree with dollar tree items for my cousin for his dorm and he said it was the most useful and convenient items he had and loved it. Plus it’s cheap!! Highly recommend! Also when moving clothes it’s easier to use a trash bag and bag clothes from the bottom up while they hang and leave the hangers on! No packing and unpacking required! Just hang em when you get to the dorm and youre good to go!

  6. DJ

    I would add a small air purifier and deodorizer.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the suggestion, DJ!

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