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The Essential Dorm Packing List

by Household Essentials • August 05, 2019
 
Before you send your student off to college for the first time, make sure they’ve got everything they need by referencing this essential dorm packing list.
 
For the bed
 
Obviously, you’ll need to bring bedding: sheets and pillowcases, two sets. Check with the college or university on what linen size you’ll need based on the dorm.
It’s also a good idea to bring a mattress pad. Again, check with the school to make sure you buy the right size.
You’ll also need pillows, a comforter and throw blankets.
Extra credit: a bedside/reading lamp, under the bed storage bins. 

For the desk
 
Waste basket
A lamp, unless you plan for the bedside lamp to do double duty.
A bulletin board or dry erase board calendar with markers, push pins, sticky notes or any other necessities.
You’ll also need your classic school supplies: pens, paper, pencils, paper clips, index cards, sticky notes, notebooks, tape, scissors, highlighters, rulers, etc. 

For the bath
 
Your student will need towels: three each of a body, hand and face towel is recommended.
In addition to the usual toiletries (body and face wash, lotion, shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream, toothpaste, floss, etc.), it’s a good idea to have a deluxe first aid kit that includes common over-the-counter medications (pain relievers, antacids, etc.) in addition to bandages, antibiotic ointment, cleaning wipes and other typical first aid products.
If your student will be sharing a shower, a shower caddy and shoes (flip flops) are also recommended.
Extra credit: bath robe. 

Laundry and clothing
 
Hamper or laundry bag. We love this backpack duffle laundry bag—easy to transport to the laundry facility or on a trip home.
Laundry supplies (detergent, dryer sheets, stain remover, etc.)
Hangers
A drying rack, especially a collapsible drying rack for compact storage, can save your student quarters (and time) they would otherwise spend using a dryer at a laundromat or in a laundry facility.
A hanging closet organizer is a smart way to maximize storage space in a cramped closet.
Extra credit: a mini sewing kit for lost buttons or other small repairs, an ironing blanket or small tabletop ironing board and iron for pressing clothes. 

Small electronics
 
Obviously, no college student is prepared for their first year without their laptop.
Surge protectors
Power strips
Extension cords
Prong adapters
Extra credit: a tablet, audio recorder, portable speakers. 

Appliances and Large Electronics
 
If your student will be living with roommates, check to see what each of you is planning to bring or responsible for bringing, and what the school will allow you to have or will already have in the room. This includes:
 
TV
coffee maker
Microwave
mini fridge
game consoles
etc. 

Household and kitchen items
 
Make sure the room is stocked with essentials, such as:
trash bags
paper towels
food storage bags or containers
dish soap and sponges
cleaning wipes
Tissues
a good all-purpose cleaner. 

If your student will be eating in the dorm room a lot, make sure they have everything they need to dine in, such as:
Cups
Mugs
Plates
Bowls
Silverware and cutlery
Necessary tools, like an ice tray, can opener or small cutting board.