College Packing List for Dorm Essentials

Living in the dorms in college is an exciting life experience that we recommend to anyone attending university. Your life living in the dorms offers you access to like minded individuals for both social and academic needs, forming a sense of community and connection to the campus that you wouldn’t find otherwise. So what should you bring to the dorms in college? Even if the cost is high, the reward of your additional growth and friendships far outweighs any loan you may need to take to live in the dorms. While the cost of college (more info) is always top of mind, one question that you may have for move-in day is around what you should plan to pack for college.

So what are the common categories of dorm essentials you should think of buying when living on campus? We recommend Kitchen, Sleeping, Housekeeping, Bathroom, Living, Electronics, Decorations, and School Essentials.

Dorms are usually barebone with no furniture, decoration, or bedding outside from a mattress and frame. It is up to you and any roommate(s) to personalize the dorm with your own decorations, furniture, bedding, and electronics. While some shared spaces may offer communal access to areas like a kitchen or bathroom, other suite style dorms have these integrated. Check ahead of time to see where you will be living to make sure you bring things that you will need, depending on the type of space you are in.

It’s also important that you try to connect with your roommate(s) before packing to ensure you aren’t bringing duplicates of large items on move-in day, like tvs, furniture, or other large electronics. While some roommates may connect beforehand and agree on a theme or color to shop around, others focus on more of the functional living essentials such as their bedding, computer, and school supplies like backpacks or calculators.

Keep in mind that your dorm is basically your new home away from home for the next year or more in college, and as a result you should aim to make it a comfy and cozy place that reflects your personality and interests. It’s going to be a space used for socialization, from friendships and hangouts to relationships and dates. It’s also your workplace for studying, reading, and doing your assignments. While smaller than what you are probably used to, and also co-inhabitated by a roommate in most cases, your dorm will become your sanctuary throughout the school year. What you decide to buy and pack for college should reflect these items, but you can also always buy more things throughout the school year.

If you are traveling from abroad or afar and can’t purchase and bring the items with you, it’s common to ship things directly to the residence hall or dormitory where you will be living, or finding a local pickup at an amazon locker or other retail store.

While this was just a brief overview of dorm essentials and dorm living, you can check out our full student curated list of dorm essentials here. For your convenience, we’ve added a checklist and all items are from amazon for quick shipping to you or your school.

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