College Dorm Room Essentials

College dorm rooms can be tiny, with little closet space, and the bare minimum of comforts. The temptation to bring all your favorite soft toys or entire collection of comic books is high, but deciding what to bring to college is an exercise in separating need from want and the necessary from the merely useful. When you’re making the move to college, bring only the essentials, and leave the rest at home, because you don’t want to antagonize your roommate by overflowing into their space.

Personal hygiene

The usual toiletries like soap, shampoo, and toothpaste, are a must. However, unless you have the rare luxury of a private bathroom, you will also need something to carry your toiletries around. Get a shower caddy or a little basket with holes in the bottom so the water can drain out. Get a separate bag or toiletries case for your toothpaste, face wash and everything you need for your morning and bedtime routine so you won’t have to carry your family-sized bottle of shower gel every time you want to brush your teeth.


Unless you’re planning to be one of those people who only wash their jeans once a semester, you will need something to contain all your dirty laundry. From large wicker baskets to foldable canvas bags, laundry hampers come in all shapes and sizes so get the best one for your needs. Keep in mind that the laundry room will probably be quite a distance away, so you don’t want to get one that’s so large, and therefore heavy, that you won’t be able to carry it. Don’t forget the laundry detergent and softener, and ladies may also want to get a small mesh bag for their delicates.


We spend up to a third of our lives in bed, so you’ll want to get the most comfortable bedding you can afford. Consider getting a mattress pad. Aside from making the bed more comfortable, it will also serve as an extra barrier between yourself and the bed as you never know what previous occupants have been up to on that mattress. A warm comforter is essential, especially if you will be facing cold winter nights. If you’re also planning to use it as a bedspread, get it in a dark color, which will better hide stains and spills. Extra pillows are somewhat of a luxury, but considering that you will most likely be using your bed as an all-in-one study spot, sofa, and general lounging area, this might be a good investment. As for sheets, college beds are usually that bit longer, so make sure you get extra long ones.


These days, a computer serves as your study and research center, as well as your media and entertainment unit, so it’s a definite necessity. Don’t forget to bring the usual stationery, and a graphic calculator will also be useful for your math class. You will need bookshelves for your current textbooks but consider getting a clear plastic bin that you can put under the bed for all your old books and other items you don’t use frequently.


Like it or not, you’ll have to keep your dorm room clean, so make sure you have the necessary supplies on hand. Vacuum cleaners are nice to have but take up a lot of space. A magic mop with disposable wet wipes will make cleaning your floors a breeze. Make sure to have a rag or two handy for cleaning up spills.