College Dorm Room Shopping Guide

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Not going to lie: this post is definitely an excuse to make a glorified shopping list!

a salute to all the successful freshman in the past.
this thing is more exhausting than I thought it would be. 
To be fair, however, I know many of you are also shopping for your college dorms, and an exhaustive list might come in handy, if for nothing more than reminding you of one or two things that are easy to forget. Right?;)

I've tried to catch everything that's not mentioned on most standard "Dorm Shopping Lists" you find online -- but (and this part is especially directed at those of you already in school/have finished school) if I've missed anything please let me know your further recommendations in the comments! I'm sure we'd all appreciate any extra advice we can get!

Things That Are Way Too Easy To Forget For College
Or: "College Needs List"
  1. Extra pillowcases  (I switch mine frequently to keep any dirt-related skin problems at bay!)
  2. Extra throw blankets / pillows (college in the north = snow and single-digit-degree nights!)
  3. Extra towels for cleaning (You don't want to have to use one of your bath towels to mop up the floor) 
  4. Flip flops for the shower (Because. ew.)
  5. Under-the-bed storage unit / set of drawers (staying as organized as possible is the goal!)
  6. Swimsuit (my mom taught me to always bring a really never know when you'll need it, and it's pretty miserable being the only one without/having to buy a tacky one last-minute.)
  7. TIDE To-Go Pen (didn't realize what a lifesaver this could be until I started working retail, and couldn't just throw a shirt in the wash if I got something on it at lunch! MAJOR lifesaver here, y'all.)
  8. Backup Phone Battery (because you never know how long you might be out without a chance to charge.)
  9. Portable speaker
  10. Snack Stash (all my currently-in-college friends say this is their biggest tip; having snacks on hand means you don't have to run to the grocery store if you miss dining hall hours or are up late studying and need a snack to keep going! If you're interested, I'll be sharing my Healthy Dorm Pantry Essentials in an upcoming post!
  11. Feminine hygiene products (I would recommend stashing up at the beginning of the semester, because if you're anything like me, you'll forget until the last minute, and depending on where you go to school, a drugstore may or may not be a 20 minute drive away...)
  12. Good backpack (this is the one I bought)
  13. School Supplies (amidst all the dorm room essentials, you'd be surprised how easy it is to forget about the most important things!)
  14. Dirty laundry bags
  15. Laundry detergent
  16. Over-the-door mirror (To make sure that outfit looks as good in real life as it does in my head, ha!)
  17. Baskets / Drawers for additional storage
  18. Posters / Artwork for the walls, and sticky tack for easy removal.
  19. Extension cords (and fairy lights) (of course) 
  20. MUGS. (If you and your 20 friends need one, I've got quite a collection saved up over the years...XD)
  21. Food storage (cardboard boxes attract small creatures - better to use Tupperware for your snacks!)
  22. Flashlight and batteries
  23. First Aide Kit
  24. Tools for building / hanging anything on move in day.
  25. Hard drive for regular computer backups

Fellow Freshmen: 
Are you feeling as overwhelmed with this dorm shopping task as I am? XD

Happy weekend, loves!


  1. Hey there, fellow freshman! Yes, yes, yes! I am in the same boat. I'm trying to keep it simple but also need to remember that extra towel for mopping up the floor! Thanks for the list. I am looking forward to the snack ideas too.

    1. Yes, simplicity is definitely key for me too, Madeline! Can't be lugging tons of stuff all the way to MI. XP I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

  2. I never lived in the dorms, but if you ever want general college survival tips, I have a million and one things to share. XD One more semester to go for me. 4 1/2 years FLEW by! Going to college was the best decision of my life, and I hope you enjoy every moment!

    1. I'm always happy to get some advice, Katie! Can't believe you only have one semester left - that's crazy!

      I'm really looking forward to being in school again. I fully plan on enjoying it! <3

  3. So this comment is pretty late, but two things that made my life so much easier in college were
    1) laundry detergent pods. Yes, these are a bit more expensive, but one bag of All detergent pods would get me through a semester, and it is so much easier to just throw a couple of these into your hamper than to lug a big jug of detergent up and down all those flights of stairs to the dorm laundry room.
    2) a hot water kettle to make tea to put into all those mugs. :)

    Also - per computer backups and not losing papers at the last minute because of a crash: I highly recommend setting up a dropbox account. It's free and saves docs in the dropbox to an online folder so you can access it from other computers.

    1. Kate,
      Thank you! Good call on the laundry detergent pods - I didn't think about that, but you've definitely convinced me. A tea kettle is also an excellent idea!

      I use Dropbox all the time for my photos - so glad you reminded me it could be used for .docx as well!

      Thanks for all the excellent advice, Kate. <3

  4. bring on the snack ideas, cause I ended up eating a lot of pretzels and random weird stuff ;)
    I really need to go through my stuff and make sure I've got everything ready!


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