If you or if you have a child heading off to college for the first time, you’re probably confused and overwhelmed with what to pack! In addition to my printable college packing list, I’m adding more College Dorm Room Essentials to help you navigate this task! My original college dorm room packing checklist is here.
With my son heading into his junior year of college, I am often asked what he considered his most useful and needed items living in the dorms his freshman year.
College Dorm Essentials for Freshman & Upperclassmen
I had created a very thorough list of dorm room essentials and shared them as a free printable the summer before my son started college. You can find this college packing checklist broken down into 7 different categories in the Printable Vault.
A couple of things we originally didn’t think of but have added are Noise Cancelling Headphones, a Small Personal Safe, a Large Bean Bag Chair, Easy to Make Bedding, and a monthly subscription for snacks.
Noise Canceling Headphones
We thought his other headphones would work fine, but we learned quickly that dorm rooms can be loud. Whether it’s people dropping by to visit your roommate or people in the corridor, there will be noise. Having these is a great way to stay focused while studying.
EDGE Personal Safe
One thing we didn’t think of, but in hindsight would have been handy, is a small safe for valuables. There are many people in and out of their dorm rooms, and sometimes he may not be there when his roommate has a few friends over. His university is close to the Canadian border, so it would have been handy for keeping his passport and other important documents that could really cause a mess if landed in the wrong hands.
Luckily, he had a great experience and never had any theft issues, but that’s not always the case. Now that he’s out of the dorms, this safe will also be perfect for his room in his apartment.
He has great roommates that he knows well, so theft isn’t so much a problem unless they have a party…GASP, which they haven’t! But, a house where 7 of his friends lived had parties often filled with new faces and acquaintances.
This EDGE Personal safe is great for apartments and dorm rooms. Students can keep what they value the most safe & secure! Electronics, extra cash, personal documents, and even important assignments! Heck, even snacks they’re hiding from their roommate could go inside!
Save $30 when you purchase from Costco. Find a store near you.
Large Beanbag Chair
One of the best purchases we made. Many times there is nowhere to sit other than their bed, and that gets old really fast. This is great for relaxing, playing video games, or napping.
Monthly Snack Subscription
Even though I sent care packages, it was sometimes more fun and less expensive to send this subscription. He’s still getting it and it always brightens his day.
Beddy’s Bedding for Dorms
I thought these were for kids, but they’re not and they would have been perfect for dorm room beds, especially if you had a loft bed. Trying to make a bed that’s higher up and against a wall is nearly impossible! These make it simple! They have styles specifically for college kids.
College Packing Checklist
As mentioned, I have packing for college dorm room essentials broken down into categories. You can download them and print what you need. Subscribers to TCL have free access to all my free printables in the Printable Vault. If you still need to subscribe, click here. Your password will be emailed to you. Check your spam if you don’t see it.
- Bedding – Dorm rooms usually have a twin XL bed. Another must-have is a gel top mattress topper and a twin size will work. He loved his!
- Comforts – This is where the large bean bag comes in!
- Bathroom – He didn’t end up using the tote we bought and just used a toiletry case.
- Laundry – My Laundry Tips Tags were a hit! And the color catchers!
- Study – When you’re sharing a room, the headphones are a must!
- First Aid – He was prepared! I think he supplied more kids with cold medications because they didn’t have any.
- Storage – Those cloth storage cubes that fit in the wire rack were really helpful!
A time saver is ordering and having items sent. We couldn’t have anything sent to the dorms ahead of time, so I did order a few things and large items that are hard to transport from Walmart since they have a 7 day pick up window. I also used Amazon Prime a lot during the school year to have things sent directly to his dorm room.
This list of college dorm room essentials will help set up your new student for success. Good luck!
These are some really great ideas!
Thank you! very helpful and a great list of essentials.
What smart ideas for college kids! Noise cancelling headphones are a must for sure… and that bedding sure would make it easier for them to keep their rooms tidy.