Dorm Necessities For New College Students

Time doesn't have much meaning for those still in high school, but everything changes when fresh-faced graduates move into their first college dorm rooms. This marks the first time that most teens are truly on their own, without all the comforts of home to sustain them. Furnishing dorm rooms with the proper necessities can make this transition toward adult life so much easier (and a lot more fun).

The social aspects of dorm life are obvious enough. You'll make friends, go to parties and maybe even embark on adventures around campus. But this essential chapter of college life starts with stocking and decorating your dorm room. It doesn't matter if you are male or female; creating your own space is paramount when you are in the dorms. The room is small and you could be sharing with another student, so being organized is a tool easily learned and applied to your life, which is not difficult.


Planning requires actually putting down on paper the things you need, what you want from home and what you plan to buy at school. Using one color for each of these is a simple code to keep things straight. The items that you already have such as a modular bookcase, a rug, a favorite wall-hanging print and your clothes are items to bring from home. Remember, though, that space in a dorm room is limited. Also, to make the move to your dorm room easier, you may want to pick up some new decorations once you've settled into your new location. The rule of thumb for decorations is to purchase everything on sale; never pay full price!

Most stores start putting college supplies on sale in July, so you can start shopping early with your completed list. Remember that you will want to consult with your roommate (if you know who your roommate will be) on some items to see if they have brought theirs. There is no room for two microwaves or two coffeemakers, and hopefully they will consult with you on colors and the larger items.

A conservative list of essentials will help you stay within a budget. You don't need to purchase everything for your dorm all at once. Transporting items seasonally will save much more space than bringing everything in the initial trip. You can exchange clothes, comforters anything seasonal when you go home for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break.

This is what a basic list of necessities for the dorm looks like.

  • Microwave cooking and eating supplies. Check with your roommate on appliances.
  • Bedding essentials - the school will be able to give sizes and a mattress pad is a good idea.
  • Basic cleaning supplies
  • Computer and tech supplies - extra cords
  • Electronics - including TV, alarm clock
  • Laundry staples
  • Personal security such as bicycle lock and an apartment safe.
  • Health supplies - remember prescriptions!
  • Shower and bathroom supplies - you can buy these items when you get to school, but start with the basics until you know your way around.
  • Dorm storage - flat containers go under bed and large hooks will give you more room.

Now, the incoming freshman can fill in their individual items. Keep this list so that when you get to school, it will be a handy tool in shopping.

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