College Dorm Checklist: Essentials You Thought You Didn’t Need

A college student in a simplistic dorm room

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Moving out of your parent’s house is a right of passage for every man. While moving to a dorm may be temporary, it’s a huge transition that can help you grow and become more independent. Packing for college can seem daunting, especially for first-timers. Luckily for you, we came up with a college dorm checklist to get you started.

Here are some college essentials you didn’t think you’d need but will definitely do.

1. Fresh Bedding

Bring comfortable bedding to ensure you get a good night’s sleep daily. It’s even better to have some clean spares around your dorm. Ensure you have enough fresh sheets and pillowcases to last between laundry days to avoid skin irritations and hygiene problems.

2. Comfortable Pillows

A good night’s rest depends on a firm but comfortable pillow. Avoid neck pains every morning by investing in a comfy pillow. Buy multiple pillows if you’re used to snuggling one at night. Some doctors recommend getting a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck. Consider getting good ones if you regularly experience body pains when you wake up.

3. Twin XL Mattress Toppers

Sleep is essential for any college student, so you should consider getting a good-quality mattress topper. This is one of those improvements you should splurge on because you’ll use it every day of college life.

Get a twin XL mattress topper because it’s the most common mattress size in dorm rooms. Adding a mattress topper will save you from wondering about dust and dirt and counting how many students used the mattress before you.

Computer setup inside a white room

4. Power Strip

Moving to a dorm has its fair share of challenges. One is the limited sockets for plugging in all your electronics and appliances. College dorm rooms are designed to be cost-effective, so don’t expect to have the same amount of sockets as you do at home.

Maximize the limited sockets in your dorm room by getting a power strip. Pick one with multiple sockets so you can plug in multiple devices simultaneously. Staying productive should be one of your top priorities in college, so always remember to charge your laptop, tablet and phone.

Bonus Tip: Get a power strip with surge protection to keep your delicate electronics safe from sudden bursts of electricity. It’s a minor detail many tech owners oversee when buying a power strip.

5. Charging Hub

While it’s safe to assume that your college dorm will have a backup generator in the event of power outages, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan of your own. Invest in a portable power station or charging hub to charge all your electronics and other essentials.

Charging hubs are a godsend when the power goes out and you have an essential paper to turn in the next day. You can plug in your laptop and portable wifi while you work, so you don’t have to worry about running out of juice as you type away. Portable power stations have multiple USB ports and sockets to plug in other devices like cooling fans or lamps.

It’s better to have one and not need it than to need it and not have it. Be a good dorm mate and offer your charging hub to your buddies. You can earn extra points for being the friendly neighborhood boy scout who saved them from missed deadlines.

6. Cooling Fan

Dorm rooms typically have air conditioning, but they can still get pretty stuffy when you and your roommates turn in for the night, especially during summer. Staying cool and comfortable will increase your quality of life, especially when preparing for exams and other important school activities.

Choose a powerful fan to manage your room temperature efficiently. Also, consider something quiet enough so you and your roommate can still sleep soundly at night. Studies show that staying comfortable will help you focus better when working or studying.

Bunk bed inside a room

7. Folding Table

You can forego getting a folding table if you’re lucky enough to score a sweet and spacious dorm room. However, we highly suggest getting a collapsible table if you draw the short straw and landed a smaller room.

You can eat, study and do everyday things with a collapsible table. It folds up, can be tucked away neatly under your bed or behind a door, and unfolds when needed. Having a spare table in your room is also perfect for when you have to fold your fresh laundry. And trust us, college life requires you to do much of that.

8. Speakers

Whether chilling in bed on a lazy weekend or heading to the beach with friends, a good speaker will keep you company and properly entertained. A college dorm checklist is only complete with one. Choose a speaker that’s loud enough to fill the room with soft music and durable enough to survive a few falls from your bedside table. Just be mindful when you turn the music up and remember to ask your roommate if he’s cool with you playing some sweet tunes.

9. LED Lamp

No matter what people say, you will always need to read books and other papers in college — it’s simply part of the experience. You need a reliable lamp to illuminate your reading materials at night. Get yourself a good LED lamp with adjustable light settings. LEDs last longer than traditional bulbs. Some lamps even have tri-color options so you can choose between bright and soft lighting depending on your mood.

10. Diffuser

Aromatherapy can help calm you by relieving stress during hectic weeks. Pop a few drops of your favorite scents to soothe your nerves while on your reading break. Some essential oils can even help you sleep and reduce tension. You’re becoming your own man now and part and parcel of that is making your space enjoyable instead of just livable.

Room setup with computer

11. Vacuum Cleaner

Clean your dorm room like your life depends on it because sometimes, it does. Having a clean space to sleep, study and relax is more important than many think. Use a vacuum cleaner to tidy around your room. Start with a weekly sweep of your sheets and under your bed. Work your way around other high-traffic areas where dust can quickly accumulate.

Bonus Tip: Get a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner if your budget allows it. They are typically easier to store due to their smaller size and you won’t have to worry about cords that can tangle and trip you while cleaning.

12. Underbed Storage Bins

Space maximization is the name of the game when it comes to dorm room storage space. Make use of every available inch in your part of the room by getting storage bins. You can stow away unneeded items under your bed in a flash. Keeping things organized is a great way to reduce clutter around your room. It’s also an excellent way to maintain a healthy environment to study and rest.

Bonus Tip: Get storage bins with lids and stack them. Use them for fragile items or stow them in your dorm closet to maximize space.

Enjoying College Life Away From Home

Spending time away from home and family can be full of challenges, but it’s part of being a young man. Enjoy what college has to offer instead of just surviving it. Preparing everything you need in your college dorm checklist is a great way to kickstart your college experience.


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