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When you are going off to college, you have to think about what to pack for your dorm room. This dorm room checklist will help you decide between what you need to have vs what’s nice to have.

Is it time to head for the college dorm? What on Earth are you going to pack? This list will give you the must-haves and nice to haves when you pack for your dorm! You’ll be prepared and ready to start your college education!

The Nice-To-Haves Vs Need-To-Haves For Your Dorm Room

what to pack for college dorm room

What do you really need for a dorm room in college?

Just remember one thing…Your college dorm room is going to be small. So small in fact that everything that you thought you needed to pack, you really probably don’t have room for.

When it comes to things that you really need to pack for your dorm room, it’s important to make certain that you’re packing those items that you really need to have. While there might be many urges to load up on stuff that you don’t need, remember that you just aren’t going to have the room. Instead, ask yourself what you can take that you’re going to need and prioritize those items first.

What should you not bring to a college dorm?

While there are many things that you should bring to your college dorm, there are a few things that make the list to leave at home. Here are some of the items that you should not bring to a college dorm.

  • A ton of books
    The college has a library that you can check books out so don’t clutter your down with ones that you’ve already read.
  • Your high school trophies and yearbooks
    While you might have awesome high school memories, it doesn’t mean that you need to take those with you to college. In fact, those items are ones that you should just leave at home. Anything dealing with your high school from trophies to your letterman jacket can stay in your room at your parents for later.
  • Fire hazard items
    Things like hot plates or candles have a potential for fire. You can cook things in a microwave or bring sprays to make things smell good. Do you want to be that kid who sets off the smoke alarm?

college dorm room packing tips

What clothes to pack for college?

Clothing in college is a necessity but make certain that you’re packing the right ones. You don’t need your summer wardrobe in winter and vice-versa for your winter wardrobe in summer.

Instead, filter through all the clothes that you have and make a plan on bringing them to your down in spurts. This way you’re not overrun by a ton of clothes that you’re never going to read or use.

What do college students waste money on?

So many things! There’s a grand thought that college students think that they have to have so many things before they’re ready to go to college. But the truth is, they don’t!

College students waste money on expensive decor items that they don’t really even have room for. In addition to that, they also spend a ton of money on having food delivered to their dorms as well.

One of the best ways to stretch your money is to buy yourself a nice little fridge and keep it full of fresh fruit and veggies. This way you’ll be eating healthy and staying on budget as well.

packing for college dorm room tips

The need to haves and nice to haves when you pack for your dorm

Separating the need to have and the nice to haves is key for packing efficiently for your dorm. You’ll learn that you have a very small space to pack for so it’s important to fill it full of items that you’re going to want and need to use.

The Necessary Items To Pack For Your Dorm

Think practical in these items. If you have a roommate, consider divvying some of the shared items out.

  • bedsheets
  • backpack
  • pillows
  • curtains
  • school supplies
  • clothing
    • hangers if you have a closet
  • cleaning supplies
  • food
  • snacks
  • chargers
  • electronics
  • hygiene products
  • beauty products
  • shower supplies
  • eating and drinking supplies
    • think your favorite bowl, a plate, a mug, water bottle, utensil set
  • surge protector
  • microwave
  • refrigerator

And while these items may vary a little bit from person to person, most of these are items that all college students will need.

college or university dorm room packing list

The Nice-To-Haves To Pack For Your Dorms

These are items that you want to have but don’t really know if you’re going to have the room for them. These can be items such as :

  • mementos
  • video games
  • skateboards
  • comfortable desk chair
  • dorm decor
  • TV or monitor
  • rugs
  • storage solutions for under the bed or the closet
  • lamps
  • exercise equipment (yoga mat, kettle bell, etc)
  • or other items that aren’t really a necessity to live your daily life.

As you can see, figuring out what to pack for your dorm can be tricky, but it’s totally doable as well. The more that you plan ahead and pack just for your needs, the less cluttered your dorm room is going to be.


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