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College Move-In Checklist: New College Dorm Room Essentials


What Essentials Should I Bring to my College Dorm Room?

If you’re like how I was in high school, you’ve probably never given college preparations any more thought than what you’re having for dinner tonight. Then, in the blink of an eye, college is starting next week and you have no idea what to bring with you or what to leave behind. Fear no more! I’m here bringing you new students a college move-in checklist with a few dorm room essentials!

1. Bed Risers

Bed Risers - College Move-In Checklist: Dorm Room Essentials

First up on the list are bed risers! Bed risers are tools that raise your bed off the ground to whatever height your heart desires. These are an absolute must if you’re staying in a dorm room, as the standard beds provided are low to the ground. These are also useful to create more storage space underneath your bed, which is a plus.

There are many different types of bed risers that you can get, but one set that I strongly recommend is made by Utopia Bedding  on Amazon. Their bed risers come in many different colors and sizes to suit your needs. They also run relatively cheap at $20.00.

2. Mattress Topper / Mattress Pad

Mattress Topper - College Move-In Checklist : Dorm Room Essentials

Sticking with our bed essentials theme, we have the mattress topper. When I tell you that dorm mattresses are uncomfortable, they are uncomfortable. You’d be better off sleeping on the floor if you don’t have one of these bad boys.

There are many options to choose from, whether you want a softer or a firmer bed, and many different brands to go with. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s to your tastes to ensure you get the best rest possible between classes!

3. Snacks & Drinks

College Move-In Checklist

This should go without saying, but food and drinks are a little more essential than you may think. On a college campus there are many dining options, however these will either require a meal plan or you pay directly out of pocket for every meal. Either way, you are going to be paying for every meal you have on campus, so bringing a stockpile of your favorite snacks and drinks will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Things that have a good shelf life or are nonperishable are a safer option, however, most dorms do have mini fridges to keep leftovers cold. Things like ramen (I know the classic college meal), microwavable mac and cheese, granola bars, and packs of Gatorade will help you get through the semester without completely draining your bank account or begging Mom and Dad for money.

4. Coffee Maker

| College Move-In Checklist: New College Dorm Room Essentials | Useless Wisdom

For those of you who are addicted to caffeine, this one’s for you. Coffee options on a college campus are plentiful but expensive, and if you consume coffee on a daily basis like I do, a coffee maker will be your best friend during the semester.

You can bring the simple drip coffee maker, but I personally enjoy the convenience of a Keurig coffee maker. With the press of a button, you’ll have fresh coffee within minutes, saving you time and money every morning. For those who prefer tea to coffee, the Keurig is also useful to you. You simply just run the machine without the K-Cup in it, and hot water will be dispensed for you to steep your tea in. 

Another added bonus of having a coffee maker in your dorm is that it’s in your dorm. Let’s face it, you’ll be pulling all-nighters pretty frequently in college, and being able to have coffee whenever you want it right in your dorm is the best thing for you.

5. Britta Filter

| College Move-In Checklist: New College Dorm Room Essentials | Useless Wisdom

While your dorm does have sinks and drinking water, the faucets and pipes are a little on the grimy side, especially if your dorm is located in an older building. Having a Brita Filter pitcher or sink attachment will definitely give you peace of mind and keep your immune system going strong. These will set you back a little financially, but they are certainly a good investment when moving onto a college campus.

6. Reusable Cups & Bottles

| College Move-In Checklist: New College Dorm Room Essentials | Useless Wisdom

Reusable cups and water bottles will be your best friend on campus! Having them handy gives you an opportunity to always have a drink on hand, and most college campuses have free bottle filling stations and the dining facilities also allow you to fill your cups and bottles as much as you want. As an added bonus, you’re being eco-friendly by not using single-use plastic or styrofoam cups for all of your beverages. Heck yeah!

7. Laundry Room Supplies

| College Move-In Checklist: New College Dorm Room Essentials | Useless Wisdom

Supplies to wash your laundry are an absolute must. Your dorm building will most likely have a washer and dryer available, but if not you’re stuck going to the local laundromat. Either way you’re certainly going to need detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets to get through the semester smelling clean. Stock up on your favorite supplies before moving out to save a little money down the road.

8. Closet Space Organizers

| College Move-In Checklist: New College Dorm Room Essentials | Useless Wisdom

When it comes to storage in a dorm room, you’re extremely limited. You’re sharing a room with a roommate and most likely only have one closet to fit all of your things in. One solution you have is a closet organizer.

There are many different styles and sizes of them, and they’re readily available at most stores or online. This will allow you to make the most out of what little space that you have. Remember those bed risers from the top of the list? Yep, they’re going to come in handy here too.

With the risers, plus an under bed organizer, you can fit more clothing or school supplies beneath your bed, which is very handy. You could also get a couple of desk organizers or shelves to hold your textbooks and pens. However you do it, just make sure to prioritize space!

9. Over-The-Counter Medications

| College Move-In Checklist: New College Dorm Room Essentials | Useless Wisdom

Let’s face it, in college you’re going to get sick, whether it be from allergies or one-to-many drinks at a party. Now you have to go to class with a pounding headache or a stuffy nose because you don’t have any pain relievers or antihistamines. Save yourself some pain and suffering and stock up on Ibuprofen, allergy meds, Pepto Bismol or anything else that you think you may need. Better safe than sorry.

10. Chargers

| College Move-In Checklist: New College Dorm Room Essentials | Useless Wisdom

This one should go without saying, but I cannot tell you how many times someone has told me they forgot their charger at home after they’ve moved into a dorm. Remember to always grab your laptop, phone, and watch chargers before you leave! Finding a replacement for one will not only waste your time but your money too.

College Can Be Fun, but Prepare for Anything

With all about College Move-In Checklist that being said, college is a very fun time for you, but make sure you’re prepared for the expected and unexpected changes in your life from here on out. You’re on your own so don’t rely on your parents to bail you out. Have a fun and successful college semester!

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Jamie Shaffer

Opinionated law student with a creative interest in debates and philosophy.

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