dorm life

Freshman Packing Guide

Summer is flying by and before you know it you will be starting your first year of college. Now is the time to prepare and get all of your back to school shopping out of the way so you can spend your last few weeks enjoying your vacation.

Living in the dorms can be tough, but as long as you’re prepared you should have no problem.

Here are the essential items you need to pack for your dorm –

Alarm Clock

Most people use the alarm clock on their phones, and that’s fine if that works best for you. It never hurts to have a back-up alarm clock in case your phone dies or goes missing and you need to wake up for those early morning classes.


Make sure you have your lap top, phone, iPod, TV and whatever else you want to take to school packed up. You should also make sure that everything you plan to bring is in good shape and working they way you need it to. If anything needs fixing or updating, take care of it before school starts.

Electrical cords

Phone chargers, computer chargers, extension cords, make sure you have it all!


Of course your dorm room will come with its own light, but remember that you are sharing the space with another person. They may want to get to bed earlier than you some nights. Be prepared by bringing along a desk lamp or reading light for those late nights.

Mini fridge

If you plan on storing any food or beverages in your room this is a must. The cafeteria is only open certain hours and you might not feel like making the trek to the store or vending machine when you are craving a late night snack or early morning breakfast.


Dorm room walls are boring. Sometimes they even resemble prison walls. If you plan on spending any time in your dorm room you need to freshen it up with some pictures, posters, and other decorations.


This one is obvious, and you aren’t going to forget to pack clothes for college. Making a good first impression is important, right? Just make sure you pack for the weather and seasons of where you are attending school. For example, if you are attending college in Florida you can leave the winter gear at home. Otherwise it will just cause clutter in your dorm.

Clothes hangers

Easy to forget and you may not realize how many items of clothes you are actually bringing until you get there and unpack. Be prepared and pack your clothes hangers before you get on campus. This will save you a trip of venturing out to target or Walmart and risking everything being sold out. You should also bring just one type of hanger so your closet looks more organized.

Bathroom caddy

You only have two hands. So, if you plan on carrying more than two items into the shower with you, you need a shower caddy. This is perfect to store all your bathing needs plus any other bathroom essentials you need.

Shower sandals

Unless you’re a fan of toe fungus and ring worm, you need to invest in shower sandals before you step foot in the dorm bathrooms. Thousands of college students feet and germs have been in that bathroom. 

Bath robe

I’m sure you are a great multitasker, but trying to keep your towel up and while carrying your shower caddy back to your room can be tricky. Avoid the awkward accidental hallway nakedness by purchasing a bath robe. Your robe can also be something that you can lounge around in when relaxing in your dorm binge watching Netflix and eating pizza.

Portable laundry bag/basket

You need a laundry basket. No one likes a stinky messy room. You will have to carry your dirty clothes to the nearest laundry facility whether it’s down the hall or up the stairs. Having an easy to carry laundry bag or basket is a must to make the annoying process easier for you.

Laundry Detergent

People will get real annoyed real fast if you are constantly asking them to use their laundry detergent. Find a brand and a scent that makes you happy and load up in bulk at Costco before you move into the dorms.


You will be surprised how easy it is to forget your bath towels. It is a good idea to have at least two towels in case one is dirty or you can use one for the pool or to lay out in the quad.


Dorm rooms are not typically known for their abundant storage space. You will be given a small closet, maybe a small dresser, a desk and maybe some shelves. If you plan on bringing any books, movies, heavy winter gear, shoes, outdoor gear, sports equipment, other personal items, basically anything other than academic supplies and clothes, you will need extra storage. Small plastic shelving or storage bins that can slide under your bed are good options.

Cleaning supplies

You don’t need to get crazy with your cleaning supplies but having a few on hand is helpful. Maybe a broom and some Clorox wipes will do the trick for a quick room clean up once a week.

Trash can

This one is obvious but easy to forget. You do not want to have to walk down to the bathrooms every time you need to throw something away. Having a little trash bin (preferably with a lid) that fits under your desk or next to your bed-side is perfect for your dorm room needs.

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