Moving to college is an exciting new step. For most kids, this is the very first time that we’ll be out on our own, doing what we want, when we want and how we want.

But this excitement can also be mixed with anxiety and doubt. What will our roommates be like? How will it be living in a college dorm?

One surefire way to quell some of these move-in worries is to have a list of what you need (and don’t need) to bring to college. You are definitely going to need a lot of things, but certainly not all of the things.



You will absolutely need your laptop (or desktop, if you have the space for it). Additionally, make sure that you have all its accessories: chargers, printers, cover or case, power cord, etc. Anything that you need to keep your computer running.


Your bed can say a lot about who you are. Are you humorous with your Rick and Morty sheets or more serious with a plain one-color comforter? Whatever it is or whatever idea you want to convey, just make sure you have the comfiest bedding possible. Opt for something soft, but not too bulky so that you can wash it in a regular machine. You’ll most likely be in a twin XL bed, so don’t get a queen comforter. The better you sleep at college, the better you’ll do.


Unless your college is completely paperless (and kudos to them if they are), you’ll need the standard school supplies: pens, pencils, highlighters, notebooks, backpack, etc.

The Right Clothes

Unless you are planning to never go back home, you don’t need every single article of clothing you own. Pack your lighter clothes for the fall semester, knowing that you’ll go home for Thanksgiving, and can grab warmer clothes. You don’t need to pack your snow boots and thermals in August.

Speaking of clothes, don’t forget to bring hangers as well. If you are pressed for closet room, space saver hangers work wonders.

Bathroom Essentials

This isn’t your parent’s house anymore; you’ll need not only your own towels, but also toothpaste, face wash, shower soap, shampoo, conditioner, and whatever else you use in the bathroom. You’ll most likely be sharing with several other people, so getting a shower caddy to transport your bathroom things back and forth might be a good idea as well.

If you are apprehensive about walking around in a towel, get yourself a nice robe to put on after your shower or at night time.

Laundry Fundamentals

Hopefully you’ve learned how to do laundry because more than likely, no one else is going to do it for you. Although you may want to wait and get laundry supplies directly from the school when you arrive, it’s best to at least have a hamper and/or laundry bags with you when you move in.

Storage Bins

Most college beds have quite a bit of storage space underneath (and you use bed risers to give yourself even more). You can utilize this by getting storage bins that slide under them. Fill them with anything, from snacks to jackets to accessories.

Cleaning Supplies

There won’t be any maid service in your dorm room, so keeping it tidy will be your responsibility. Get a small broom and dust pan or handheld vacuum, and paper towels for inevitable spills.


It might still be a bit on the warm side when you get to school, so a small desk fan might also be a good investment. And if you are someone who has trouble sleeping, the fan can double as a white noise machine.


Unless you have a suite and kitchen in your dorm room, you most likely will not be doing any actual cooking in your room. But you may have snacks that need utensils and you’ll need things when you bring food home or order in. One knife, spoon, fork, bowl, plate and cup will do.

Reading Lamp

You and your roommate will probably not have the same exact class schedule or even the same life schedule. Get yourself a small desk lamp or even one that will clamp to your bed so that if you need to burn the midnight oil, you won’t disturb anyone else who needs their sleep.

Extension Cords/Power Strips

Most dorm rooms are not built around electronics. An outlet might not always be placed in a convenient place for your stuff. Extension cords work wonders to make a set-up that seems impossible, actually possible.


If you are taking classes that still require books, check out websites or your local stores to see if they carry what you need or look into renting books. You may be able to save a bit. Check out:

Communicate with Your Roommate

You won’t need two TVs or two refrigerators in your room, let alone be able to fit doubles. Talk to your roommate and see what they are bringing so you don’t end up with two microwaves or coffee pots.

College will hopefully be one of the most interesting and enjoyable times in your life up until now. Start it out right by being prepared for your first big move!


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