A list of things for the dorm room? Check.

Scripps College dorms
Scripps College, one of the Claremont Colleges east of Los Angeles, is considered to have the most beautiful dorms in the U.S. Students in a dorm room in Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Hall have room to express themselves.
(Scripps College)

Getting organized is Step 1 when it comes to moving into a dorm room, and most retailers catering to the college-bound crowd offer a variety of checklists.

Taking advice from lists at Target, PB Dorm, Dormify and Bed Bath & Beyond, we’ve created a mega-checklist for inspiration and planning. The trick to getting ready, says Jeff Gawronski of, is not getting overwhelmed. “Pay attention to what you can bring from home and what would make sense to buy. Then ask, ‘What do I need to augment [the room] to make it comfortable ... and what’s auxillary?’”

Move-in day tool kit

  • 3M interlocking fasteners with adhesive (for attaching things to walls)
  • Museum putty to help hold items in place (mirrors, power strips)
  • Zip ties for bundling cords and cables
  • Box cutter and scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Rubber mallet to use for lofting the bed
  • Duct tape
  • Small tool kit

Guide for the college-bound:  Dorm room ideas  | Tricked-out campuses  | Advice for parents: Don’t pamper your kid | Sage advice for freshmen  


Cleaning supplies

  • Laundry detergent
  • Hamper or laundry bag
  • Drying rack
  • Over-the-door towel rack
  • Iron and/or steamer
  • Travel-sized ironing board
  • Wastebasket
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Handheld vacuum
  • Stick vacuum
  • Step stool
  • Disposable gloves
  • Small bucket
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Paper towels
  • Glass cleaner
  • Toilet brush and toilet bowl cleaner
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Trash bags
  • Gallon-size plastic bags
  • Multipurpose cleaner
  • Clothespins, food clips, binder clips, for closing bags of food
  • Sponges
  • Dish soap
  • Dish brush
  • Plunger

Electronics and audio

  • Surge protector with USB hub
  • Extension cord (if allowed)
  • USB wall adapters
  • Laptop lock
  • Laptop accessories
  • Ear buds and/or headphones
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Portable charger
  • Cellphone charging cable
  • Tablet charging cable
  • Alarm clock
  • Coaxial cable
  • HDMI cable
  • Extra-long ethernet cable
  • TV
  • Gaming systems and games
  • Laptop, computer or tablet
  • External hard drive
  • Docking station with speakers
  • Power strips with surge protectors (2)
  • Batteries


  • Extra-long twin comforter
  • Pillows and pillow protectors
  • Extra-long twin mattress pad
  • Extra-long twin foam mattress topper or featherbed
  • Extra-long twin sheets
  • Bed skirt
  • Duvet cover with duvet clips
  • Body pillow and cover
  • Extra blanket or throw
  • Backrest
  • Sleep mask
  • Attaching bed shelf
  • Mattress protector
  • Bed bug protection kit



  • Desk lamp
  • Clip lamp
  • Light bulbs (CFL only in California)
  • Desk organizer
  • Calendar
  • Lap desk
  • Book light
  • Stapler
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Stacking letter tray
  • Magazine holder
  • Desk chair

Storage and organization

  • Hooks or hook racks (professional organizer Geralin Thomas recommends 3M Command Hooks in all sizes)
  • Dry-erase peel-and-stick wall sheet
  • Shoe storage
  • Closet rod
  • Clip rings
  • Under-bed storage
  • Stacking drawers
  • Bed lifts or risers
  • Storage cart
  • Storage tote
  • Drawer organizer
  • Bedside shelf or caddy
  • Shelving
  • Storage trunk
  • Over-the-door full-length mirror (use museum putty to secure it to door so it doesn’t swing)
  • Magnifying mirror
  • Lockbox or personal safe

The closet

  • Space-saving “low profile” hangers
  • Hangers with clips for shorts, slacks, skirts
  • Closet organizers
  • Double closet rod
  • Garment storage
  • Shoe racks
  • Accessory organizer
  • Shelf dividers

Bath and shower

  • Towels and washcloths
  • Shower tote or caddy
  • Shower shoes or flip-flops
  • Toothbrush and soap cases
  • Mesh sponge
  • Bath rug
  • Scale
  • Slippers
  • Toiletries

Kitchen and dining

  • Plates and bowls
  • Cups and mugs
  • Eating utensils
  • Water bottle
  • Travel mug
  • Food storage
  • Can and bottle opener
  • Bag clips
  • Coffeemaker (if permitted)
  • Microwave, 750 watts or less (if permitted)
  • Electric kettle or hot pot (if permitted)
  • Toaster oven (if permitted)
  • Personal blender
  • Pot holder
  • Mini fridge, 4.5 cubic feet or less (if permitted)

Room decor

  • Decorative pillows
  • Pouf
  • Poster frames
  • Tapestries
  • Canvas art
  • Floor lamp
  • Ottoman with storage
  • Picture frames
  • Room fragrance or odor eliminator
  • String lights (if permitted)
  • Wall art
  • Window curtains
  • Futon
  • Futon cover
  • Peel-and-stick wallpaper
  • Peel-and-stick wall decals

Personal style

  • Lanyard for keys and student ID
  • Dental care
  • Hairbrush and comb
  • Hair dryer and tools
  • Hair care caddy
  • Nail care kit
  • Razor and shaving kit
  • Shower caddy
  • Shower shoes
  • Towel wrap or bathrobe
  • Duffel or weekend bag


  • Sunscreen, bug spray
  • First-aid kit
  • Umbrella
  • Door stop
  • Fan
  • Flashlight
  • Sewing kit
  • Earplugs



Find out if the school offers insurance coverage for belongings or if your homeowner’s insurance extends to dorm possessions. Determine the closest pharmacy and transfer any prescriptions for refills.