First-Timer in College? Here are Some Dorm Essentials

Check out these must-haves you don’t want to forget.

First-Timer in College? Here are Some Dorm Essentials (YR Staff )

Dorm assignments came in and you're deciding on what to bring. Between the twin bed, oftentimes an extra-long one, and small rooms, you have so much to pack in such a limited space. 

Here are some items to make your new home and space less overwhelming.

Shower Shoes 

Shower Shoes are one of the most important things you need to bring. Walking barefoot in a shared bathroom can lead to fungal or bacterial infections, and shower shoes are something you’ll likely use every day. This fungus could lead to athlete's foot, a fungal infection that usually begins in between the toes”A simple pair of shower shoes are cheap and affordable, do switch them out every few weeks. 

Shower Caddy 

Since you’re sharing a bathroom with other people, you probably don’t want to leave all of your stuff sitting in the shower. Instead, use a shower caddy to keep all of your toiletries together. Look for one with a sturdy handle so you can easily carry it back and forth from the shower. 


Most college-size form beds are a size Twin XL so make sure you get the right size sheets. You can’t bring your millions of blankets and pillows but downsize to what you can store in such a small space. Get about two or three sets of sheets, one for when it's in the washer and the other to put on. Get a mattress topper/mattress protector, some of those beds are really uncomfortable and these accessories make your bed more comfortable. 


Since you won't have access to your own private laundry units, make sure the machine you are using does or doesn't specify, rather it uses certain detergents because some are meant only for high-efficiency machines. 

Guaranteed Necessities 

Definitely invest in cleaning products, brooms, dustpans, Lysol or Clorox, etc. You never know who you're living with or their cleaning habits, so to have your own products is a must. A Bluetooth speaker, for those fun nights outside. Or when you bring a party or just a dance break in your room, always have to have the right sounds. 

Flashlight and/or Portable with Flashlight 

Depending on where you move, the weather may have a big impact on your living conditions. Storms can lead to power outages, however no worries we got you covered! While you may be thinking if this happens I have a flashlight on my phone. Trust me, get a regular flashlight. It not only saves your phone battery which you may need, but it also can be stronger when it comes to lighting up a room or using it to find your way around. You can never be too safe!! I would even recommend a portable charger with a flashlight attached. 

Battery Combo Pack

I can not think of the number of times I had to hit the back of my remote to make it work. Save your hands and buy extra batteries. Mainly triple and double A, but also get whatever else your devices may need. 

Extension Cord 

Dorms can be small and sometimes outlet space can be scarce, especially when sharing with another person. Make sure to get an extension cord, I would recommend one that allows you to charge with a USB cord. They make life so much easier!!

Organization Hangers

Speaking of dorm space, most of the time you have none! It is all about condensing and finding ways to organize to make the best out of what you have. One thing that really helped me was organization hangers. They allow you to fit so much more in the same amount of space, especially if you have a small closet with a hefty wardrobe. 


Make sure you bring something that reminds you of home. It could be photos, your favorite blanket or even a stuffed animal. The move and transition may be difficult, and if so it is okay!! I went to Build-A-Bear and got the basic bear for about 14 dollars and put my grandma’s voice in it, she recorded a nice message that I still listen to to this day. You can do this with your siblings, best friends or anyone you want! It is nice to hear a familiar voice every now and then. 

Mini Fridge

A mini fridge is a great essential because when those study nights get long and gruesome (JK), at least you know you have your favorite snack in the fridge. They are perfect to help you store cool drinks and even some snacks and leftovers. Some even come with a microwave on top. Be sure to check with your dorm guidelines because some can be banned due to using too much power.

These are just a few items you may not have thought about but the truth is, you will be realizing what things you need as time goes on.  Make sure to have fun and embrace the journey!  

Miracle Trice, (she/her) is from Portland but is an Atlanta-based journalist who covers all aspects of  entertainment and culture. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @miracletb_

Ariyana Griffin is a graduate student at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a California native and graduate of Clark Atlanta University. Follow her on Twitter: @Ariyanaaganee and Instagram: @ari.yana.g.

Edited by Nykeya Woods

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