Freshman Dorm Shopping: The Ultimate List

Freshman Dorm Shopping: The Ultimate List

Dorm room shopping doesn't have to be stressful!  Besides showing college students love through college care packages, we've spent the past few years helping college students move into their dorms and apartments, and we've made a list of some of the top things students need for their freshman dorm. Keep in mind these rooms are small, so simple is best.  Focus on making the dorm room feel like home to them, stay organized and not overcrowded, and feel like a comfortable space with their own style.   

Cozy & Cute:

Mattress Topper - This is a must have! The mattresses are often old and not very comfortable, and a good twin xl mattress topper can help your student have a good night sleep.  We like this one from Amazon  

Wall Art & Room Decor - Etsy is a great place to find fun, unique wall art and room decor for dorm rooms to match your student's unique style and interests. 

Command Strips - Check with your college to find out what their rules are about hanging things on the walls, but these are allowed at many schools and make hanging art and other decorative items a breeze.

Futon - If you decide to loft the beds, this can be a great piece to place underneath to add a relaxing spot for your student to study or unwind:

Headboard - This is a fun item to coordinate with the roommate if students are going for a room theme.  

Clean & Organized:

3-Drawer Storage - These lightweight storage drawers fit well in small dorm rooms and keep clothes and supplies organized and out of the way.

Air Purifier - These are a must have in musty dorm rooms to keep the air fresh and clean: 

Woozoo Fan -  These are a fan favorite (pun intended).  We didn't get the hype behind the brand until we tried them.  These amazing little fans move some serious air!  Check Costco if you have a membership as they sometimes run great sales on these, or buy it off Amazon: 

Damp Rid - Dorms are notorious for being damp. These help so much with reducing moisture in closets! 

Power Strip Tower - Outlets can be lacking in dorms, so having a power strip tower with USB ports can keep electronics organized and powered up so students aren't fighting over outlets with their roommate:

Laundry Basket - Since space is small, this collapsible basket is a great option for a dorm room and it comes in lots of fun colors:

3 Tier Rolling Cart - These are great for organizing snacks and drinks, cleaning supplies, etc.

Shoe Rack - With floor space as a premium, this handy item can help keep the room organized.

Moving Day Essentials:

And don't forget about moving day essentials!  Pack the things you will need first like tool kit, door stop, cleaning supplies and mattress pad in a place you can easily find them so you can unpack them first.  Open the mattress pad very soon after entering the dorm room so the pad will have time to expand before you make the bed.  

Snacks & drinks - Be sure to have bottled water and Gatorade on hand, along with granola bars or nuts.  Moving day is usually hot and sweaty and it's easy to get dehydrated. 

Comfy clothes - As tempting as it is to want to make a great impression with everyone you meet on move-in day, it's just as important to be dressed for the job at hand - moving!  Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that can handle the stress and heat of moving boxes and bags up and down stairs.

Tool Kit - Your student will be the hero of the floor on move-in day and all school year long with this handy little kit:

First Aid Kit - Move in cuts and blisters happen. Plus your student will be prepared for the rest of the school year.

Rubber Mallet - If you plan on lofting the bed in the dorm, be sure to have one of these handy on move-in day!

IKEA style zipper bags - These bags are an absolute lifesaver on moving day.  These are the style we use for moving college students in to their dorms when parents ship their items to us ahead of time to reduce what they have to bring.  They are durable and easy to carry and stack and fold down to store in the dorm until move-out.

Folding Dolly - This can come in handy even if the school offers moving bins for students, there is often a line for these items. 

Zip Ties - These have limitless purposes including attaching headboards and organizing cords.

Get our full shopping list of freshman dorm essentials here

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