Top Items to Pack for a College Dorm


Top Items to Pack for a College Dorm


There are tons of items that you can pack for college but I decided to put together a list of the what I think are the most useful and sometimes forgotten items that you’ll need in college. These are specific items that tend to require an immediate use. With that being said, I recommend you buying these items at your earliest convenience before you need them. Don’t expect to see items like thumbtacks, picture frames, or index cards. While those types of items are important, you’ll never have an insanely urgent need for them (believe me, those family pictures and pictures of your ex can wait for a little).


With that being said, here are my list of the tips items to pack for college:

Desk Lamp

If you’ve ever lived in a dorm, you’ll know that one of the most difficult feats is trying to study at night when your roommate wants to sleep in pitch-black darkness. Sure, you could trek out to the library (if it’s open) or find a cozy spot on campus to camp out at, but why bother? With a desk lamp, you can provide yourself with just enough light to focus and do your work without disturbing the comfortable slumber of your roommate. It’s a win-win scenario.

Power Strip

Dorms tend to be cramped, difficult to organize, and filled with furniture. Sometimes, you need to charge your laptop, plug in your microwave, or hook up your television. The problem is that the cord sometimes doesn’t reach the outlet or you simply have too much plugged into the few outlets available. Extension cords or a power strip is your solution.

Personally, I think a power strip would be your best bet as they’re relatively affordable, easy to find, and allows you the convenience of having everything together in a neatly organized space. Trust me, I’ve been in situations where there have only been about 4 outlets available in a room. Meanwhile, I need to plug in my phone, computer, tv, microwave, video game console, coffee pot, etc.

Unless you want to constantly switch stuff around every few minutes, save yourself the hassle and get a power strip.

Toolkit/Sewing kit

Admittedly, this is something I never really had available in college but would have been handy on so many different occasions. Stuff breaks and stuff rips. It’s an unavoidable lesson you’ll learn. Maybe your socks get a hole in them or perhaps your pants stretch too far and rip.

Perhaps one of your devices malfunction and you need a screwdriver to repair it or maybe you just have to hammer something up onto the wall. Be prepared. Get a sewing kit and a small tool kit. Yes, I recommend both. And yes, it doesn’t matter if you are a guy or girl—learn how to use both kits. This is 2017. Get with the times!

Microwaveable Gladware

Now, most dorms come equipped with a microwave so that’s great! However, people tend to neglect that not everything can go into a microwave. Some things get melted or catch fire. On the other hand, you may simply need to heat up some food. Refrigerator space is limited (dorm fridges tend to be on the small side) so you won’t want to have too much shoved in there.

Also, you probably won’t have direct access to a kitchen sink so you’ll want to wash as few dishes as possible. Save yourself the stress with some gladware. You’ll be able to heat food up quickly, store it for later, and even take it with you to eat it in between class (this is a great option for those of you without meal plans).

Clothing Hamper

Now, this seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised to know that not everyone considers getting a clothing hamper.

Not only do you need a place to store your dirty clothes, but a good hamper will allow you to take your clothes to the laundromat without the extra struggle involved with gathering it and carrying everything by hand—hoping no articles of clothing gets lost along the way. Personally, I think a durable basket that can be folded is your best bet. It won’t break easily and can be stored in your room effortlessly.


Get plenty of hangers! Even if you think you have enough hangers, get more! I’ve consistently made the mistake of only getting a few hangers only to end up needing more after I buy more clothes. Also, hangers always seem to break when you need them the most. Bottom Line: get plenty of hangers.


This might be one of the most important items you should buy. To be honest, I’d recommend buying at least two umbrellas. As a student at Penn State, I learned that the weather can be extremely inconsistent. Also, you’ll eventually develop a mild degree of cynicism to meteorologists and weather forecasts throughout the years.

There have been so many times when I would try to head to class only to discover a downpour as I leave. The unfortunate thing is that if you don’t have an umbrella when you need one, you’re going to have to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of soaking and dripping.

Butterfly chairs

Some prefer to use computer chairs but I think that butterfly chairs (folding chairs) are more convenient. Why? Well, computer chairs tend to require assembly, they can be bulky, and depending on your floor, the wheels can be difficult to move around on. Also, computer chairs can be a little pricey. Save your money. Butterfly chairs tend to be a little less expensive and the ability to fold them allows you to have a few present in your dorm room without taking up too much floor space. Also, they’re light and easy to move around.

Storage bin

There’s not much to say about this. It’s nice to keep all of your belongings in one neat, concise location. As a plus, storage bins usually come in a wide array of sizes, allowing you to place them anywhere like in a corner or under your bed. Beyond that, they’re super cheap and extremely lightweight so they are as inconvenient as some other forms of storage.