College Dorm Room Essentials

It’s incredible how time flies; one moment, you’re holding their tiny hands. The next moment, you’re sending them off to college. I can hardly believe that I now have two kids in college, and it feels like their childhoods passed by in the blink of an eye. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been fortunate to receive advice from fellow moms who’ve already been through this stage. It’s resulted in an essential dorm list that’s been invaluable. As I send my children off to their college adventures, it’s a bittersweet reminder of how quickly they’ve grown and how they’re becoming more independent with each passing day. I’m excited to share my college essentials list with you- it’s gone through several college move-ins between my daughter and son. I have edited and added things along the way.

When it comes to packing for college, it’s fascinating to see how different the preferences are between girls and guys. Girls absolutely love decorating their dorm rooms with pretty printed pillows, string lights, and all the storage items they can find. Creating a cozy, personalized space is a highlight for them. On the other hand, the guys tend to lean towards practicality and simplicity. A fun poster or a college flag might be the extent of their decor.

College Packing Tip: Find an area in your home to store these items- whether it be the garage, a guest bedroom, or any room that has extra space. The items usually result in a massive takeover of the room that they are in so make sure it’s a space you don’t use daily! We put all of the college packing items in our dining room. Pack everything in the famous blue “ikea” bags– they hold a ton!

Prep Bag (Open First)

Heading off to college and moving into a dorm is an exciting step, but it’s important to have the essentials on hand for keeping your new space clean and organized. That’s where a prep bag comes in handy!With these essentials packed and ready to go, you’ll be all set for dorm life. Clean everything first and then begin to bring the other items into your room. These items will also come in handy during the school year.

Dorm Room Desk Essentials

Setting up your dorm room desk for success is key to staying organized and focused. Here’s a list of essential items to keep your workspace efficient and productive:

Dorm Room Bedding Essentials

Choosing the right bedding for your dorm room isn’t just about comfort—it’s about creating a space where you can unwind and recharge after a long day of classes. Adding a mattress topper and other bedding essentials to your dorm bed can make a world of difference, especially for those typically hard dorm mattresses, ensuring a more comfortable and restful night’s sleep throughout the school year. (The links here include essentials and decorative items for girls and guys)

Dorm Room Fridge & Food Organization

Creating a well-organized system for storing food and fridge items in your college dorm room is crucial for optimizing space and maintaining freshness.

Bathroom & Laundry Essentials

Preparing for dorm life involves assembling a range of essential items to ensure a smooth and comfortable daily routine, from towels and toiletries to clever organizational solutions for both the bathroom and laundry areas.

Decorative Items and Travel Necessities

Beyond the basics, there are other essential items to consider for your dorm room, including a soft area rug, travel gear, packing cubes, decorative touches, and extra lighting options like hanging pendants or lamps. Also include blackout dorm curtains. These additions can make your space more functional and stylish.

All of the items I’ve linked can bring a touch of home into their new adventure and make dorm life cozier.

Packing for your child’s college journey and making all the to-do lists brings a mix of emotions. These days are full of excitement, nostalgia, and a touch of anxiety. It’s also a reminder that they’re growing up, but it’s also a moment of pride, knowing that they’re on their way to becoming independent individuals. They’re embarking on this new chapter of their lives, and although it’s a little sentimental, it’s a beautiful part of the journey of motherhood.




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