Dorm Room Packing List

If you’re heading off to college dorm life, packing can be a stressful experience. But it doesn’t have to be! With our handy university dorm packing list, you’ll know exactly what to bring and how much of it.

Twin XL bedding and a comforter

  • Twin XL bedding and a comforter
4 Roommate-Approved Design Ideas
4 Roommate-Approved Design Ideas

Twin XL sheets are longer and wider than regular twin sheets, so they can fit extra tall mattresses. They’re also great if you have an extra-deep mattress or want to layer your bedding. A comforter or duvet is particularly useful for adding color to your dorm room. If you choose this option, be sure it fits on top of your mattress!

  • Mattress pad or topper

Your college dorm bed will probably be pretty uncomfortable at first (it won’t feel like home!), so consider investing in some additional padding for it—either a mattress pad or topper will do the trick. You might also find that having a blanket underneath the sheet adds some needed comfort during those cold winter months!


You’ll want a variety of pillows for your dorm room, and that means bringing more than just your standard bed pillow.

College often means sharing a room with a roommate, so you’ll need to be careful about what you bring in terms of accessories like towels and sheets. You don’t want to clash with your roommate’s style or take up too much space in the shared closet.

Think about how many pillows you’re going to need when shopping for college dorm essentials: two regular sized ones, one large throw pillow (to sit on while watching TV or reading), and one neck pillow (for long bus rides or flights). If there’s extra room in your luggage, consider bringing along an extra set of sheets as well! When packing clothes into duffel bags and backpacks make sure they aren’t wrinkled when they arrive at their destination; clothes will wrinkle even faster if they’re packed tightly together without space between them. Wrap each item individually before placing it inside so nothing gets damaged during travel time!


Hangers, which are usually made of metal or plastic, are one of the most common items in your dorm room. You should bring enough hangers to last you your entire first year at college (or until you graduate). Hangers are used for hanging clothing items in closets and drawers and can be used as a makeshift drying rack for towels and clothes that have been washed by hand.

You should not use hangers for:

  • Sleeping on
  • Using as a back scratcher

Laundry bag or hamper

You’ll be doing laundry a lot, so you’re going to need a place to put dirty clothes. I recommend bringing either a laundry bag or hamper (they can both work if you use them creatively).

I like this one because it comes with dividers and a handy carrying handle.

If you opt for the bag, I recommend buying a few mesh bags (these are also great for storing dirty shoes), since they make it easy to separate everything by color or whether it’s wet/dry.

Don’t forget about your detergent! Bring only as much as will fit in one of those small bottles that come with hotel rooms—the ones that hold shampoo—and some quarters so you can use the machines on campus. Don’t forget dryer sheets too; they’ll make your clothes smell amazing!

Shower caddy

It’s not always easy to haul all that stuff around, especially if you’re going from class to class and don’t have time for stops at the bathroom. A shower caddy can be very handy for keeping your toiletries organized.

A shower caddy can be as simple as a hanging mesh bag with pockets or as elaborate as a collapsible plastic suitcase (like this). The more pockets it has, the better—this way you won’t have to leave anything behind! If you want something lightweight and compact, try one with handles instead of straps so it’s easier to carry around campus.

Towels and washcloths

Towels and washcloths are essential. You’ll want one bath towel, one hand towel, and one washcloth for every two people sharing a room. Each person should also have their own bath mat.

Basket or other storage

Baskets are an excellent addition to a dorm room, as they can be used for almost anything. You can use them to store snacks or dirty laundry, or if you have extra toiletries like shampoos and conditioners, you can keep them in the basket so that all your bathroom stuff is together. If you have small items such as cords, chargers and other miscellaneous things lying around the room then storing them in a basket will make it easier to find everything at once.

Finally, baskets are also great because they’re easy to hide when not in use! Simply fold up or roll up your basket and place it under your bed so that it doesn’t take up any space while not being used!

Waste baskets and recycling bins

  • Waste baskets are great to have because they help you to keep your room tidy. You can bring your own, or buy one at the store.
  • Recycling bins are also a good idea if you’re into recycling—if not, just use a plastic bag and make sure to empty them regularly!

Be sure to bring these items when you move in to your dorm.

  • Bed linens. Like all college students, you’ll want to make sure you have a number of pillows and enough sheets and blankets for your bed. If you’re bringing your own mattress and box spring, be sure to bring along any additional items for setting it up.
  • Hangers. Dorm rooms are often shipped with a limited amount of closet space compared to what most people are used to at home, so keep this in mind when packing clothes and hanging accessories like scarves or belts on dorm room hangers (or even laying them flat). It’s also important that they’re sturdy enough to hold heavy winter coats!
  • Laundry bag/hamper. You should bring one laundry bag/hamper per person living in the room; some schools recommend using mesh or clear bags so that students can easily see what needs cleaning up before putting items back into their spaces (this is especially helpful if there are shared hallways between multiple dorms). Plus, using clear bags means that no one will accidentally put dirty laundry inside someone else’s bag (or vice versa)!


We’ve given you plenty of suggestions for what to bring with you so that your move-in day is as smooth as possible. The most important thing is to keep track of everything you have and make sure it all fits in your car (or can be shipped if necessary). Hopefully this guide has given you some tips for making that happen! We wish you well during your first year at college–it can be a big adjustment, but it’s also going to be exciting! Just remember that we are here for support when things get tough and want to hear about any successes along the way too!

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