Grad Essentials

30 College Dorm Essentials for a Smooth Transition

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college dorm essentials

With college moving day coming up after your senior high school graduation, it’s good to get ahead of the game and start getting an idea of what you will need early! We are listing out 30 MUST HAVE college dorm essentials that will not only make your new dorm life easier, but more organized! So go ahead and save bookmark this article, since your big moving day will be here before you know it!

College Dorm Organization Essentials:

Here’s the deal… dorm rooms are TINY and it can be a bit of a shock when transitioning into that college life. You used to be able to spill your belongings throughout your entire house back home, but guess what? 2,500 square feet just became 500. YIKES! So let’s talk about the #1 way to make that transition a little less scary… ORGANIZATION! Here’s a few things you may want to pick up that will make your life a lot easier come college move in day:

#1. Tie Organizer: this one’s a little unique, but it’s super sneaky. Use tie organizers to hang your necklaces, scarves and belts on! It’ll save a ton of space and keep everything in their place!

#2. Over the Door Vanity Organizer: don’t forget about the space behind your doors! Stuff this organizer full with your lotions, hair care products, face products, and more!

#3. Cube Storage Trunks: want extra sitting room AND more storage?!? This is your must have option!

#4. Three Tier Rolling Cart: load this baby up with all your study necessities (pens, pencils, paper, books, candy, etc) and you can drag it all over your room to your different study stations (bed, desk, chair, floor). We love this one in blush!

#5. Under Bed Organizers: this is a great space to store seasonal items like boots, sweaters, coats, and 6other larger items so they don’t take up precious closet space when you don’t need them.

Dorm Move In Day Essentials: 

We have gathered a few of the most forgotten items that seniors & their parents forget in the chaos that is moving day and we are sharing them below! We know it’s exciting to grab all the bedding and caddies, but don’t forget these top 5 college essentials:

#1. The IKEA Frakta Bag: massive holding power, yet able to collapse flat and be put away in a small space.

#2. Memory Foam Mattress Topper: we all know those dorm mattresses SUCK. Throw on a 4” topper to make them 100 times more comfy.

#3. Power Strips: you can never have enough. Pack extra just in case.

#4. Removable Wallpaper: want to take a dorm room from prison cell chic to high end hotel? Removable wall paper is the answer. It’s quick & easy with a big impact!

#5. Command Hooks: grab all the different kinds in all the different sizes – they will save your life on move in day. Trust us.

Dorm Tech Essentials: 

The items listed below are intended to make your life a bit easier in the biggest transition you’ve likely experienced thus far in your life! The most important thing to look for in tech essentials for your dorm room are multifunctionality – if they can perform two or three services at one time for you, they are a total win! 

#1. Power / USB Bed Risers: these amazing tools will not only give you extra under bed storage space but will give you extra outlets for your phone and other plugs! 

#2. Noise cancelling headphones: you never know when you’ll need quiet to study, or because of a headache, or a super annoying roommate, so having noise cancelling headphones will literally save your sanity. 

#3. Multifunction Lap Desk: listen, when you’re in college EVERYTHING can become your work space: your bed, the floor, yes, even the toilet. So why not be as comfortable as possible and use a lap desk to set up a mobile study station?

#4. Clip-On Reading Light: in case of pulling an all-nighter while your roomie is trying to sleep, consider using a small book light or clip on desk light to keep the peace while you prep for your exams.

#5. Smart TV: while this is definitely a splurge, having all your apps right on screen is so much easier than having to hook up devices with boxes that take up even more space. If a smart tv isn’t possible, go with an apple box or firestick to keep it minimal.

Most Forgotten College Dorm Essentials:

Preparing to move into your college apartment or dorm room can be incredibly overwhelming. Sometimes, while we’re focusing on the big items we need like bedding, electronics, etc, we can accidentally skip over the small stuff that can make or break our experience there. Here’s a great list of the most forgotten items for your college living space:

#1. First Aid Kit: for the little emergencies that can happen in every day life. This kit could save you an expensive trip to the university clinic or help out a friend in need.

#2. Extra Batteries: for remotes, fans, speakers, etc. You never know when you’ll need a few double aa’s or triple aaa’s to keep your creature comforts going.

#3. Umbrella: for those rainy treks across campus. While you’re at it, add a pair of good rain boots to your cart.

#4. Water Filter: so dorm water (ew) can taste like home water. Load up your water bottles with fresh water for your heavy class days.

#5. Small Safe: to keep your wallet, extra cash, and valuables in. You never know who your roommate will bring into your living space or if someone forgets to lock the door, so it’s best to just be proactive in case.

#6. Sleep Mask: for your sanity with a night owl roommate, or that random headache that may come on or that you’ll need after pulling an all-nighter.

#7. Diffuser: for “that” dorm smell when you can’t use candles. You can leave it running all day long and not worry about it burning your university down to the ground. 

#8. Full Length Mirror: for that final check out the door. Find one that can attach to the back of the door and still allow for an over the door hanger for your jackets too.

#9. Thermometer: so you know when it’s time to call the doc when you’re feeling under the weather. It’s also a great thing to have once you’re back from the university clinic so you can monitor your fever.

#10. Tool Kit: for those random fixes that will inevitably pop up. You never know when you’ll need that random flathead screw driver or a wrench!

Sentimental College Dorm Essentials: 

This list is for the loved ones of your soon to be college freshman! Sometimes the transition can be a bit rough, and when emotions start to give them doubt, here’s a few things that will help them feel your love all the way from home.

#1: Pet Pillow: we all know fur babies aren’t allowed at college, so the next best thing is a custom pillow with their picture on it! Their best friend can still be there to hug when your new college resident gets lonely. 

#2. Senior Yearbook: we’re not talking about the school yearbook! We’re talking about our AHP books! Your senior can load 200 images of their best friends & senior year memories into a beautiful 8×8 book that they can look back on for years to come! 

#3. Snack Subscription: this one will have your new college freshman full of happiness & tasty treats for those late night study sessions! 

#4. Lovebox Digital Messaging Device: this amazing little box can help you and your loved ones stay connected by sending little notes and pictures to each other while you’re away at college. It alerts you when you have a message waiting for you and the surprise is inside! 

#5.  T-Shirt Quilt: take all of your freshman’s high school t-shirts and compile them into a giant quilt that will remind them of home and their high school memories every time they use it. 

Have we forgotten anything? Moms of recent grads and college bound friends, comment below with anything we’ve forgotten on the “college dorm essentials” list! And if you want MORE helpful ideas of college dorm tips, tricks, and must haves, check out our Dorm Room Digs Pinterest board!

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