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Everyone is making incredibly long lists of all the things you “need” when moving into college, so I’m just here to skip that fluff for you. Here are the top ten college dorm must haves along with reasons why you absolutely need these. Prepare for the semester and kill it!

  1. Disinfectant wipes
    • I promise you these are a MUST. If you’ll be living in a dorm chances are it’s old and even if you scored one of the new dorms on campus, you’ll still want to wipe everything down. You’ll be shocked to see the amount of dirt that just comes off of your mattress or desk. If you cant get the wipes, good ole paper towels and disinfectant spray will work.
  2. Shower Shoes and Shower Caddy
    • Whether you’re living in a community or suite style dorm, you’ll probably want some flip flops to wear in the shower. Sometimes the bathrooms are cleaned often BUT you’re still sharing with other people and it’s better to be safe than sorry. The same goes with a shower caddy. You can’t always leave your stuff in the shower and even if you want to, there may not be enough room. This all varies by the dorm style you live in but unless you’re not sharing a bathroom with anyone, I would recommend having a caddy and shoes. It will also keep others from using your stuff.
  3. Mattress Topper
    • The mattresses the school provides are almost always uncomfortable. While they’re not horrible, you can make them much better. The foam mattress top that I bought was only about $40 from Walmart and it made a huge difference. It made my bed SO much more comfortable which is necessary for a good night’s sleep especially after a stressful college day. I don’t think the brand really matters but the thicker the better so aim for 2” and up.
  4. Blackout Curtains
    • There is nothing worse than having a late study night and going to sleep at 3am only to be woken up 3 hours later by the sun. Blinds let in a lot of sunlight so especially if you’re a light sleeper or like to take a lot of naps, you should invest in these. I didn’t have these freshman year and it was a rookie mistake-never again.
  5. Snacks
    • I can’t stress this one enough. DINING HALLS CLOSE!!! That means that there will be a significant amount of time that you will have nothing to eat and if you’re a broke college student like most, then you definitely can’t afford to spend $20 every night ordering food from whatevers open. Get some snacks for the late nights and early mornings when you don’t have time to stop at the dining hall or it’s closed.
  6. You guessed it- Frozen Dinners
    • This is a horrible suggestion when it comes to nutrition but come on, you’re a college student. Most dining halls are closed on weekends which means you’re on your own for food. Check your school’s website to see if this applies to you, and if it doesn’t then don’t worry about it but if it does then I would recommend grabbing some breakfast and dinner options for the weekends. Unless you plan on going out to eat, you can grab some of the healthier frozen food options for the weekends. If you have an apartment style dorm, just get some groceries.
  7. Headphones/Earphones
    • This may sound stupid, but there are going to be times when you really need to drown out noise. The people upstairs or next door might be making a lot of noise or your roommate might be talking loudly on the phone. Whatever it is, it wouldn’t hurt to have a pair just in case.
  8. Fan/Heater
    • Most of the time you don’t have control over the temperature/thermostat in you room and if you do you’re likely sharing it with someone. I recommend getting a fan that also has a heater setting. When its hot out you’ll be able to use the fan to cool down, and when it’s cold you’ll have the heater.
  9. Sick Kit
    • I’m not saying that you’re going to get sick butttttttttttt it won’t hurt to have a kit just in case you do. College is actually pretty gross, and people go to class when they’re sick and easily spread germs. So many people cough and sneeze during lecture-which is usually pretty packed. Personally, freshman year I sat next to a guy that I didn’t know was sick and then he started coughing all lecture which ended up getting me sick. The worst part was being sick that entire week, emailing back and forth with professors, and trying to get better while simultaneously trying to keep up with my work. If you can put together a small cheap kit just in case, then definitely do it.
    • This is what I always keep on hand: Advil, Mucinex Cold and Cough, Emergen-C, canned soup, Gatorade w/ electrolyte, tissues, and Pepto Bismol. Also, throw in some basic first aid items like band-aids, Neosporin, alcohol, and gauze.
  10. Storage Containers
    • Finally, you probably won’t have a ton of space to keep your things so think about putting the extra stuff in containers. You can then put them under your bed or in any closet space and if nothing else, it’ll give you more space in your room.

If you liked this, check out my more detailed college move-in list here.

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