Dorm Room Essentials 101

December 1, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Dorm Room Essentials 101

What to consider when choosing dorm essentials?

It is difficult to remember everything that a first-year student needs to bring to college, even though many families know the dorm room essentials that such a student should bring. The transition will be easier if you bring some personal belongings from home, but you’ll need more than just bedding and a laptop to make it through the year. But before choosing dorm essentials, there are some considerations that you need to know before hitting the mall and grocery.

Check with your school’s administration to find out which items are permitted on campus before you make any purchases or start packing. The majority of schools are required to adhere to numerous health and safety regulations, and these regulations can vary from one location to the next.

If you are going to a college in another state, you should consider whether or not you need to bring everything you own. It might seem necessary to pack your entire wardrobe, but once you get to your new quarters, it can be more of a hassle than it’s worth trying to find a place for all your belongings. Once you get to your new location, purchasing some items is a good idea for out-of-state students because it will help them save money on shipping costs and give them more space in their belongings to pack other things they will need.

Two students packing their things in a dorm room.

Consider discussing what to pack with a student currently enrolled at the institution. They will be able to provide you with information regarding the “don’t bother” and the “must-haves” for the residence halls at your new college. They might even be aware of your structure’s particulars, which will significantly assist.

In addition to that, make sure that you carefully fill out and go over your housing contract. It is possible that if you omit certain information or send it back in an incomplete state, it will significantly impact your living situation. It is possible that once you arrive on campus, you will be forced into a living situation you do not prefer because you made a few mistakes.

What not to bring as dorm essentials?

It’s a surprisingly complex topic to simplify: what dorm essentials not to bring to college. Many students have trouble, for example, figuring out how to avoid bringing too much stuff to college or understanding which items are and are not permitted.

Thankfully, certain conventions and methods can make figuring it out easier. If your student is compiling a list of items to bring to their college dorm and is unsure about what they should not carry, then the following information is essential for them to know.

“What dorm room essentials not to bring to college” is a topic that’s surprisingly difficult to simplify. If you aren’t sure what items you shouldn’t bring to a college dorm, the following list should clear things up for you.


Most of the time, a student will already have all of the essential furniture in their dorm room. You can expect to find a bed, a desk, and a chair at a bare minimum. In addition, unless the closet has built-in drawers or shelves, there is typically a dresser or a wardrobe in the room.

It might initially sound like a good idea to bring a favorite chair, a bedside table, or other items of a similar nature; however, there is typically not enough space available for this. Even if all furniture can fit in the room, there will be very little room for walking, making the area feel unnecessarily claustrophobic.

In addition, it is typically forbidden to remove any of the provided furniture from the room. This means that students are not permitted to place their own chairs in the storage area, such as a gaming chair, in place of the desk chair provided for them.

In most cases, you should rely solely on the furniture provided in the dormitory. In this way, the room won’t have the feeling of being crammed full of things.

Certain kitchen appliances

Kitchen appliances are subject to several stringent restrictions in dorms. Almost always, one must not have anything in their home that might pose a fire risk. This category includes hot plates, toasters, panini makers, toaster ovens, and indoor grills.

You must read over the regulations for the dormitory first before making any plans to bring in any kitchen appliances. This way, they can verify that the institution maintains the items they consider bringing as dorm room essentials.

Space heaters and electric blankets

If you enjoy a toasty and comfortable environment, you might think it would be a good idea to bring a space heater or an electric blanket with you when you go off to college. The problem is that these are also things typically prohibited from being brought in.

Electric blankets and space heaters are typically thought to present some level of fire risk. Because colleges are responsible for the well-being of their residents, they usually prohibit anything that presents an unnecessary risk. Because of this, it is in your best interest to include these items on their list.

Candles and incense

Like some of the other items listed above, candles and incense pose a fire risk and are, therefore, typically prohibited. In addition, given that they can produce smoke, they can activate the building’s smoke detectors during normal operations, leading to unnecessary evacuations.

Some educational institutions do not prohibit using wax warmers or oil diffusers if your student is looking for an alternative. However, your student might prefer to avoid these, mainly if they live in a dorm where they have to share a room with another person.

Young woman unpacking in her dorm room.

Because many people are allergic to or sensitive to certain scents, dispersing those scents throughout the room may cause discomfort for another student. Additionally, even if neither is a problem, not everyone has the same taste in odors. Consequently, you would be better off not purchasing any scented items.


Having a printer might appear to be a significant part of your dorm room essentials, but in most cases, it’s not necessary. Students have access to a variety of printing resources at their respective colleges. In addition, some educational institutions include the cost of these services in the overall tuition, which means that your child may have to pay for them regardless.

In addition to this, the use of printers is not always practical. Ink can be pretty pricey, and in some printer models, if one color isn’t functioning correctly, the machine won’t print at all, even if that particular color isn’t required for the job.

In most cases, your best bet is to use one of the printing centers located on campus. Your student would be better off not bringing a printer if that was something they were considering bringing with them.

What dorm room essentials should you bring?

Comfortable bedding

When moving into your dorm room, it is necessary to construct a bed that you find comfortable and adore. As such, it is important that as you choose this particular dorm room, you choose one that gives the impression that you are sleeping in your bed while you are away from home. Your room will feel much more refined once you add plush throw pillows, blankets, and sheets. Keep in mind that the size of your bed will be a Twin XL.

Storage containers

When knowing what dorm room essentials you should bring, it is sometimes forgotten that you might have little space. When you are living in a dorm, having adequate storage for your belongings is essential to maintaining order. Having storage containers under your bed is a great way to organize things like extra clothing, snacks, and shoes, among other things. They help maintain order in your space, making it much easier to locate items in your collection.

Cleaning supplies

Bring limited cleaning supplies to the dorm to maintain a clean and pleasant atmosphere. Keeping your room clean can be done quickly and easily with the help of items like Clorox wipes, Lysol spray, and a broom or Swiffer. Remember laundry detergent! Utilizing laundry detergent pods is an excellent way to easily complete your laundry in the time you have between classes or after a session of studying with your friends.

Removable hooks

Because there are so many decorations, you will need some way to hang them! Hanging decorations you bring is a breeze when you use hooks that you can easily remove. Thanks to the detachable hooks, you can decorate your room without risking any damage (especially since it is against the rules to put holes in your walls).

The laptop and other school supplies

Having your laptop is helpful for taking notes in class and completing your first assignments in college. Since WIFI is available everywhere on campus, maintaining a connection is not difficult.

It is also to be noted that, as part of your dorm room essentials, you should have the proper school supplies with you. You will be better prepared for success in your first college class if you purchase certain supplies, such as notebooks, planners, pens, folders, highlighters, etc. You can easily organize your lecture notes by assigning a folder and notebook to each of your classes so they are all located in the same, easily accessible location.

Two women looking out the window of their dorm room.

As you prepare for your future dorm, you should also prepare for your college admission. If you wish for guidance in your journey, AdmissionSight will help you through the competitive admissions process. With their team of top experts, you can surely get accepted to the top universities in the world. Set up an appointment today and get the best help getting into college.


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