The Ultimate College Dorm Checklist for Freshmen

As a first-year college student, you’re excited to experience dorm living, but you may not be sure what to take with you. Use this college dorm checklist for freshmen to ensure a cozy and comfortable home-away-from-home as you pursue your studies.


Sleep well in your dorm bed with your own comforter, pillows, sheets, pillowcases, and a cozy blanket for late-night studying (or movie watching). Add a pop of color to your sleeping space with a few decorative throw pillows.


Some dorm rooms come furnished with appliances, but others do not. Determine what you need, and consult with your roommate to figure out who should bring what. Popular dorm room appliances include microwaves, blenders, coffee makers, mini refrigerators, and toaster ovens.

Kitchen Items

Even though you will probably head to the cafeteria for most of your meals, you may need a few kitchen items. Start with dishes, glasses, mugs, and utensils. Add a paring knife, a cutting board, and a can opener. For cleaning, take dish cloths and towels, paper towels, dish soap, a few sponges, and a bottle of all-purpose spray cleaner.


These days, it’s hard to live without electronic devices. Favorite products for college living include televisions, laptops, external hard drives, USB hubs, surge-protecting power strips, digital media devices like Apple TV or Roku, and Bluetooth speakers.


Dorm room lighting can be decorative and functional. To satisfy both categories, pack a desk lamp or floor lamp, a good light for after-hours reading, and string lights with suction-cup hooks to adorn your walls.


Various types of decor can help transform a dorm room from dull to delightful. Spruce up your living space with area rugs, curtains, plants, posters, a floor mirror, and framed photos of family and friends.

Storage Solutions

Dorm rooms are tiny, so it’s important to incorporate good storage solutions. Think under-bed bins, over-door organizers, a collapsible laundry basket, a desk tray for study supplies, and a storage ottoman that doubles as extra seating.

Bath and Shower Essentials

When grooming in a communal setting, a few must-haves make it easier and more hygienic. Make sure to include a pair of comfy shower sandals or flip-flops. Purchase a portable shower caddy, and stuff it with a razor, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a few shower cloths, and a small container of air freshening spray.

When you move into a college dorm as a freshman, it can be a challenge to decide what to take with you. This handy list will help you gather all your dorm room essentials, but when you’re ready to move into your first college apartment, you’ll need stylish, well-made furniture. CORT Furniture Rental offers whole-apartment packages just for college students, along with convenient delivery and setup.

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