This post: Best Dorm Essentials List for College Freshmen 2023 / Updated February 2023
It won’t be long now…
Soon your high school senior will be venturing off to college and starting a new and exciting chapter of their life! One of the most exciting aspects for college-bound kids is setting up their dorm. Think about it… their very own home away from home!
To make setting up their dorm a breeze, we’ve gathered the best college dorm essentials list around! Everything from dorm organizers and handy shower totes to a basic tool kit and things they’ll need to have the comfiest bed in town – it’s all here!
Here is the best dorm essentials list for college freshmen!
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Stock the Essentials Checklist: A checklist with everything you need to stock your dorm including toiletries, cleaning and laundry supplies, and food!
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Simple Dorm Recipes: You’ll get easy recipes you can whip up in a dorm. No stove or oven required!
13 Adorable, Fun and Sassy Frameable Prints You Can Download for Your Dorm
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Quick Dry Shower Caddy Tote
This grab n’ go shower caddy tote with nine pockets will keep all their shower accessories neat and organized. It’s perfect for holding everything from shampoo and conditioner to lotion, razors, and soap – a must-have for all college freshmen!
Frakta Storage Bag (2 Pack)
Seriously, one of the most versatile bags you’ll ever have! These 2-pack Frakta Storage Bags make moving your college kid into their dorm a breeze. Great for carrying laundry down the hall to the shared laundry facility, too. And, when it’s not in use, they can fold it up and tuck it on a shelf or under their dorm bed. Priced right, too!
Adjustable Shelving Unit
When it comes to dorm rooms, space is a commodity, which means every square inch counts! Expand the fridge, microwave and cooking utensil space and keep it all organized with this adjustable shelving unit. Sturdy enough to hold a microwave and the refrigerator tucks neatly directly underneath.
Twin XL 3-Inch Gel Memory Foam Topper
An absolute must-have in dorm rooms, this 3-inch Memory Foam Topper is infused with gel which helps regulate temperature, unlike other foam toppers. Conforms to your body to make sure you get a restful night’s sleep. (Seriously, my kids swear by these!)
YETI Rambler 20-Ounce Insulated Tumbler
Whether they’re grabbing a hot cup of coffee as they run out the door for class or a cold drink on a hot day, this YETI Rambler is the best choice for keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. Plus, the no-sweat design says adios to damp or frostbit fingers.
6 Compartment + Drawer Desk Organizer
Help them get their college dorm desk organized and ready for classes and studying with this handy desk organizer. Six compartments and a drawer will keep everything from pencils and pens to notebooks and paperclips right in arm’s reach.
Over-The-Bed Adjustable Shelving
Keep everything they need right over their bed with this clever over-the-bed shelving unit. Includes a swivel cup holder so they can keep their drink right by their side and a hook set for keeping their essentials right next to them.
Cookin Caddy – Over the Fridge Storage Organizer
Make the absolute best of their dorm space with this handy over the fridge storage organizer. Store forks, knives, spoons and plates right on the side of their mini-fridge! How handy is that?
Stacking Drawer Storage
You can never have enough storage in a dorm and these stackable, compact storage containers are great for storing food, clothes, medicine or anything else they need easy access to.
Deluxe Mesh Pop-Up Laundry Hamper
Laundry bags are great for college, but the one thing they don’t do is stand up on their own. This mesh pop-up hamper stands up on its own and has a handy pocket on the side for lugging clothes detergent and fabric softener down the hall to the shared laundry facility.
Bedrest Pillow with Arms
A bedrest pillow is a great addition to any dorm room. Just prop it up on their bed or against a wall in their dorm and they’ll be able to do homework, eat or lounge in comfort. Available in three sizes and 12 great colors!
Hanging Jewelry Organizer
One thing that is especially hard to do in a dorm is keep your jewelry organized. This 32-pocket hanging jewelry organizer with 18 hooks will keep all her earrings, bracelets and necklaces tangle-free, organized and at her fingertips.
Basic Tool Kit
Whether they need to measure a wall to see if their futon will fit or they need a screwdriver to put together a storage unit, having a simple tool kit in their dorm is always a good idea. This 9-piece set is priced right and has everything needed to set up a dorm and handle those quick fixes when necessary. (Don’t be surprised if your child’s dorm buddies borrow it!)
2-Pack 6 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip with USB Charging Port and 8-Ft Power Cord
One thing is for sure, they’ll be needing a couple of power strips for their dorm. What we like about this one is that it’s a 2-pack, has a USB charging port AND it has an 8-foot power cord, which makes plugging everything up convenient!
6-Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer
When you’re living in a dorm you have to find creative ways to max out your space. This 6-shelf hanging organizer is great for bulky sweatshirts and sweaters, shoes and jeans. And, it has handy pockets on the side for little things like jewelry, sunglasses, etc. Plus, the more organized they are, the easier it will be to dash out the door and make it to class on time!
Portable Electric Oscillating Fan with Remote Control
No dorm is complete without a fan – it’s a necessity not only for circulating air but also for drowning out the noise in the dorm hall. This fan is awesome because it’s narrow enough to fit in tight spaces, it oscillates and it has a remote control so they never have to get up to turn it on or change the setting.
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
When they’ve stayed up until the crack of dawn studying for an exam, who has time to make coffee in a traditional coffee pot? This Keurig Coffee Maker makes it easy to brew their coffee in minutes minus the hassle.
Convertible Folding Sofa Bed Futon
If space allows, having a futon in your child’s dorm is one of the best ways to make their dorm feel less like a dorm and more like home. It’s great for lounging, hanging with friends or curling up to do homework. Plus, when friends spend the night it’s a great place for them to crash.
Adidas Weekender Duffle Bag
One of the most frequently forgotten items when packing for college, this Adidas Weekender Duffle Bag is great for those quick weekend trips home or to visit friends at nearby colleges.
Sturdy Step Stool
If they’re planning on elevating their bed a few feet or if they have high shelving in their closet (like a lot of dorms), they definitely need a step stool. My daughter couldn’t get on her bed without hers! This step stool is sturdy, folds when not in use AND it’s priced right!
Jersey Knit Cotton Duvet Comforter Set
The one thing every college kid absolutely HAS TO HAVE in their dorm is a comfy comforter. But, the trick is, you don’t want to break the bank because trust me on this one, that comforter will take a serious beating. This soft and comfortable jersey knit duvet comforter is priced right and is available in 10 different colors and prints so they can match it with any decor.
3-Tier Rolling Cart
This handy rolling cart is an awesome addition to any dorm. My daughter had one and used the top basket as a coffee station with her Keurig, mugs, and sugar, and she used the bottom two tiers for plates, utensils, paper towels, etc. It’s small enough to tuck in a corner and the wheels make it convenient to roll where needed.
2-Pack, 3 Storage Bag Hanging Organizer
We love these simple, yet adorable hanging organizers! Attach a Command Hook to the wall to hang these and they’ll have so much extra space to store anything from food and meds to socks and school supplies. Waterproof on the inside so they’re easy to clean and they’re available in three fun colors!
6-Pack Collapsible Fabric Storage Bins
You can never have enough storage space in dorms and these handy fabric storage bins (which are available in several colors) will make organizing their dorm a breeze. Put them on a shelf in their closet or slide them under the bed to max out storage space.
Remote Control, 66 Feet 200 LED Firefly Lights
Every dorm needs a little cozy ambiance to make it feel like home! These LED lights are the perfect addition and they won’t break the bank!
When you make your best dorm essentials list, be sure to add plenty of Command Hooks! They’re great for hanging everything from towels and backpacks to robes and jewelry. My daughter also used them to hang a lightweight curtain rod over her window. The best part is, they won’t damage dorm walls and they don’t require any tools to install.
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