23 College Dorm Essentials For 2023

College move in is right around the corner, and with that coming, there’s a busy to-do list to be prepared. Shopping for back school supplies and all the college dorm essentials can be intimidating. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate college dorm essentials list that will help you know exactly what you need. Being a senior in college myself, I have had all the experience shopping for dorm essentials and can help you determine what’s essential and what can be skipped.

01. Mesh Shower Caddy

A mesh shower caddy is an essential to the college communal bathroom experience. The mesh makes it waterproof, so it’s able to get wet and can be kept on the floor of the communal shower, while still being sanitary. I have had one all my years of college communal bathrooms, and let me tell you, it’s a must.

02. Laundry Basket

This laundry basket (linked above) is perfect for college dorms. You can fold it down to save space and you can take the liner out to take to the laundry room. It’s big enough to hold lots of clothes, which is essential, because what college student has time to do laundry multiple times a week?

03. A Small Fan

Moving back to college at the end of summer months can be toasty (especially in dorms without air conditioning). This fan is perfect because it is powerful, yet nice and small. It’s the perfect size for your dorm room desk, or getting some airflow in your space.  

04. Conair Handheld Steamer

Although this may not seem essential, it totally turned out to be. Everyone in my dorm hall was always asking to borrow my steamer. This handheld steamer was super useful and I am for sure packing it again this year.

05. Memory Foam Mattress Topper

College dorm life is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but the provided mattresses are…. let’s just say, not. This memory foam mattress topper makes all the difference, so it’s definitely an essential item. This linked one also has infused cooling gel to keep you cool at night.

06. Under The Bed Storage

Under the bed storage is very essential in a tiny dorm room. Being able to put clothes for the opposite season under your bed to save some room helps a ton. 

07. Shoe Hanging Shelf

A shelf to hang your shoes in your closet is another space saving hack for the dorm room. A place to have shoes organized is more essential than one might think. If closet space is at its minimum, you can also get a shoe organizer for the back of the door.  Here is a shoe hanging shelf for the back of the door!

08. Desk Lamp

This desk lamp is perfect for dorm rooms. It has built in chargers and storage for desk supplies, which is the perfect trio to have easily accessible at your desk.

09. Coffee Maker

Coffee as a college student… a necessity. This Nespresso is amazing and can help you save so much money on Starbucks. This can even be sharable with a roommate, so split the cost and enjoy! 

10. Brita Water Filter

A Brita is another dorm essential. Being able to fill up water in your dorm before leaving for the day with filtered water is totally underestimated.

11. Slippers 

Slippers are something I have definitely found are essential for dorm life. From being able to walk to common areas or to brush your teeth in the bathroom without putting shoes on in the morning is the best feeling!

12. Bath Towel Set

A bath towel set is another necessity. Most bath towel sets include two of each towel. My suggestion would be to bring only one of each and leave the others at home to switch out halfway through the year. 

13. Command Hooks 

This variety pack of command hooks will come in handy on move in day when you are trying to set everything up without damaging the walls.

14. Three Tier Rolling Cart

This cart helped me store so much stuff in my dorm room and doubled as a night side table. Definitely an essential for storage in a dorm room.

15. Airpods

If you don’t already own airpods you’re going to want to get them before moving away to college. With working on school work, living with roommates, and just walking the campus airpods, are a must. If you need new podcasts to listen to, here are some of our favorites!

16. Earplugs

Sometimes, when sharing a room with a roommate, you never know what you’re going to get. A snorer, sleep talker, or someone who is loud getting ready in the morning. So, getting some earplugs for sleeping is another must. 

17. Long Phone Charger Cord

A long charging cord is essential to living in a dorm. You never know where the nearest outlet is, so having a long and fast charging cord is another must have item for college students.

18. Clothes Hangers

Hangers are an essential that we still sometimes forget to bring. Bringing some extra hangers will help with the moving process and keep things off the floor.

19. Bedding

Some good and comfy dorm bedding is a must. You will need one good set of sheets and a duvet. I would recommend buying the duvet insert and then a cover so you can wash it easier and just keep switching out the cover throughout your college years.

20. Planner/ Calendar

A calendar is another must have to stay organizer in all of the craziness college brings. Your life will be so much easier when you coordinate your homework, classes, breaks, and social plans. Having a planner on your desk will definitely help you stay organized amongst the chaos.

21. Shower Shoes

Shower shoes are ESSENTIAL. As much as the colleges try to keep the showers clean, you are sharing with a lot of people, so definitely make sure you buy some shower shoes.

22. Mini Fridge

This is another necessity that can also be split amongst roommates. Cafeteria hours don’t always work in your favor, so having a mini fridge is helpful to having some of your favorite snacks and beverages on hand. 

23. Decor decor decor

Some good decorations are what makes a dorm room feel like home. Jump on pinterest or tiktok and scroll for some good decor inspiration.

College move in time can be emotional, stressful, and scary. So I hope this list was able to help you relieve some of that stress. College can be a hard adjustment, trust me. But, it is also some of the best years of your life, so soak it in and enjoy all the moments!