Sunday, July 16, 2023

What To Bring To A College Dorm

My son Tommy is going to be living in a college dorm. It'll be his first time sleeping away from home. The way his dorm is set up is that there are 4 separate rooms and one shared living space and kitchenette. He'll probably mostly be staying in his room. He's not always into socializing, especially if his roommates are the types who like to party. 

As most people know, Tommy has autism, so I am grateful he'll have his own space. I can only hope that his roommates are kind and on the quieter side. But it's college so....

We'll see how this goes.

He will be needing things for his dorm room and I have started picking items up. If you have a child moving into a dorm, here are some things they'll need:

Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis: this sounds strange, but your child might be walking a lot to get to classes and other activities. My son doesn't drive, so he will be walking. This might cause foot pain, so getting insoles for shoes is important. You can get them at Power Step in a variety of colors and styles. They don't just sell insoles for Plantar Fasciitis but also for flat feet, high arches, heel pain, plus many other foot ailments you might have. You can shop here!

Sheets/Comforter: make sure you see what size the mattress will be. It seems most of them in college are Twin XL. 

Mattress Pad: you don't know what's happened on that mattress. We found an affordable one on Amazon

Pillow: obvious reasons. If you have a girl, she'll probably want those cutesy smaller decorative pillows to go with it, but boys generally do not care about that kind of thing. 

Reading lamp: the lightening in the room might not be the greatest. Plus if you do share a room with someone, it's polite to have the main light off if they want to sleep. 

Shower Caddy: there are 2 bathrooms in Tommy's dorm so 2 people share one, and the other 2 share the other. I personally would not want to keep my personal things in a shared bathroom because you do not know what goes on in there. A shower caddy allows you to bring everything you need for the bathroom and then easily leave with it all. 

Storage Drawers: We just have a small plastic one to store some items because there usually isn't a lot of storage space. There are many styles over at The Container Store

Power Strips: usually college dorms don't have a lot of plugs. You can usually find these in the dollar spot at Target

Cleaning Supplies: we have Lysol wipes, Windex, and toilet bowl cleaner to start with.

Command Strips: you cannot use nails and sometimes not even tape to hang things up so Command Strips are a must if you want to decorate the wall. Again, boys might not care as much. 

Hangars: they are usually not supplied in dorm rooms and if they are, there aren't many.

Laundry Detergent: sometimes they are for sale in college laundry rooms, but I would always have at least some on hand. Also, make sure your child know to actually DO laundry and not walk around in smelly clothes. 

At least 2 weeks of underwear/socks: because let's be honest: they might not always get to the laundry as they should. 

TV: you can usually get basic cable in dorms and if you have a smart TV, you can watch those streaming services. 

Mini Fridge: it's always nice to have your own beverages on hand. 

Microwave: there are usually microwaves in common rooms, but you never know what state they'll be in. Or if someone is constantly using them so if you have your own, no waiting! 

Towels/Washcloth: And get at least 2 sets in hopes that your child actually washes the other one once in a while. Kohl's has amazing sales on these! Honestly, will boys use washcloths? I mean, maybe. I don't think my son generally does. But I still got him one. 

Laundry Bag: a place where they'll hopefully put dirty clothes and can easily transport them to the laundry room. 

Small trash can: it's convenient to have one in a room and you just have to hope they'll dump it out when it gets full. Five Below has a nice variety. 

Basic toiletries: toothpaste, deodorant, soap, hand soap, Febreeze, etc...

Toilet Paper: sometimes the college will supply this, but it's usually that cheap 1 ply stuff. 

Scissors: you won't think you'll use them much, but trust me, you will.

If there's anything that is forgotten, you can pick it up after or your child can get it. Sometimes the college isn't close so it makes it more difficult but thankfully my son is only 20 minutes away. 

Is there anything that should be added to the list? 


  1. Maybe ear plugs or noise cancelling head phones. Easily microwaved snacks, maybe some utensils and bath mats.

  2. We've been shopping. Some of the things we have to order to pick up there because we are very far from where she's going! We still need a lamp, pillows, storage drawers, etc. Another thing you might need is a fan unless you have AC in the dorm.

  3. Your list sum up almost most of the things. I will cross check If I skipped any of the above.

  4. this is a great list. that sum it up on what they need to start there college journey. May be ear plugs or headphone just in case his roomate snoozes. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is a good list that will help for sure to be more organized and not forget anything essential! Good luck for Tommy! I hope he will find awesome roommates!

  6. The insoles are really a good idea! Along with comfy shoes, they're a must for dorm I understand the saying "everything but the kitchen sink" :D - a dorm is really a home for someone away from home...

  7. This is a great list. I'm sure anyone going to college will appreciate it. I can see needing all these for sure.

  8. These are all great for college. I never would have thought of a mattress pad.

  9. This is a great list for any college kid. I hope your son has a fantastic time!

  10. It’s been awhile since I packed one off to college, but I remember. And I think this is a pretty comprehensive list. Boys don’t seem to need as much as girls.

  11. This is perfect for my brother whos a first year college! I’m gonna share this with him!

  12. Thank you for sharing this comprehensive list of college dorm essentials. Your thoughtfulness in considering your son's needs, especially with his autism, is commendable. The insoles for foot comfort are a great idea! Wishing Tommy a smooth transition to college life. Best of luck! 😊🎓🏠

  13. It's important to be prepared. It sounds like you guys have everything essential covered. I hope Tommy enjoys his college years.

  14. We will have to start thinking about this for when my daughter goes to college. I always wonder how college is different from when we were in college.

  15. I remember shopping for my college dorm stuff with my mom. This post brought back such warm fuzzies for me!

  16. Such a great list for students! I took most of these items to my university hostel during my masters days 🙂. Love the insoles for foot idea ❤️.

    Everything Enchanting 🙂

  17. since my son has been at college for the past couple of years, this list is something we are all familiar with now..

  18. I've never thought about the insoles. Thanks for sharing the list. Best of luck to your son. -LYNNDEE


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