The Dorm Room Essentials Most Freshmen Forget to Pack

Gif: riding move-in bins

If you’re an incoming freshman eager to start college, you’ve probably started collecting things to populate your dorm room. It’s easy to get swept away in finding the perfect decorations or coordinating colors with your roommate, but we tend to forget to pack the little essentials every student should own. Here is a list of items either I or other students forgot to bring or should have brought our freshman year.

Desk Essentials

Think about the materials you used in high school combined with the items you would find on an office desk, then pack them!

  • Scissors
  • Tape (clear and duct tape)
  • Ruler
  • Stapler
  • 3-hole punch
  • Black Sharpie
  • Laptop case or cover (especially if your backpack doesn’t have a designated technology slot)
  • Table lamp and extra bulb
    • This could be stationary, but I recommend a flexible one that can clip onto the edge of a surface. These are more versatile; they can be used at your desk or on your bed as a reading light!

dorm room

Living Essentials

What are some random things in your room that play a part in your current daily routine? What other items have you used occasionally but never thought about purchasing because they were always available at home?

bed

  • Step stool
  • A decent amount of hangers, for both tops and pants
  • Humidifier
  • Extra-long phone charging cord
  • Hanging caddy or storage bin (for holding your phone, books, or other belongings on the bunk)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Storage cubes or bins for the closet or underneath the bed
  • Small mirror

Bathroom Essentials

There are so many items that are kept in a bathroom that people forget they need when they move away from home. I suggest looking through your bathroom cabinets and writing down all the things you’ve used in the past month. Then, go out and purchase those for your college room.

first aid kit

  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Nail clippers
  • Travel size toiletries
  • First aid kit
    • Medicine: Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, DayQuil, NyQuil, Benadryl, Tums, other medications you find helpful when you are sick
    • Creams and antiseptics like Hydrocortisone, Neosporin, and hydrogen peroxide
    • Thermometer
    • Band-Aids, gauze, bandage wrap

Miscellaneous Essentials

Here are a couple more items that don’t exactly fit in one particular spot, but are still very important.

  • Can opener
  • Sticky tack
  • Batteries (AA and AAA)
  • Extension cord
  • Flashlight
  • Stain removal stick
  • Iron
  • Drying rack for clothing
  • Vacuum
  • Small tool kit

This compiled list, provided by fellow forgetful Hoosiers, will help you prepare the essentials for your dorm room. This of course isn’t everything that you will need, but it will help you think of more items you might have forgotten. Best of luck shopping for your freshman year!

Gif: before and after decorating dorm

Media major, class of 2020

Hi! My name is Christina, and I'm a junior at IU. I am majoring in Media with a concentration in Film Production and a minor in Spanish. My goal is to create engaging content by sharing my knowledge and parts of my college experience here on We Are IU. Whether you are reading a post about applying for scholarships, or just looking for ideas on how to decorate your dorm, I hope you find my work and the blogs of other writers very helpful in your search!

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