The Ultimate Dorm Essentials Checklist: What to Bring and Where to Shop

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Dorm Essentials Checklist

Essential dorm items are indicated by a check mark, but some may differ or be worth bringing depending on your budget, preferences, and living situation.

You can also create your own college dorm checklist by selecting or unselecting the check mark boxes. Clicking on any item or section will take you to our review.


     Trash Can
     Trash Bags
     Paper Towels
     Disinfecting Wipes
     All Purpose Cleaner
     Cleaning Rags
     Rubber Gloves


     Dress Clothes

How The Checklist Works

Need vs. Want Ratings

Each dorm item is rated on a 100 point essentialness scale. A score of 0-30 (red) indicates an unnecessary luxury, 35-65 (orange) indicates a helpful item you can still survive without, and 70-100 (green) indicates an item life will be difficult without. Our ratings are based on personal college experiences, surveys we conducted from over 50 college students/10 parents, and reader suggestions.