Dorm Room Essentials

If you’re coming with a U-Haul you have too much stuff!!

In the coming weeks, approximately 1.6 million first-year students will head off to four-year colleges and universities. While there are plenty of campuses with apartment style dorms and spacious living quarters for students, it’s likely that as a freshman you’ll be stuck in some of the smaller dorm rooms.

Around the nation, students entering their freshman year have an average 228 square feet of living space to share with a roommate. FYI, the average studio apartment is 300-450 square feet. As much as I crossed my fingers that my dorm room was going to mirror The Best Years, I, alas, was confined to a small outdated dorm room with hall bathrooms.

Before my freshman year, I grabbed one of those checklists from Bed Bath and Beyond and racked up on items. A great deal of them were returned after lugging them up nine floors (the elevators were broken for a few hours during move-in). Dorm room fail. I lofted my bed the first semester and eventually got tired of not being able to fall into bed for a nap between classes. Dorm room fail. My Dad came up before second semester started and dismantled my loft bed and set it up on risers. Dorm room success.  In the hopes that I can help others consolidate those bags/boxes on move-in day and avoid a few dorm room fails, I’ve created this Dorm Room Essentials checklist. Pin it. Share it with your friends or the college student in your life. Click the image for a printable version. 

Dorm Room Essentials - The Palmetto Peaches


Don’t forget to:

  • Meet the Roomie: Once you’ve gotten your roommate assignment reach out and say hi! You can also search your Class of 2019 Facebook group for their name. Together you’ll need to figure out the items you’ll share (mini fridge, microwave, TV, curtains, etc.) and who will buy what.
  • Also, for those of you flying in,  most schools will let you mail items during move-in. So purchase big items beforehand and have them shipped to campus. Or you could wait until you get into town and find your nearest Walmart, Target, and/or Bed Bath & Beyond. Don’t forget to use those 20% off single item coupons at BB&B. Hand one to Dad, Mom, little sister, big brother and purchase your items individually.
  • Send your friends letters. Yes, adding paper, envelopes, and stamps to your don’t forget list will put a smile on the faces of your friends at other universities and back at home. Who doesn’t love a little snail mail.
  • While not specific to dorm room essentials, I would caution you to stay away from the bookstore when renting or purchasing books. Check Chegg,, and for more reasonably priced books.

Good luck Class of 2019! And to my college grads leave a comment below or tweet me what college essentials you would suggest for first-year students.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

16 Replies to “Dorm Room Essentials”

  1. Doni, this is such a great, straight to the point list! And it’s hop with the lingo (that makes me sound old, oh my goodness ?). Great list, doll!
    Addie recently posted…Cultural Appreciation: Head Wrap Fashion & StyleMy Profile

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says:

      Ha, well I’m eight years removed from freshman move-in day and found myself questioning the relevance of some items. Like I originally put stamps and stationary, but I thought to myself do college students still send letters 🙂

      Thanks for reading!!

  2. This is a great list of REAL essentials! While I didn’t dorm since my parents and I lived 2 miles from my college campus, I still feel like I missed out on the “true” college experience.
    Lauren White recently posted…Friday FavoritesMy Profile

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says:

      I moved out of the dorms after freshman year and I felt like I was missing a little bit of the experience not being on campus. So I understand what you’re saying.

      Thanks for reading!


  3. This is great and so detailed! I will have to pass this along to my sister. She is going back to school next week!

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says:

      Thanks! I hope it helps her!


  4. This is great! I met my freshman roommate before we ever went to college. We lived 2 hours away from eachother and met in the middle for lunch 🙂

    1. The Palmetto Peaches says:

      Aww that’s cool. I wish I could have met my roommate face-to-face. She was from New Jersey and I lived in South Carolina.

      Thanks for reading!!


  5. Love this list!!! I also took WAY TOOOOO MANY things to college with me! Lol I had to take them home a few weeks later and they are still, to this day, sitting in my parents garage and attic. I wish I would have met my roommate before moving in. She was really nice, but much more older than me (I was 17 when I went to college) and a party girl. I don’t think I would live with her if I had to do it over. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Holy smokes! There’s a lot of good information in the post. Great check list! Where were you when I was headed off to college in 2002?! I’m dating myself now… We for sure didn’t have facebook. That would have been useful in looking up my roomie! lol

  7. Great info and great checklist. I also lofted my bed, and ended up hating it.
    Shann recently posted…First Born Fridays, The First YearMy Profile

  8. This is a great list and will be an awesome help for those entering college
    Cynthia @craftoflaughter recently posted…Top Ten Crumbs: Easy, Frugal Ways to Date YourselfMy Profile

  9. Oh I don’t miss living in a dorm room. Memories of my first college roomie.
    Beth@FrugalFroggie recently posted…Kellogg’s Family RewardsMy Profile

  10. This is such a great list of things to bring! I definitely don’t miss dorm living AT ALL. 🙂
    xo, Caitlin
    And Possibly Dinosaurs
    Caitlin Cheevers recently posted…Sunday ScratchesMy Profile

  11. This is such a great list! I wish I would of had a list like this when I went to college. I was 15 hours from home and didn’t realize how much I forgot until I arrived. Yikes!
    Britt recently posted…Being an Introverted ExtrovertMy Profile

  12. Great tips! We do a lot of traveling (not to dorm rooms) but many of these tips can be useful for vacation planning too! 🙂

Comments are closed.