Dorm Room Must-Haves

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If you have a child heading off to college, there are a lot of things to get in order. They need to get registered for their classes. They need to set up banking and establish a budget. They might need to find a job and check on financial aid. And, of course, they need to shop for their dorm room.

Dorm room shopping is probably the thing your son or daughter will be most excited about – and they probably need quite a few things. Here is a list of some dorm room must-haves to make your shopping a bit easier.

  • Bedding: Sheets, blankets, pillows, and perhaps a comforter or quilt are going to be needed. Make sure you check on what size bed the dorm will have (most will need twin or twin xl sheets). And it’s always a good idea to have two sets of sheets so one can hit the washing machine while the new set goes on.
  • Towels: A couple of sets of towels will also be necessary. Check for sales that often happen in August when kids are heading back to college, and you might find some good deals.
  • Shower Caddy: With communal bathrooms, your child will want something to carry all of their shower stuff in. Pick up a shower caddy to help with that. It will make it much easier to grab everything at once! 
  • Fan: There’s usually not a good way to regulate the temperature in most dorm rooms – which means that rooms can get really hot – even in the winter. A stand fan or tabletop fan can go a long way to help keep the air circulating.
  • Microwave: Sure, they’re going to have a dining hall pass, but there will be late-night study sessions and missed meals – and a microwave can help whip up snacks and reheat pizza. 
  • Dorm Fridge: A small fridge is a must, and this is another item that can be shared with a roommate. 
  • Microwaveable Bowls: A few microwaveable bowls (for soups, mac and cheese, etc.) will definitely come in handy. Don’t buy more than a couple – as you want your child to actually wash them instead of letting the dirty dishes pile up.
  • Utensils: For all of those late-night food deliveries or stirring a quick bowl of ramen, you’ll need some utensils. Pick some up at your local dollar store or yard sale, so you don’t have to buy a large set.
  • Headphones: There will be times when your child needs to study or sleep – and their roommate does not – which makes headphones a necessity. Noise-canceling may be the best option – even though they are a bit more expensive.
  • Coffeemaker: Caffeine is going to be needed for late-night study sessions and final exams and if your child likes to get their caffeine from coffee – then pick up a coffeemaker. 
  • Lamp: Dorm rooms have notoriously lousy lighting, and your son or daughter may need some additional light by their desk. A small lamp can add just the right amount of light – and not take up too much room.
  • Small Toolkit: A small toolkit will come in handy for minor repairs.
  • Additional Storage: They may need some additional storage for clothes and other things. Look to see what might slide under a bed as space is a precious commodity.
  • Laundry Bag/Hamper: Yes, they will need to do laundry. Get a laundry bag or hamper so they can carry it to the laundry room – or bring it home during breaks.
  • Surge Protector Power Strip: Outlets are another thing that there never seems to be enough of in dorm rooms. Pick up a surge protector power strip so that all electronics can be plugged in and not subject to surprise power surges that can damage things like laptops.

This year, if you have a child heading off to college, use this list to get started on their dorm room shopping. Hopefully, your son or daughter will have everything they need to furnish their dorm room and start college life off on the right foot.

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