Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls)

Wondering what you need to bring to college?  Now that my daughter is almost done with her Freshman year, I’ve been able to get actual feedback on what she really used.  I’ve provided a free printable checklist that you can download, as well as links for the actual items that we purchased.  And of course guys can use this list too (minus some of the decorating items – lol)!  Ok, let’s get to it! Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls).

***Free Checklists at End of Post.

Related Posts:

***NOTE***  This post contains affiliate links which means that I will receive a small compensation if you purchase from those links at no cost to you.  Thanks so much for your support πŸ™‚


Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls)

I just wanted to start off by saying Congrats to your new college student!  

It will definitely be an adjustment for them (and you too Mama), so getting them moved in with the majority of these items will help lower their anxiety.

We purchased these items from Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Home Goods.

  • Then you can always hit a Target or Walmart, if (when) you forget something.  πŸ˜‰
  • Just remember that move-in day (most of the places in college towns will be packed with people buying last minute items).  Like TP for example!

Here are 6  Helpful Tips.

TIP #1:  Check with your dorm so that you know what is allowed and what they recommend.

  • Some kids buy/bring their own mini fridge, and sometimes they can rent the fridge from the dorm for the semester or year.
  • Some don’t allow microwaves, etc.
  • Can you move furniture around, etc.
  • Can you nail things up or use command hooks only.

TIP #2:  Check with your kid’s roommates (and/or suitemates) so that you can share common items used.

  • Your roommate brings the fridge (4.4 cubic feet or less).
  • Your kid brings the microwave (700 watts or less) and the Keurig.
  • You might want to coordinate bedding – colors or decor (like rug, headboard, etc).

TIP #3:  The list is your Guide – Each dorm is Different.


Our dorm was set up more like an apartment.  We had 4 girls share one area/unit.

  • It had 2 bedrooms (4 girls) – and shared 1 bath, a kitchenette, living room, and breakfast nook.

Some are:

  • 2 girls share a room – bath down the hall (community style).
  • 2 girls share a room and bath (private style).
  • 2 girls share a room, 4 girls share a bath (suitemates style).
  • 2 girls share a room and bath, but have community living/kitchen with 2 girls on the other side that share another room and bath (apartment style).

TIP #4:  Call your dorm and get measurements – so important!

  • What size is mattress – Most all are TWIN XL.
  • What size is desk/desk chair (for vanity lights or chair pad).
  • How big is room (for rugs or ottomans).
  • Height of window (for curtains).
  • Height of bed (for under bed storage items).

TIP #5:  Things To Consider/What I learned.


  • Air Purifier – helps with ALL of the shared germs – trust me.
  • Fan – helps drown out noise from adjoining rooms.
  • Storage Ottomans – helps store things, act as stools, are extra seating.
  • Clear Storage Bins – helps to see the items easier.
  • Lamps/Lighting – anything helps because these rooms are dark.
  • First Aid Kit – they will need/use!
  • Tool Kit – things will break, and they will use it.
  • Curtains – help keep room dark (when roommate’s on different class schedule).
  • Space-saving Hangers – help store more clothes.
  • Mattress Foam Topper – helps soften hard beds.
  • Mattress Pad – covers old germs – πŸ™ LOL!!
  • *Medical Insurance card – they will need it.

*Go through the insurance card info with your kid.  I had no idea that our daughter didn’t know where the info was, what it meant, etc.

TIP #6:  And My Personal Hack – Using a Dog Bed as a Headboard.

  • It might not work for everyone, but it was a great way to save some money and adds a soft backrest (for all of that studying – πŸ˜‰ ).
  • I might do a post on it, but I’ll share it here just in case I don’t get around to it.

Ok, enough of the schooling!  Let’s get to the Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls).


Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls)

I am going to break these down into 4 sections with the links for everything we bought/used for my daughter.

  • Bedding + Bath Essentials
  • Study + Laundry Essentials
  • Wellness + Storage/Organization Essentials
  • Decorate + Miscellaneous Essentials

Then I’ll share some pictures so you can see what some of the items looked like.

  • Checklists (free printable and pinnable at the end of post).

Ok, let’s get to it!!  Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls).


Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls)

Bedding + Bath Essentials



Private Bath:

Study + Laundry Essentials

Study/Desk/*Makeup Vanity:


Wellness + Storage/Organization Essentials


Storage & Organization:  Closet/Under Bed

Decorate + Miscellaneous Essentials



*Cleaning Products:  (409, Windex, Pledge Wipes, Dawn, Toilet Cleaner, Chlorox Wipes, Sponges, Rubber Gloves)



So here below is a picture of all of the items we bought.  

  • Now, don’t freak out!!  We did have a shared living room/kitchenette area in our dorm.
  • Which means we had extra stuff to buy.

But I did want to give you an idea – just so that you don’t wait until August to begin trying to buy dorm essentials.

  • Things will get sold out, be backordered, or just delayed with all of the shipping chaos going on right now.


And here are some pictures of our daughter in her dorm room setting up.

  • This gives you a good idea of why that under-bed storage is so important. 
  • It’s basically another closet for them.

Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls)


Here is a picture of the desk/vanity area. 

  • They decided that this area could be used as the vanity also, and they could study in their beds. 
  • Girls πŸ˜‰

Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls)


Here is a picture of their shared living room area.

  • It’s all about the fluff  and extra seating – right??  Haha!!

Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls)


Anything that we as parents can do to make this transition easier is worth it though!! 

  • I’ll take this smile every day (and I have missed seeing it at my house).
  • And I’m about to get this smile back again – even if it’s only for a short summer break πŸ™‚

Because….. we are about to pack this all back up and move it back home!

Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls)


Free Printable Checklist

I decided to make my own checklist with the things we used.  I combined several lists into this one – but I lived off of these lists last summer!

There are a lot of things that I wouldn’t have thought about – so they do help.

Best College Dorm Essentials Checklist (for Girls)


Coming Soon

  • College Dorm Move-in Tips ( – done check link at beginning of post).
  • Full Dorm Room Tour

Have a Great Summer Everyone!  

Love & Hugs πŸ™‚

Recommended Posts:

Top 10 Best Desks For Students

Back to School Teacher Party For Teachers (or Kids)


You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *