A List of what you Need and Don’t Need for College Dorms

Views, T. (2010, October 04). UC Berkeley ~ Unit 1 : Slottman bldg. Retrieved April 30, 2021, from

National College Decision Day is May 1st, which means many seniors here at iUP have already committed to schools for the fall and are looking forward to their next 4 years spent at college. For many, that means they have college dorms to look forward to in the near future as they prepare to move in the fall. An essential part of the college experience, dorm living is something that many college students have gone through. So why not take some tips from students before us and learn from the best? Here are some Do’s and Don’ts of dorm living taken directly from students who have lived through it all. 


Here is the list of do’s and things you need that we have gathered from 3 TikTok users:

From @kgraceguise:

  • Extra towels, pillows, sheets blankets, and a blow-up mattress in case you have a guest.
  • A rug she says is going to make you feel “safer, cleaner and warmer”.
  • A printer, Grace suggests that you and your roommate can split the cost once you get to your dorm since it’s likely you’ll both need a printer.
  • A mirror
  • Clip-on fan

From @sophia_boyle:

  • A plastic bathroom caddy
  • A nightstand 
  • A memory foam mattress topper, for a good night’s sleep.
  • A Brita water filter 
  • Command hooks are good to hang decorations such as tapestries. Using thumb tacks or nails would put holes in the wall which most college dorms don’t allow. For posters, double-sided tape is a good replacement.
  • Power strips
  • A lamp with a USB or charging port on it
  • Blackout curtains to block out any light the blinds don’t.

From @kittynevillee:

  • Long charging cords, it helped Kit since she was on the top bunk during that time. The cord she used was 12 feet long.
  • A storage ottoman that Kit says not only provides a way to get into bed but also a place to store things.
  • Slippers for wearing around the dorm
  • A throw blanket 
  • A fan, Kit says that dorms can get very stuffy.
  • A humidifier, she says helps with dry skin.
  • A diffuser, Kit notes that since it’s stuffy it may get smelly.



From @kgraceguise:

  • Recreational items from home as they likely will go unused. 
  • Too many clothes as many will go unworn, stick to the clothing items you wear most often.
  • Any items not used regularly at home.
  • Too many mugs as dorms are limited in kitchen storage space. 1 or 2 is plenty!
  • Throw pillows; more than 1 or 2 are often a waste of space and will not be used.
  • Too many external storage items such as bins or drawers will take up valuable floor space.

From @sophia_boyle:

  • Mesh or cloth shower caddies as they often collect mold (plastic is ideal).
  • Bed desk; Sophia says your dorm bed is best not used as a study space.
  • Clothing steamer



Here is a list of a few things we believe are essential to any dorm resident gathered from the TikTok videos previously mentioned.

  • Lamps
  • A bathrobe for when you walk back from the showers
  • Bed risers to lift your bed to put storage bins for extra room, also a bed skirt (you can also use a flat sheet Sophia says) to hide it.
  • Closet extender, which gives you extra room to hang your clothes.
  • Wrinkle preventing dryer sheets
  • Water filter
  • An amazon fire stick for entertainment 
  • Cleaning supplies like a Swiffer, a broom, a vacuum, etc.
  • If able and with your roommate’s okay, try to change the layout of the room to create more space.
  • A computer sleeves that zips up for when it rains so your laptop doesn’t get wet and to make sure you don’t drop it.
  • Shower shoes


*Make sure to check with your dorm to make sure that these things are okay, some dorms don’t allow extension cords or allow you to change the layout!*

            This concludes the list of do’s and don’ts, we hope this list helps you with figuring out what you need to buy for your dorm or even an apartment! To all you iUP seniors, we will miss you! If you still need help or advice, Kaitlyn, Sophia, and Kit have a series that lists all the things you need or don’t need from which we gathered all of the things we listed. Be sure to take a look at their TikTok pages for more advice!