This dorm room checklist gifts you a list of necessities for college-bound freshman students. I will even give you a PDF printable checklist to mark off as you go.
Dorm Room Checklist
FYI, this is part of my Gift Ideas for Families Series << that post has TONS of gift ideas for everyone on your list!
Gifts For College-Bound Students
A note from a mom who’s having a hard time letting go:
Filling your dorm room is the STUDENT’S job. We decided to give a lot of presents for my son’s 18th birthday that would help him adult (things he probably wouldn’t have thought of himself) — but be sure that THEY are the main ones getting these items together. Remember, now is the time to BE an adult!
My friend Katie has a great post on gift ideas for college students.
Dorm Room Gifts
Here is what I got my son for his 18th birthday (might spark some ideas for you — many of the items are linked to below):
Printable PDF Dorm Room Checklist
College Freshman Necessities
Things to check in your dorm first:
What exactly is furnished, is there (most of these are standard, but you never know)
- Bed (with a mattress)
- Dresser/storage options
Once you find out these things, you can start to fill in gaps. Btw, my friend Katie has a great post on Christmas ideas for college students, you might like as well!
College Dorm Room Checklist for Freshman
Linen Dorm List
- Bedding (sheets, comforter, pillowcases) — be SURE to check the length of the bed (most seem to have Twin XL) — these sheets are a great option, I love the reviews & the price tag!
- Pillow — again, these have great reviews & price.
- Towels — THIS is a great price for 3 piece set
Hygiene Dorm Checklist for Freshman
A lot of these are AWESOME to get at the dollar store, you may even have some of it around the house you can corral together cheaper — I’m sharing links to show you awesome products or what I’m talking about in some cases.
- Nail clippers — the reviews for this set made me want to get them.
- Razor — this set gets great reviews, and I love these to prevent nicks — but something like Dollar Shave Club might be a good investment to be sent to the dorm.
- Tweezers — this seems to be the brand everyone loves!
- Q-tips/cotton balls — be sure to get a container to keep them in (because dirty q-tips do no one any good) — this pack is pretty cool
- Safety Pins — a small container makes finding them easier
- Shower Caddy — this one looks handy (and will preven mold)
- First Aid Kit — I got him one just like this
- Brush — hopefully they have one…
- Toothbrush/Paste — my son is checking the Quip…
- Makeup/beauty/hair products (I would suggest limiting these as much as possible….
(a lot of these things I corraled from my house, and put in a small container from Diaso — like this one)
Medication Dorm Checklist for Freshman
Unless it’s medication they take frequently, I would recommend getting bottles/pill packs at the dollar store. The bottles aren’t big, but can be helpful if they are stuck and need some meds asap.
- Allergy medicine
Housekeeping Dorm Checklist for Freshman
- Microwaveable bowl — we got this kind because my kid loves ramen and soup. Cooks in the microwave and you can still have a cool bowl to hold.
- Collapsible Bowl — I got mine one of these because he loves popcorn — thought it might be handy for other things
- Duster — I got a small duster because I am his mom. Sort of like one of these (great to find at the dollar store — I found mine at Daiso)
- Mr Clean Magic Eraser — gotta love ’em!
- Cleaning Supplies (honestly, I’m not sure what he will want/need so I’m leaving this one for now)
- Lint Roller — this one is handy for all sorts of things
- Small broom/dust bin — this one is sized perfectly!
- Screwdriver — one with a few different heads is awfully handy!
- Chopsticks/utensils — yup, because chopsticks are easier to clean….
- Measuring Tape — because my kid is majoring in engineering and “needs” one…
- Scraper — can’t tell you how handy these are, so I sent my kid off with one
- Sewing Kit — I have zero idea if this will get used — but this one even comes with an emergency helper book.
- Dish Towels — they don’t need a ton of them, but these can be used for several things — spills, hot items out of the microwave, etc.
- Flashlight — there’s likely to be at least one power outage…. or a sock behind a bed…. these looks pretty handy!
- Hamper/laundry basket — I always had one that doubled up — like this one
- Can opener — always handy, I would get a these…
- Dishes/silverware — find these cheaply at Target, or Amazon has these that look great!
- Hangers — I love these
- Trash Can
- Shower Shoes (especially if you have a communal shower)
- Shower curtain (I’d get it at the dollar store — but Amazon has a lot of cheap ones)
- Clock — I have an Amazon Alexa in one of these — and I love it.
Oh, and just in case your freshman has a new car — don’t miss the car lover’s gift guide!
Office Supply Checklist for Freshman
- Binder clips (can be helpful for lots of things) — Amazon has a cool set of all these types of things.
- 3 hole punch — there are awesome cheap ones out there
- Stapler — great ones here
- Power Strip — I’d get one that has some USB power options as well.
- Desk Lamp
- Ethernet Cables
And, my Freshman son’s favorite gift….
a $50 Costco Cash card. Whether it’s food, or being able to walk in and get a hot dog — since he won’t have his own membership, he’s pretty thrilled (holders of a Costco Cash Card don’t need a membership to purchase at the store).
If you liked this post, you might be struggling with your almost adult too — be sure to check out my practical parenting series and check out my other parenting posts below that.