College Dorm Room Supplies: 15 Things All Students Need for Their Dorm Rooms by Donna John

College Dorm Room Supplies: 15 Things All Students Need for Their Dorm Rooms

I've had two kids go off to college (and graduate!). During those eight years, you learn what a kid really needs in that dorm room – and what could be a waste of money. Here are 15 things to put on your college shopping list from a seasoned mom.

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Mesh Pockets Shower Curtain $8 & Up
Space is limited in dorm rooms, especially if you have multiple roommates. A shower curtain with pockets helps keep necessities always at hand but out of the way. A great space saver! (Just remind them that the pockets do need to be cleaned now and then!)
Mesh Shower Caddy/Organizer $9 & Up
If a pocket shower curtain doesn't fit your needs (roommate just had to have that Hello Kitty shower curtain?), a shower caddy is a must. Filled with all their personal bathroom necessities, it can be kept under the bed or in the closet. Just grab and go!
Ironing Blanket $8 & Up
Kids these days want to look nice! But again, space is limited in dorm rooms. An ironing blanket is a great solution instead of that cumbersome ironing board. (So you – and the dorm RA – can sleep at night, you may want to invest in an iron that turns off automatically!)
Iron With Automatic Shut-off $15 & Up
Your kids will look awesome and you'll feel a little better with the auto-off safety feature.
Memory/Memo Photo Bulletin Board $9 & Up
This was a must-have for my daughter. She covered it with pictures of friends and family. Me? I added important phone numbers and other information she might need. Did my helpful information stay up? No. But it made me feel better when I left.
Wi-Fi Wireless Broadband Router $28 & Up
The dorm provides Internet, but students will need a wireless router to access it. My tip here? When a father who's helping move his kid in or smart-looking RA walks by, be very obvious you are not sure how to hook it up. They'll usually stop and help you.
Wireless Color Printer With Scanner, Copier & Fax $48 & Up
Both of my kid's colleges offered printer stations where they could send their work to be printed and then go pick it up. These printer stations, however, were not in their rooms (shocker!) so they both wanted a printer. And as much paper as they buy, I know it's used every day.
Clip-on Light $9 & Up
Despite all the college movies you've see, college kids sleep – a lot. And because of class schedules, they snooze at weird times of the day. With a lamp that can be used at their desk as well as clipped on their bed, they can always have light to study or read by without waking up their roommates.
Sheet Set - Twin XL $13 & Up
Why are dorm twin beds longer than normal twin beds? That is a mystery that may never be solved. So be sure to buy XL sheets – and get them in white. Why? College kids are messy, and white sheets can be bleached. Buying an extra set or two may even motivate kids to change them, too.
Alarm Clock $10 & Up
Yes, most kids do use their phones as an alarm clock these days. (I do, too!) But with classes they can't miss and you not there to make sure they get up, a back-up alarm clock is a good idea. Find one that adds a little fun, like this one that says seven wacky phrases that change each time they hit that dang snooze button.
Keurig In-Room Brewing System $63 & Up
Do I really need to explain this one?
Under Bed Storage Container $7 & Up
Closets are very small and a lot of times must be shared. An under-the-bed storage box can hold those items that won't fit or won't be used much (this does not mean cleaning supplies, kids!).
Extra Long Phone Charger $6 & Up
When my daughter was moving in her dorm, I overheard a grandpa saying he had stayed in the same dorm. Hmmm. So needless to say, a lot of older dorms aren't designed knowing that your kid wants to charge their phone while lying in bed. An extra-long phone charger helps modernize the situation ... a little bit.
XL Mattress Pad $25 & Up
Yes, we splurged a little here. But when you know how important sleep is and your child has a good, plush mattress at home they are used to, you feel like you have to. It was Xue Ming that said, "Sleep is not a luxury; it's a biological necessity." (Find out what the heck I'm talking in the night texting tip below!)
Funny Sign $5 & Up
Humor. A little piece of you. Inspiration. Whatever you want to call it, your student will appreciate something from you that they see every day. A fun wooden sign with a saying says a lot to your child – way beyond the words written on it. I actually made one for my daughter and hung it on her wall before I left. Was it there when I visited? Yes. And she says it's her favorite thing in the room.

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Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP
Great tip Donna! I have twins on there way as freshman. I didn't know they needed a browser! Really? Yikes!
Donna John
I've heard that several times, @mindy. Both of my kids needed a router to access the Internet. My son wanted his own, but my daughter and her roommate last year went in half and shared one. I cannot believe your twins are in college! Hope they have an amazing year!
Elisa Schmitz
Great list for getting college kids set up for success in their dorms, Donna John ! I have to add - fun string lights. Whether you get Christmas lights or the twinkly ones for the backyard, I think a string of lights is a must, haha! Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP

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