Dorm Essentials: 10 Must-Haves for Incoming Freshmen

Dorm Essentials: 10 Must-Haves for Incoming Freshmen | GreyDock Blog
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Besides the basics, here’s what you should bring to your dorm room or apartment for your first year.

With just a few short weeks until classes begin, it’s time to start thinking about what to pack. Gone are the days of worrying about anything beyond a backpack and notebooks. Besides the basics, here are our 10 college dorm room essentials you should pack for a great first year away at school.

Fan or Space Heater

Dorm rooms aren’t known for their spacious interiors or the best heating and cooling practices. You probably won’t have a lot of extra space after you get settled in, so it’s smart to make the most of what you do have. Compact space heaters and fans will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer with the flip of a switch.

TIP: Check with your school to make sure you’re allowed to have a space heater in your dorm first.

Brita Water Filter

Filtered water will take care of any strange flavors from your school’s water. If your school allows you to have a mini-fridge in your dorm, opt for a Brita pitcher. If not, take your filtered water on the go with a bottle. Having a reusable water bottle will make it easier to keep track of how much water you drink in a day. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially during the summer months.

Food Storage

If this is your first time buying your own groceries, you’ll see how quickly the tab adds up. Using food storage containers for produce and dry goods will help them stay fresher for longer and make meal prep easier.

Kitchen Accessories

If you’re in an apartment for your first year, don’t forget the small kitchen items that fall through the cracks. Utensil holders, sink mats, sponge holders, and drying mats all come to mind.

Command Strips

Your dorm will be your home away from home for at least six months. Bring all the pictures and posters you can to make your room as comfortable and inviting as possible, but don’t forget to think about how you’ll hang them. Command Strips are the perfect solution: easy to use and won’t leave a mess when you take them down on moving day.

Bike Lock

Bicycles are one of the best ways to get around while away at school. It’s much faster than walking across campus and you get a decent workout too. Don’t forget to bring a bike lock to secure your wheels.

Shower Shoes

Protect your feet from lurking germs in the shared dorm showers with shower shoes. You can use any cheap pair of flip flops or invest in a pair specifically made for shower use. Look for shoes marked slip-resistant and antimicrobial for safety and cleanliness.

Shower Curtain

For those lucky enough to get a private bathroom, you’ll need a shower curtain to keep water from getting all over your floor and causing a safety hazard. Shower curtains are a great way to add color and personality to your bathroom, but check with your roommates first to make sure they’re not bringing one too.

Blackout Curtains

Since we’re on the topic of curtains, a good set of curtains will not only add a decorative touch to your dorm room but also help keep light out when you’re trying to sleep in.

Cleaning Supplies Kit

Keeping your room tidy has never been easier thanks to cleaning supply kits. These give you a good bang for your buck while giving you the convenience of not having to pick products one by one. One kit should last you at least a semester depending on how big your space is.


Moving into your first college dorm or apartment is stressful and a lot can fall through the cracks. Whether you’re in a small dorm or an off-campus apartment, we hope our dorm essentials list offered you a little peace of mind.

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