Let me help you make starting college a little less stressful with this super detailed checklist for your college dorm room (and life in general) for this upcoming year. Bookmark this page or add it to your home screen so you can reference during your packing adventures.

This blog post contains the best college dorm room shopping list you will need for starting your first year of college. Last summer, I remember frantically going through Pinterest to find the perfect list and was never quite satisfied. I’ve taken everything I ended up getting for my freshman year at USC and added it to this list (+other important items that I saw my classmates utilizing throughout the year). 

I have organized the items by category, so make sure you scroll through the carousel of images for each one. You may find you do not need some items I have listed/your college already provides some things/you already have a few items at home. Double check before clicking that add to cart button!

You can purchase all of the items listed through Amazon (right from this blog post) which is especially convenient if you are moving far from home. I moved from Atlanta to California so I was not able to take everything I needed initially. You can order your items to your college dorm room 2-days before you’ll need them with Amazon Prime. 

The last thing I would like to mention is budgeting. Determine how much money you or your family is able to spend when you go off to college. And remember:

  • You do not have to buy everything at once. Buy a little in the summer, when you get to school and after you are settled into your college dorm room.
  • Talk with your roommate about splitting up things to buy (fridge, microwave, cleaning supplies, etc). There is no reason to have doubles of these items.
  • Consider making a “registry” or Amazon wishlist to send to your family members. You could even make a Go Fund Me if you would rather buy the items yourself.

Twin XL Bedding

The standard bedding size for college dorm room beds is a Twin XL, which is a little bit larger than a regular twin. Make sure you get a comforter, mattress topper (to add some comfort to your hard mattress) and mattress pad (to protect yourself from allergens/bed bugs/pre-existing germs).


Easy items to decorate your college dorm room include: throw pillows, tapestries and clocks. I suggest you get a vanity mirror with a light (so you can get ready while your roommate is sleeping) and a full length mirror.


Yes, you have to do your own laundry in college. So make sure you do a few practice rounds at home before you leave. Here are a few laundry essentials (peep the iron: it will come in handy if you have an interview or reason to dress up).


Having a few basic cleaning supplies will save you a headache during move in/when you spill your chips all over the floor/when things are just getting a little dusty in your college dorm room. I highly recommend the small vaccuum (even if your college provides them) because it will save you a run to check it out every now and then.


Get your own printer. Trust me.
Also, my bluetooth speaker was a LIFE SAVER for my college dorm room and taking along when I sat outside with friends or went to the beach. 

Shower & Toiletries

You NEED a shower caddy + shower shoes.
Towels are also nice.

Food & Appliances

There’s a good chance that you may have to get a fridge or microwave. USC college dorm rooms come with so I did not have to invest in that. Coordinate with your roommate(s) to see who can get what.

School Supplies

You actually do take a couple classes every now and then in college. Get some basic supplies because not every professor allows note taking on your laptop


Keep your room organized and save space with plastic storage, shoe organizers, and thin hangers. Command hooks are also a must if you want to hang anything on your walls in your college dorm room (you will get charged if you damage your walls with tacks, tape etc). 


USC’s campus is unique because of everyone either bikes, boards, or walks. Some campuses are not like this, but consider saving yourself some time with one. Make sure you get a lock too for your bike.

I hope this list helped you put a dent in your college dorm room shopping. If you think I missed anything on this list, leave a comment below and I will be sure to add it. If you are craving more college-related content, you can watch my YouTube videos here. Have a great freshman year!

This blog post contains my Amazon affiliate link. Basically, all that means is I will get a small percentage of the sale if you buy an item on this page!