Five months have passed since our daughter came home for Spring Break and never returned to school as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here we are in early August and we find ourselves packing to head back to Notre Dame for move-in. Time sure does fly even when you are not having fun (although we have loved the family quality time this quarantine has afforded us). Move-in can be a very overwhelming time as dorm rooms are so tiny (most of them anyway) and it’s hard to imagine where everything will fit. Last year when our daughter first moved in, she had made lists of everything she thought she would need. Needless to say, many trips were made to Target and Bed Bath & Beyond for returns and exchanges. Remember, less is more, especially when living with roommates in very tight quarters. Here is my list of 10 dorm room must-haves for college students. It goes without say that in addition to these items it’s always smart to have a good supply of cleaning products on hand (Lysol, cleaning wipes, etc.), a first aid kit with essentials, an additional phone charger, some cute bedding and wall decor and an Amazon prime subscription for things they can order throughout the year as they become necessary.
Bedside 4-Drawer Storage Cart By far my daughter tells me this is the best item she brought with her last year. She says it’s the perfect place to keep her important items near to her bed. They come in different configurations and colors to choose from and they are a huge help.
Keurig Mini single serve coffee maker College students have a hard time waking up in the mornings. Having the ability to make a quick cup of coffee in their room before they leave for class, saves them the time of passing by the dining hall or campus Starbucks. These come in very handy and also come in a variety of colors.
Over the door hanging mirror This is also a necessity as there is no other place for them to look at themselves once they’re dressed anywhere in the dorm (I have been told this is super important). My daughter’s room last year thankfully had one on the inside door of the closet, but not all dorm rooms have these.
Command strips and wall ledges These were fantastic. We basically hung up EVERYTHING with these command strips, hooks and wall ledges. Just be careful when it’s time to move out as they can be a bit tricky to remove.
Rolling cart These can be used to store snacks, cleaning supplies, books, jewelry, just about anything. They come in a variety of colors and the convenient casters let you move it around.
Foam mattress topper It is no secret that the mattresses supplied in the dorms are super thin and quite uncomfortable. Your child will have a much better night’s sleep with a mattress topper. It will make the bed feel much more like the one from home. Here is a good one, a bit pricey but definitely worth it.
Bed risers These are definitely necessary if your child’s furniture is not modular and cannot be lofted, which was our case last year. These risers will provide additional space below the bed for portable plastic drawers and allow for extra storage. You can even purchase ones with integrated USB ports and plugs.
Over the door hook rack This is another item that we purchased last minute and was a huge life saver for hanging coats, robes and even towels.
Collapsible laundry basket These come in very handy, as again, space is very tight in the rooms and this basket can be put away in the closet or you can stand it up against a wall after you’re done using it. Any item that is space saving is a winner.
Mini Fridge And last but not least, all college dorm rooms need a mini fridge to store cold drinks and snacks as well as left over food. I would suggest waiting until you can see the size of the dorm room as many of these fridges vary slightly in size.
I hope you enjoy your child’s move-in experience. I know we were all very happy when the room was completed and everything was in its place. I hope we have the same luck this year.