The ultimate dorm room checklist

girl making a list

There’s a lot of planning that goes into a school year, especially when you’re heading to college or university in the fall. If you kick start your planning now and you’ll still have a lot of summer left to relax and enjoy downtime before the rush of back to school really hits. Whether you’re pursuing online learning or you’ll be heading to in-person classes, the ultimate dorm room checklist will help you get everything you need for your dorm room.

The ultimate dorm room checklist

Most students only have a vague idea of what their dorm will look like before they move in, so they need a checklist to help them decide on what to pack. Use this ultimate dorm room checklist and check items off this list as you pick them up.

Bedroom essentials

Your dorm room bedroom may just be a bed in the middle of a small space, but you can make it your own by bringing in all the comforts of home.

Sleep well on a comfortable mattress

futon sofa sleeper for dormPersonalizing your room begins with your bed, and to ensure you always have a great sleep you’ll want to bring your own mattress. If your dorm room doesn’t have a bed frame, you could also choose to bring in a sleeper sofa or futon to sleep on. It will double as a couch when you want to relax with friends.

Weighted blankets help create a cozy bed

cozy blankets for dorm room bedA dorm room bed should have bedding that looks great, but the most important thing is that you’re comfortable. Adding cozy bedding will make you feel right at home, and a weighted blanket is perfect for easing stress at the end of a busy day. There are also blankets and throws you can choose to add a dash of colour or show your support for your favourite team.

Relaxation is just a tap away

Stress can affect your sleep when life gets really busy, but you can create a relaxed atmosphere in your dorm using sleep tech. Choose sleep earbuds that steam white noise or aromatherapy devices that change colour and emit relaxing scents. You can also choose a smart display that tracks your sleep, doubles as a display to play soothing videos, wakes you up in the morning, and controls all of your other smart devices.

Add a little greenery

A smart garden is a perfect way to add a little greenery to your dorm room. You can grow vegetables and flowers all year long and it adds colour and life to any space.

Set up your study space

garden for back to schoolA study space is a must-have when you’re living in the dorm. Here are a few things you’ll need to set up a spot where you can concentrate and get your homework done.

Office furniture puts you in work mode

When you’re living in a dorm room, your room becomes your home office. If your dorm doesn’t provide furniture you’re going to need to choose a desk, office chair, and other office furniture to properly set up your space. There are all types of desks including standing desks and workstations to hold your computer, printer, and other tech items. You can also choose bookshelves and office storage. Don’t forget to add a desk organizer to gaming chair dormkeep your desk clean and organized.

Gaming chairs make work and play comfortable

A gaming chair is a great chair for a dorm room because it’s designed for work and play. The latest gaming chairs are comfortable and ergonomic, making them easy to sit in for hours. When it’s time to switch gears from homework and hit the video games, you’ll appreciate your chair even more.

Smart lighting sets the tone for studying

Smart lights let you use light to relax, motivate, and set a schedule. You can use your smart lights to remind yourself it’s time to pick up the books or take a break, and they can wake you up and help you fall asleep too.

Dorm room kitchen must-haves

When hunger hits at 2 am, you’ll want to be prepared to cook up whatever you’re craving. From nachos to pizza or a quick bowl of cereal, to help you cook in a small space your dorm room kitchen should include several small appliances.

retro fridge for ultimate dorm roo retro fridge for small dorm room


Mini fridges keep things cool

A mini-fridge stores milk, fruit, and more. Mini fridges are small, space-saving, and you can find models with freezers for your pint of ice cream too.

Stay in for coffee

Getting up in the morning is always easier with coffee. You’ll want to bring along a single-serve coffee maker or an espresso machine so your favourite hot drink is always close at hand.

Toaster oven does double duty

small appliances for back to schoolTo grill a small pizza, make morning toast, or warm up a pre-made meal, a toaster oven doubles as a food warmer and oven for baking. If you choose an air fryer and toaster oven combo, your toaster oven can also double as an air fryer to make great late-night snacks.

Cookers and steamers

Drinkmate soda makerCooking in your dorm room is easy when you have a cooker or steamer. You can find pressure cookers that double as a rice cooker, slow cooker, and steamer so you can make every one of your favourite dishes.

Save on soda and flavoured water

If you find yourself craving soda but you don’t want to harm the environment by using up cans and plastic bottles, a soda machine is for you. Soda machines let you make delicious soda or flavoured water in a reusable bottle, and you can make bottle after bottle of soda for less than buying it in cans.

Dorm room tech

For a full list of tech for your dorm, take a look at Brad’s post on dorm room tech. He covers the top tech you’ll need to take along to your dorm room, but here are a few pieces I think will be really useful when you’re living away from home.

2-in-1 laptop is a tablet too

tablet laptop for dormA laptop lets you take notes in class and write term papers in the library. For the most versatile laptop, choose a 2-in1 laptop. These laptops are fast enough to work your way through every term paper and assignment, but they also have the power to game and stream 4K videos.

Want to use your laptop just as a tablet? All you’ll need to do is remove the keypad and you’ll have a versatile tablet to take with you everywhere. Some models of 2-in-1 laptop are available with pens you can use to draw and make notes right on the screen.

Scanner and printer

A personal printer is a must-have for in-person and remote learning. You’ll need to print term papers or scan worksheets, and you may even want to print a photo or two. There are a lot of great printers and scanners you can choose, so take a look at all of the options and choose the best model for you.4K monitor for dorm room

When you want to make a photo collage for your walls or you want to snap and share a selfie, a pocket printer will be your favourite tech gadget. They’re small enough to slide in the front part of your backpack, and they turn every photo into a small, physical print you can put on your wall or give to a new friend.

4K Monitor

A computer monitor isn’t just helpful when you want a bigger view. You can use your monitor as a TV when friends are over or you just spend a few hours gaming or watch videos.

Portable heaters and fans

heater for dorm roomChoosing a smart portable heater or fan means you can be cozy and comfortable in your dorm room. Some models of heater or fan can be controlled via an app on your phone so you can turn them on and off when you’re not in the room.

Smart solutions for sanitation

Some tech will help you be productive while other types will help keep you healthy and safe. UV Sanitzer and chargers will charge your phone while using light to remove bacteria and other germs.

If you have a shared space you’ll want to ensure it’s free of germs. You can toss your garbage without ever having to touch your garbage can when you have a smart trash can. It will open and close with a voice command or a wave of your hand. You can also add a smart soap dispenser to wash your hands without having to touch the soap dispenser.

Don’t forget to bring a supply of hand sanitizer to your dorm room too; it will keep your hands clean when you can’t get to a sink.

Storage for the dorm

entry way storage benchA dorm room can be really small, so how do you fit everything you need for a busy school year? Start with storage cubes, containers, and storage baskets. They slide under your bed and you can place them on shelves to hide clutter.

If you have a small entryway in your dorm you may want to add a shoe cubby or storage rack for jackets and shoes you want to tuck away. For valuables, a smart safe will be the perfect place to hold your passport and other items you want to secure.

Outlet sales for students

Setting up a dorm room on a student budget can be hard, but you’ll find a lot of great deals at the outlet centre. From small appliances to computers and luggage, you can find open box, refurbished items, and clearance prices that will suit every student’s budget. You can even order online and add a second address to ship to your dorm room.

Plan for fall with the ultimate dorm room checklist

All you need to get ready for fall is this ultimate dorm room checklist. You can shop online or in-store right now, and find everything you need for your dorm room at Best Buy.

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