Hey, there, college kid momma! By now, our favorite stores have dedicated a whole section for cute, esthetically pleasing dorm supplies. When I say “favorite stores,” I really mean Target, by the way. But we all knew that, right?

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What I was super thankful for during my son’s first year in a dorm was friends and family who had gone down the dorm move-in road. They gifted my son with essentials that I didn’t even think of and added to the collection of things I had. This time last year, I made more trips to Target than I care to admit, several Amazon orders, and oh my goodness, I won’t even get started on the SAMS grocery runs.

Whether this is your first dorm move-in or you’re a pro at his, here are a few dorm room must-haves.

  1. Paper Towels & Toilet Paper – I don’t think there could be too much of either of these things!
  2. Paper/Plastic plates, bowls, utensils – College kids eat A LOT, especially at random night hours when everything is closed. There probably isn’t a kitchen in the room, so disposable things are the best option to avoid a bunch of dirty dishes hanging out in their room.
  3. Microwave, Mini Crockpot, or Small Air Fryer – I started my son out with a microwave, but as he and his roommates seemed to spend a ton of money and time eating out, the other moms and I got together and gave them an air fryer and a crockpot. It cut back on a lot of extra money spending.
  4. Mini Fridge – There seems to be a lot of food items here. But, hey, it feels like all college kids do is eat!
  5. Small Vacuum – Dorm life can quickly get messy. A handheld vacuum would come in handy for quick tidying up. I’d say stock up on cleaning supplies in general…don’t forget the toilet brush!
  1. Relaxing Candle or Essential Oils – College life is so much fun but adjusting to a new environment, meeting new people, and higher education gets stressful. Give them something to help them find their calm in those moments.
  2. Words of Motivation and Encouragement – We’ll have to get a little crafty with this one! It can be as simple as designing some quotes on Canva and framing them or decorating a tiny box, filling it with small notes for your student to choose from as a part of their daily routine. College life is a challenge. Young adults are so carefree and often neglect their mental health. Let’s help them out as much as we can!
  3. SNACKS, SNACKS, AND MORE SNACKS! Try to include some healthy options to help with all the non-sleeping they will do.
  4. Multi-Vitamins – Help those young minds and bodies stay healthy. While shopping for other personal items, they may not think of this, but it’s essential!
  5. Mattress Cover – This is the very first thing I purchased. All I could think about was the episode of Gilmore Girls when Lorelei went against dorm rules and completely removed the old mattress. I don’t blame her.

Of course, there are all the other basic things – bedding, toiletries, towels, and a ton of bottled water. Don’t forget to grab yourself a few boxes of tissues and some ice cream, Mama. Trust me; you’ll need it! I hope this list helps as you prepare to send your baby (that’s not so much a baby) anymore away to college dorm life.


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