Few stepping stones are as significant as moving away from home and into the college dorms. Even if the space is better suited for sardines than students, it’s still most people’s first taste of true, independent living.

Since most freshmen are new to living outside of the nest, many are understandably unsure about what to bring to their new, tiny homes. What’s too much? What’s not enough? And what’s just right?

When moving into a college dorm, here are Livible’s tips on making this thrilling—and sometimes emotional—time a little bit easier.

What to Bring to Your College Dorm

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of moving away, and this excitement can lead to overpacking, underpacking, or even bringing things that aren’t allowed in the dorms at all. So, what stuff should you plan on bringing along?

Here’s a list of common things to bring to the dorms:


  • Mini-Fridge
  • Hot plates; sometimes banned, so double-check
  • Microwave
  • Coffee maker; if banned, try an electric kettle or a French press
  • Silverware
  • Plates
  • Cups and Mugs
  • Can opener
  • Dishtowels
  • Water bottle


  • Towels
  • Bathrobe
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Toiletries
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • Shower caddy


  • Posters
  • Photos
  • Sticky wall mounts and removable adhesive hooks
  • Rugs
  • Extra seating like a bean bag, stool or futon
  • String lights

School-Related Supplies Supplies

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Pens and pencils
  • Calendar
  • Daily planner
  • Sticky notes
  • Whiteboard


  • Comforter
  • Extra blankets
  • Bedsheets; usually sized as Twin XL
  • Pillows and pillowcases
  • Mattress pad

Storage and Organization

  • Closet organizers
  • Under-the-bed storage
  • Desk organizers
  • Hangers
  • Food storage containers
  • Bed lifts; allows for extra storage under the bed


  • Earphones; noise-blocking ones are great for loud roommates!
  • Speakers
  • Lint roller
  • Extension cord
  • Television
  • Desk chair
  • Lamp
  • Fan
  • Clock

This isn’t a complete list, but hopefully, it’s enough to get you started. Again, refer to your own college’s checklist to ensure you’re bringing all the right stuff—and nothing that might be banned altogether.

What to NOT to Bring to Your College Dorm

We all want our first real home away from home to feel like ours. However, there are usually some restrictions and best practices when it comes to creating your perfect space.

First off, don’t underestimate how small your living area will likely be. Even if you’re moving into something larger than a typical dorm room or even living alone, the space will fill up faster than you think. Also, the year flies by fast! Remember—everything you’re hauling into the dorm, you’ll also have to haul back out and store somewhere.

That’s why the most important thing not to bring to college is: too much stuff. You don’t need every appliance, winter coat, piece of clothing, shoe, decoration or dish. It might be hard to pick and choose, but you’ll thank us when you can actually walk through your room without tripping over clutter.

Second, many campuses to have restrictions about what you can and can’t bring or use to decorate. Though you should always verify with your school first, commonly banned items include:

  • Hot plates
  • Incense
  • Candles or any open flames
  • Coffee makers
  • Nails, hooks or anything that damages or punctures the wall
  • Personal mattress or bed frame
  • Pets; sometimes fish and small reptiles are allowed
  • Curtains and/or curtain rods
  • Certain electronics

Other Dorm Move-In Tips

Now you have an idea about what to bring—and what not to bring—into the dorms. However, there’s still more than just shopping to packing to do before moving in.

Check With Your Roommates

It’s important to double-check with your roommates about what you each will be bringing. If there’s anything that’s easy to share like couches, TVs, microwaves, mini-fridges, etc. figure out a plan so you all can use the same one.

No one wants to show up with a microwave only to see their roomie brought one too. Sure, making twice the Hot Pockets in half the time sounds cool at first. But after a few weeks of living in a room the size of your current closet, you’ll wish you had that extra space.

This also applies to those moving into suite-style dorms. Will you all be sharing silverware, plates and other kitchen items? Is the common room fully furnished? Are you sure no one else is bringing a big-screen TV? Make sure everyone is on the same page before showing up on move-in day.

Consider Rental Options

These days, more colleges are offering rentals for popular dorm room items like mini-fridges, microwaves, etc. Before going out and purchasing your own items, find out if this might be an option.

Rentals are great for several reasons. For one, most students won’t need these items after their first or second school year. By renting them, you’re not responsible with getting rid of it before summer starts. Also, rentals mean one less bulky items to worry about moving from your hometown to campus.

Bring too much stuff to the dorms? Need to store your things during the school break? No matter the reason, if you’re looking for a smart storage solution for your dorm room items, trust Livible. Our on-demand storage team will come to your door to pick-up your stuff and safely store it until you’d like it back. Get a free quote today!