Blog / Types of Moves / College Moving / Dorm Room Essentials You Won’t Use

Dorm Room Essentials You Won’t Use

Posted: July 7, 2022
Two freshmen college students pack up their dorm room essentials for the school year.

One of the most exciting parts about starting college is the chance to start living on your own — probably for the first time. You’ll probably know the basics of what to bring for college, but what about what not to bring to college, and more specifically, what dorm room essentials should you leave at home?

Moving Help® will give you a list of items to not bring to college. Of course, you may use that item every day and find it essential, and that’s OK. For most freshmen students, they won’t find these items as essential as they thought they’d be for college. 

Bedroom and Closet Items for Your Dorm

You’re probably going to live in a tiny space while sharing that same tiny space with a roommate. Therefore, you should reconsider what belongings you’ll take with you to your dorm room. Below is a list of items you might not need for your bedroom or closet in your dorm room. 


  • Throw pillows
    • One or two throw pillows are fine but don’t go all out for that Pinterest photo. While it may look cute, it isn’t practical.
  • More than three bed sheets
    • You can get away with two bed sheets by rotating them. Unless you know you’ll want more sheets, it’s not necessary. 
  • More than three towels
    • Like the bed sheets, unless you know you’ll use more than two towels, you can save on space with just two towels. 
  • Bath bombs
    • Your dorm room might not have a tub. Even if it does, no one wants to have bath bomb pieces or residue when showering. 
  • Stuffed animals
    • You can bring one or two stuffed animals, but you don’t need all of them. Not because people might make fun of you but because you’ll have a tiny bed mattress and won’t have the room for them. 


  • Clothes
    • You don’t need to bring all your clothes. Start with two weeks’ worth of clothes when packing and go from there. You don’t need any winter clothes if your college doesn’t have cold winters either. 
  • Bulky luggage
    • You probably won’t have a good spot space wise to place it somewhere. Collapsible luggage is more practical. 
  • Shoes
    • You’ll only need five to six pairs at most for all occasions.

Kitchen Items for Your Dorm

You won’t cook in your dorm room, and unless you have a communal kitchen — if even that — you probably won’t do much cooking as a freshman. Plus, most colleges require freshmen to enroll into a meal plan. Below is a list of items you might not need for your kitchen area in your dorm room. 

  • Toaster
    • You’ll probably toast your bread at a campus café, or your roommate will bring one. 
  • Coffeemaker
    • Unless you’re an avid coffee drinker, you can get coffee from a campus café, local coffee shop, or Starbucks. 
  • Blender
    • You won’t need blender for anything except maybe smoothies. If you are really craving a smoothie, you can get one from a campus café or local smoothie shop. Blenders also are loud, and no one wants to hear it while studying. 
  • Microwave
    • A microwave is on the list for two reasons. One, your roommate is bringing a microwave. Or two, you’re going to use a communal microwave.

Electronics for Your Dorm Room

You won’t need every single type of electronics you own in your dorm room. You can get away with fewer electronics for your first year in college. Below is a list of items you might not need electronic wise in your dorm room. 

  • Printer
    • Unless your major requires you to print many, many, many papers, it’s not necessary. Plus, the cost of ink is expensive.
    • Most campuses have free printing or a low-cost option to print your papers. It’ll all depend on how much you’ll print papers and the convenience of printing at home. 
  • TV
    • Unless you’re an avid gamer or movie watcher, you can watch TV shows and movies on your computer, iPad, or phone. Your roommate also might bring a TV, and you don’t need two TVs. 
  • Desktop computer
    • You’ll want a laptop vs. a desktop computer. Laptops are lighter and portable, and you’ll take your laptop to your classes. 

Other Dorm Room Items Not Needed

  • Iron/Ironing board
    • Ironing boards are bulky and how much do you really see yourself ironing? People don’t mind a few wrinkles. Worst case scenario, you can borrow someone else’s ironing board or use a clothes steamer, which is more compact. 
  • Items of value
    • Sentimental or high-value items should stay at home. People steal belongings, and you can’t control who always comes into your dorm room. 
  • Books
    • You won’t touch or read through all your books. Plus, your campus probably has one of the best libraries. You can check out and return all the books they have in the library. Plus, you can read books online that your campus library has as an e-book. 
  • Furniture pieces
    • Where will you fit it? More importantly, do you want to lug heavy furniture pieces when you move in and out? I didn’t think so. You can save those pieces for an apartment. 
  • Full-sized vacuums
    • Large vacuums take up plenty of space so get some type of mop or a small hand-held vacuum. 
  • Anything glass related — coffee tables, cups, plates
    • Glass breaks and no one is perfect. Why risk having you, your roommate, or friends break glass in a small space that you’ll have to clean up super carefully. You can live with disposable utensils, cups, plates, and bowls. If you have to bring your favorite mug, cup, plate, or whatever, only bring two at most for your dorm room. 

Coordinating With Your Roommate

Even if you want items that were on our list, you might not have to get them yourself. You’ll have a roommate, so you’ll want to coordinate with them on what to bring. Maybe they’ll bring the TV and fridge, but you’ll bring the microwave and coffeemaker. 

You’re only living in this tiny space for one year so keep in mind that everything you move into your dorm room will have to be taken out of your college dorm by the end of the year. The less you bring for your dorm room, the less you’ll have to take with you. It’s true that you’ll be thankful if you bring fewer items with you. 

Only Bring Dorm Room Essentials

You can bring what you think is essential even if our list says it’s not that essential. But hopefully, this list will make you reconsider whether some belongings are dorm room essentials for one year. Good luck at college and packing for your college dorm.