How it Works

Checklist is on the left. Click on something to learn more.
Links to shops and other sites are on the right. Look around.

Dormgear provides a checklist of all the gear you'll need your first year at college. We'll give you some ideas, show you some good products, and offer a little advice along the way. The higher up on the list, the more important something is.

There's a lot of sites that give you a list of things to buy... half of them are outdated, or written by someone well out of college. Or filled with useless shit. We aren't going to go into a lot of depth when we talk about everything we've listed, but we'll give you a few ideas to point you in the right direction. Chances are you won't get all of it. You'd might have a hard time fitting it all in your dorm anyway (but you really can fit in a lot more than you might think!). On the right, there's a few links to other sites. There's a few stores we'd recommend for shopping - they should cover most of what you need.

Points of Advice

When it comes to buying everything you think you'll need and want for your next year of life at school, it really pays to be prepared. And when there's a $4 billion market just for dorm furnishings, you know people are buying more than just the essentials. Here's just a quick rundown of what to keep in mind when you start shopping. Take a look at everything before you decide on a final list of what you'll be buying.

Plan Ahead, Talk to your Roommate

Be sure to visit your college's website to check what they already provide for you, and for what you are allowed to bring. You'll usually be able to find a floorplan of your dorm ro om on your school's website to help you better plan your purchases. Also, ask your roommate what they're bringing to avoid having duplicates that may not fit in your limited dorm space, and sort out who's paying for what, who gets which bed, etc.

Talk to People

Don't just talk to your roommate when you're figuring out what to bring. If you know anyone at your college, talk to them. Ask them what things you need and should bring, and ask them for any specific recommendations. You might want to talk to people in your major as well, especially regarding certain items, like your computer and its software.

Think Vertically

Sure, dorms are small, but with a little planning you can usually fit in a bit more. Many students also choose to raise their beds when they can, which can open up a lot of space underneath. As with planning ahead, buy organizers and such that will help you maximize the amount that your dorm can hold... we have some suggestions on our site, but examples include hanging shelves and collapsable laundry hampers. Remember that most colleges allow you to decorate your room, so hang up your pictures rather than putting them on your desk.

Buy Smart, Pack Smart

These days its pretty sure-fire that your computer will be able to play music and DVDs, but be sure to look around for other products that serve multiple functions, like a futon that doubles as a way to cover up storage. Similarly, when you pack everything to take to college, pack using double-use items. For example, pack your clothes into a tote you could later use as a laundry hamper, or into boxes you could later use for storage under your dorm bed. Just a little piece of advice, you might also want to get a hand truck to making moving in as smooth as posible.

Be Thrifty, Not Cheap

Ok. You're a college student. You don't have that much money. But don't be fazed by investing in quality for your dorm - this is going to be your new home for the next year so look around for furnishings that are multi-functional and durable, but that also fit into your budget.

On Move-in Day

Generally, the more self-sufficient you are, the easier moving in will be. That may mean bring your own handcart, especially if your school doesn't rent them, or maybe bringing your little brother. You'll have a lot of stuff, so unless you're really far from your school, or it's not possible, you'll probably drive to school. Usually parking is limited on campus, so chances are you'll have to unload your car as fast as you can, then haul everything to your room.