Dorm & Apartment Basics

Moving into a new apartment or dorm can be stressful, but not as stressful as getting there and realizing you don’t have the necessary supplies.

I have included a few basic tips on getting organized, ideas on where to shop for the items you need, and a checklist of the basic items you will need for your dorm or apartment.


Take an inventory of the items you already have at home and put those items in a box or lay them out on the table so that you can easily see what you already own.

Make a checklist that has everything you think you will need to purchase for your dorm or apartment. Decide what items you are going to purchase now and which will be purchased upon arrival at school. Set a timeline for what needs to be purchase and by what date so that you won’t end up running around at the last minute trying to buy everything.

Before you buy anything, check with the dorm to get a list of prohibited items so that you don’t spend money on something only to find out that you can’t keep it in your room.

If you are going away to college, it might be easier to purchase the larger items (vacuums, televisions, etc.) and incidentals (soap, toothpaste, etc.) once you arrive at school **If you decide to purchase the items at school, make sure there is a store nearby where you can purchase everything. Check online for stores in the area, or get a list from the school.


The best tip I have for finding deals is to visit the website of the store(s) where you may want to shop and sign up for their email list. Many stores will notify when they are having a sale, and some may even include a coupon that you can use online or in the store. – has a wide range of products from which to choose – you can buy comforters and compact refrigerators all at the same time. Best of all, your order may qualify for Free Super Saver Shipping. Buying online and shipping to school means that you won’t have to pack the items or transport them to school.

IKEA – offers a wide range of products for your dorm or apartment — from posters to pillows, you can find a variety of products, all at amazing prices. You can also order from them online — you will have to check their website for shipping costs. has great deals on everything from electronics to apparel — all at discount prices.

Department Stores carry a wide range of products ranging from sheets and pillows to digital cameras and vacuums.

Mass-Market Stores like Wal-mart and Target should have all of your personal care supplies at very reasonable prices. You can also compare prices on with the other retailers like Best Buy, Linens N Things, and Bed Bath & Beyond to find the best prices.


General Items

  • Alarm Clock / Clock Radio
  • Lamps (bedside & desk lamps)
  • Waste Basket
  • Hangers
  • Storage Cubes
  • Bulletin Board & push pins
  • Posters


  • Mattress Pad
  • Comforter
  • Duvet Cover
  • Sheets and Pillow Cases
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Towels: Bath, Hand, and Face


  • Vacuum
  • Television
  • DVD Player
  • Hot Plate
  • Compact Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Audio Equipment
  • Digital Camera
  • Extension Cords
  • Surge Protector

Personal Care

  • Shower tote
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Bath & Face soap
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Travel containers
  • Dental Floss
  • Brush & Comb
  • Tweezers
  • Q-tips
  • Nail Clippers
  • Hair Dryer
  • Kleenex
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand Cream
  • Razor & Shaving Cream
  • Lint Brush
  • Sewing Kit item
  • First Aid kit

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