Tips for College Dorm Move-in Day

Tips for College Dorm Move-in Day

Your baby is flying the coop and you want move in day to go smoothly, but there are so many things to plan for, and so many things to buy! Where to start?

Here’s are some tips that I have compiled from MANY smart parents who have gone through the dorm room move in process before me.  Love these helpful tips!

Make a List 
It’s going to be a LONG list, but it’s easier to have everything written out on a piece of paper and check it off vs. trying to remember everything. In addition to clothing, toiletries, school supplies, dorm bedding, did you remember extra surge protection power supplies? Extra power cords? Cough drops? Scissors? Thankfully due to Amazon, Target & Walmart, whatever your kid forgets, they’ll be able to get  shipped directly to their dorm in a timely manner.

Mattresses
Dorm mattresses aren’t great and they’re often old. Most dorm beds are either Twin or Twin XL. Double check your needed size and buy a Zippered mattress cover that goes ALL the way around it. Starting with a base layer of having the entire mattress encased really helps keep whatever WAS on it, completely sealed up and allergen free. Then build from there with an egg crate or memory foam topper, then ANOTHER allergy barrier such as a deep mattress cover.
When your student washes sheets, they only have to go down to that layer. PRO TIP: Don’t wait until move in to open the mattress topper unless space is an absolute premium. They not only take time to ‘fluff up’, but they outgas and are somewhat stinky for the first few days.

If your student is moving into an off campus apartment, consider getting them a Full size bed frame vs a Twin. Your student will appreciate the extra space, and it’s not a huge upgrade on size that will take up valuable room size.

Cleaning Supplies
Most dorm rooms are not sparkly clean upon move-in. You’ll find layers or dust and dirt, so a Swiffer Wet Jet is a good start. A huge container of Lysol wipes will also make quick work of other surfaces.  Bring a TRASH bag for move in day! A BIG trash bag. You’ll be surprised what you haul out of there (packaging, used wipes and cleaning pads, etc.).

Medicine kit
Even without Covid in the mix, having a thermometer is a great tool to help diagnosing a possible fever. Get a small tub with a lid and add: pain relief, Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, thermometer, blister relief (mole skin from scout days), cold medicine, allergy meds, EpiPen (if prescribed one), cough drops, and any other special supplements/vitamins or healthy aids.

Over the Door Shoe Rack with Pockets
A clear over the door vinyl shoe rack with pockets is EXCELLENT for all of those random things from stain remover to batteries etc.  The clear pockets make everything visible and easy to get to.

Bed Risers
Elevating a dorm bed (if not lofting) is a great way to create more storage. Dorm Bed risers are available in the summer at local stores and Amazon. Some even have power and USB plugs built in to them! Your student will also be able to hide a set of drawers, roller cart or other storage containers with the extra space. If you don’t like LOOKING at the stored items, consider getting a long bed-skirt.

Smell Control
A couple of air fresheners (those solid ones are nice for closets) and the Damp Rid bags that hang and collect water are great for preventing mold growth – think sweaty workout wear and shoes.

Boujee Extras 
Does the room come with Air Conditioning? If not, can you add a room unit?  Make sure to get a SMALL AC unit as there is NOT alot of extra space!

Air filtration systems are small, quiet and really nice for reducing allergens and smells! This is the one we got our daughter & she loves it because it’s also a source of ‘white noise’ which is great for drowning out other noise in the hall.


Water filter – Most dorms do not have filtered water (sadly). You can get a basic filter one, or an electronic one that cleans the water and makes supplemented chilled vitamin drinks!

Stick Vacuum – Space is at a premium, but having a small space efficient stick vacuum will help reduce the dirt and dust that tracks in each day.