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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

High school graduation feels like it was just yesterday and you're looking forward to a summer full of fun with your friends before heading off to college. The school year may seem like it's far off in the distance, but the truth is, the next couple of months go fast. Heading to campus is closer than you think!

Packing up all the essentials you'll need on campus is a pretty involved process regardless of where you are in your college career. Whether it's your first time putting together a college dorm or you just want to double check to make sure you haven't forgotten anything when you head back to school this year, we've got you covered.

girl packing for her dorm
Shop dorm room essentials for girls at OCM

You don't want to overpack and be stuck in an overstuffed dorm room all year, but you also don't want to forget anything that will make college life a little bit easier. This shopping list of the dorm room essentials for girls is the only one you’ll need. Here’s a breakdown of everything that’s on our move-in checklist for girls:

  • All the dorm essentials for girls
  • What to bring and what to leave behind
  • Our picks for must-have dorm items

And when we say we'll be covering all of the essentials, we mean all of them. That means our best-selling dorm bedding sets for girls, bath products you won't want to do without in those communal bathrooms, dorm room organization essentials to help you stay on track all semester, and even cooking essentials for the girls lucky enough to be living in a college apartment this year.

It's a lot to cover, so let's get started!

The #1 Dorm Essential for Girls: Bedding

Best-Selling Dorm Bedding for Girls

Truth be told, dorm beds are kind of miserable no matter where you go to school. No matter if you’re going to loft your bed, bunk it with your roommate, or just leave it as is on the floor, you’re going to want to be prepared for a not-so-great mattress.

While there are ways to improve upon the mattress you’re given, we think you’ll also want to include a few other items to round out your bedding dorm room essentials. It’s almost universal that you’ll need a few things to make your sleeping space more comfy.

Click here to shop dorm bedding essentials for girls >>

✔️ Extra-long Sheets

These are a must-have for every girl’s dorm room. College mattresses typically come in the one size fits all of extra long, so you’ll need to make sure you get the appropriate sheets as well. Your sheets should be comfy and promote relaxation whenever you’re getting ready for bed at night. They shouldn’t be itchy, and they should keep you comfortably warm or cool, depending on the weather.

twin xl sheets with cheetah print


✔️ Dorm-Friendly Comforter/Quilt

Your comforter should really speak to your personality. After all, when anyone comes into your dorm room, the first thing they’re going to see is your bed and its comforter. You can decide whether you want to have a pattern on your comforter, or keep it simple with one color. You may even want to coordinate the color of your XL sheets with your bed spread. Choose a top blanket for your bed that is cozy and designed to keep you warm. 

✔️ Bed Pillows

You can never have too many pillows! Whether you want one or three bed pillows, make sure they’re of good quality and designed to support your head and neck. As a college student, you need to make sure you’re getting good rest each night. Without a sleep schedule, you may find it hard to do your best in class or give it your all in a sport or activity. 

✔️ Mattress Pad

Mattress pad if you’re worried about a bad back or a thin mattress. One of the best tricks to improving on a bad mattress is to use a mattress pad. Having a little extra padding and support can make all the difference between restless nights and getting some much needed sleep. You can find mattress pads in a variety of materials, so go with what feels the best to you. 

✔️ Throw Pillows

Why stop at just bed pillows for your bed? Because your bed is also going to be where you relax, hang out, or even study, you’re going to want more pillows. Throw pillows are a fantastic way to add a little bit of flavor or color to your dorm room decor. Choose one with a confidence-boosting saying and you’ll be prepared to take on the day.

pink throw pillow for dorms

✔️ Extra Blankets

blanket / throw for dorm
This is the blanket that you will sleep under during those chillier nights. Click here to shop blankets & throws.

Whether you’re always cold, or attend a school in a chilly climate, nothing ups the cozy factor of your college bedding than an extra blanket. You can choose from warm quilts, fuzzy microfiber, or even a weighted blanket to ensure you’re always ready to fight off any cold spells. 

✔️ Headboard

twin xl headboard for dorm
Maximum comfort is a must in your dorm room! You need to feel at home in your space to get the most out of your college experience. Click here to shop college headboards.

While not a necessity like XL sheets or a comforter, a headboard to add to your bed is a nice touch. If you tend to do a lot of studying or reading in your bed, it can also act as a buffer between you and the cold wall.

Next Up, Dorm Bathroom Must-Haves for College Girls

Everything You Need to Build a Dorm-Friendly Bathroom Routine

Communal bathrooms can be intimidating, but they’re a breeze once you’ve got the right gear. Of course, you’ll want your beauty products and favorite shampoos and soaps. We say splurge and get the best to make your shower experience more luxurious. Here are the bath essentials every girl needs in their shower caddy!

girl coming out of dorm bath


✔️ Shower Caddy

And one that's easy to carry, too. This should be the first thing you look for when returning to campus. When you need to walk down the hall to take a shower, you’re going to need to bring all your items with you. Unfortunately, it’s not a good idea to leave your products in the communal shower, you may not find them when you return! Instead get a shower caddy that allows you to easily cart around your bath items. Make sure it has holes so that the water easily drains. 

✔️ Towels and Washcloths

There’s nothing better than wrapping up in a big towel after a shower. Choose a set of soft towels that include washcloths and hand towels in addition to bath towels. Say no to those loofahs that can attract bacteria, and use a washable washcloth instead. Any color will work with this bath essential, but consider choosing a color that complements the rest of your dorm decor.

towels and washcloth
Investing in a good towel set (or two) will keep your skin happy when it comes to shower time. Click here to shop college bath essentials.

✔️ Robe or Bath Wrap

robe
This One Size Bathrobe lets you relax in ultimate comfort.

While you could just dart down to the bathroom in your towel, why not take your time and walk down in a robe instead? Robes are such an easy way to have your hands free while you make a trip to the shower. Plus, who doesn’t like lounging around their dorm room post-shower in a robe!

✔️ Shower Shoes

dorm shower slippers
Shower shoes to keep your feet clean and safe. Click here to shop shower shoes.

Besides a towel, the number one bath essential for girls are shower shoes. Never go barefoot into a communal shower or bathroom, instead opt for a pair of shower shoes that are easy to slip on. Make sure the bottoms have traction because showers and tile can be slippery when wet.

✔️ Personal Care Items

There are some things you can skip if you're living in a dorm -- like toilet paper, hand soap, and bathroom trash can liners -- which will likely be provided by your university. But if you're one of the chosen ones who has a private bathroom for your room or suite, or you'll be living in a college apartment, you'll want to add those to your list too.

But now it's time to stock your shower caddy with all of the essentials. Don't forget about:

  • Shampoo + Conditioner
  • Soap/Body wash
  • Skincare
  • Lotions + Moisturizers
  • Sunscreen
  • Shaving cream + Razors
  • Hair Styling Products + Tools
  • Nail Polish + Remover
  • Makeup + Brushes

You might also want to consider gathering a small supply of first aid essentials to keep in your cabinet. Your campus should have a medical center for help with more serious wellness concerns, but it never hurts to have what you need to deal with minor aches and pains on hand. Here's what we recommend:

  • Any prescription medications you're taking (Pro Tip: Don't forget to have your doctor transfer your prescription to a pharmacy on or near campus if you'll need it refilled!)
  • Bandaids + Neosporin
  • Cold Medicine
  • Allergy Medicine
  • Antacids
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ice/heat pack
  • If you're involved in athletics: It may also be a good idea to have some wraps + muscle soothing patches, too
dorm with storage options
While in a dorm, it’s crucial to know your storage options.

Out of Sight: How to Make the Most of Dorm Room Storage

No Space? No Problem. Gorgeous, Gorgeous Girls Can Maximize Their Dorm Storage with a Few Essentials

Small spaces mean getting creative with your storage. No matter what you might think, you can stay organized and keep your dorm room looking great with minimal effort. You just need to know about all the types of storage options available to you!

✔️ Storage Trunk

One of the easiest ways to ensure you have as much space as possible is to make sure you have a trunk to store your things in. There are items that you’ll use on a daily basis in your dorm room, and then there are items that you’ll only need to use once in a while. Instead of having everything out all of the time taking up space, trunks offer you the opportunity to store those items safely away. They come in all kinds of colors, so you’re sure to find one that fits right in with your decor. Trunks can also easily be converted into seating space when you have friends over! They’ll never know you’re storing all kinds of items out of sight in them. 

storage trunk for girl's dorm room
Trunks never go out of style, and come in all kinds of colors, sure to fit the aesthetic of your dorm room. Click here to shop storage trunks.

✔️ Ottomans

Similar to trunks, ottomans also make a great storage option for small spaces. If you have the room for a chair, sofa, or futon in your dorm room, they also make great foot rests. Choose one with a lid so that you can pack all those items you’re not currently using daily away. These also double as a great seat for movie night!

✔️ Over-the-Door Hanging Storage

Create a vanity in your dorm room when space is limited with this over the door vanity.

Chances are the closet in your dorm room is not the same size as your closet at home. This is why it’s important to make sure you only take the clothes you’re actually going to wear with you to school. Because of the small storage size, it’s a great idea to invest in an over the door storage unit. Whether you want to put your sweaters in them until the weather turns cold, or would prefer to use one designed to hold shoes and accessories, you can’t go wrong with this storage option.

✔️ Under Bed Storage

A lot of college students decide to loft or lift their beds in order to get in even more space. If you choose to loft your bed, you can move your desk and chair underneath it to create more living space in your room. If you choose to do this, you’ll also create space for additional storage boxes. You can create more space by lifting your bed as well. While this does not make enough space to put your desk or chair, it does offer plenty of space to store trunks or other boxes.

Dorm Cooking essentials for college girls

Everything You Need for Dorm Cooking

Don’t forget these college kitchen dorm essentials for girls!

Believe it or not, but you can cook when you’re living in the dorms. Although you’re not expected to create anything super fancy, there are some recipes that are made specifically for dorm room microwaves. That being said, there are a few kitchen staples you’ll want to make sure you have on hand in your dorm room so you’re not always ordering take out.

✔️ Plates, Bowls, and Cutlery

These are a must even if you don’t really plan on doing a lot of dorm room cooking. You’ll want plates so you can enjoy a bagel each morning, reheat food, as well as enjoy a slice of pizza or take out once in a while. Bowls can be especially handy for your morning cereal or to mix up some easy to make recipes for your microwave.

Kitchen Tool Set for college girls
Click here to shop college kitchen essentials.

✔️ Microwave

This is definitely an essential item for any girl’s college dorm room. Your microwave will help you reheat any leftovers, or make sure your ramen or soup is piping hot. Microwaves are also a convenient way to boil water for tea or hot cocoa. Not to mention you may find that there are more than a few delicious dorm room friendly recipes out there you’d like to try.

✔️ Mini Fridge

They call smaller refrigerators dorm fridges for a reason—they’re the perfect size for a small space! Having a fridge will allow you to keep essentials such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, or even prevent your leftovers from going bad. Make sure to get a size that will easily fit in your dorm room, and that you actually plan on using all that fridge space.

✔️ Food Storage Containers

Whether you want to easily store the pizza you had delivered, or need somewhere to put your lunch leftovers, food storage containers should be included on your checklist. They come in all shapes and sizes, so pick some out that will fit easily in your smaller dorm fridge.

✔️ Measuring Cup

Whether you're making microwaved eggs, or want to enjoy a brownie in a cup recipe, you’ll find that having a measuring cup on hand will help you do just that.

✔️ Can Opener

Whether you can’t get enough soup, or just want to ensure you’re getting enough vegetables, having a can opener on hand can make all the difference in the world.

✔️ Refillable Water Bottle

Now this is a water bottle with personality! It holds 16 oz., has a removable mouthpiece, and is double-walled (this reduces condensation!). Oh, and did we mention the beautiful loose glitter that is wrapped around it?

You’ll want to avoid using one time use water bottles and instead get a refillable water bottle to take to and from class. 

✔️ Coffee Maker + Mugs

When space and portability are important, choose the NEW Keurig® Mini Plus Coffee Maker.

Not all dorms allow coffee/Keurig makers, so double check with your school before including this.

✔️ Soap + Dish Towel

Once you make dishes, you’ll also be responsible for cleaning them. Dishes and cups are super easy to clean in your sink, as long as you have some dish soap, a cleaning cloth, and a towel to dry them off with.

Home Office Computer Desk with Shelf and Metal Mesh Basket in White

Desk and Technology Must-Haves

No College Move-In Checklist Would Be Complete Without Essential School Supplies

Keep yourself organized with everything you need -- staplers, paperclips, pens, and pencils, together in a sturdy box or desk organizer. You may also want to invest in the must-haves of studying, like highlighters, notecards, notebooks, and other portable items you can take to and from class and study sessions. In addition, consider picking up these items too.

✔️ Laptop + Charger

It goes without saying that you’ll need to bring your computer and charger! You should have ample space on your dorm room desk to fit your computer as well as have easy access to your pens, staplers, notebooks, etc.

✔️ Planner

One of the BEST things you can have in your study area is a wall planner. It makes it simple to write down essential information, keep track of due dates, and plan for any upcoming campus events. You can also grab a paper version to carry with you if that's more your style, or even just a nice notebook to set up a bullet journal to keep your to-dos organized.

dry erase wall calendar for organizing a busy college schedule
This dry erase planner makes it so easy to keep track of your daily and monthly schedule. Click here to shop organization essentials.

✔️ Desk Lamp

Chances are you’re going to do a lot of studying at your desk. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a good desk lamp to help you. Not only are the overhead lights of dorms kind of small, they may not give you the amount of light you need while studying late into the night.

✔️ Power Strip/Extension Cord

A great way to ensure all your electronics stay organized and charged is with a powerstrip. They protect your electronic devices from surges, and they give plenty of outlets for your items to charge from.

✔️ Headphones

One of the easiest ways to get into the studying mode is by using headphones to zone out. When you really need to concentrate, consider picking up a good pair of headphones to help cancel the outside world so you can get some studying done.

✔️ Backpack or Bag

Every college girl needs a good backpack or messenger bag! How else will you tote around your books to class?

Dorm Room Decorating Essentials for Girls

Add Some Personality to Your Move-In Checklist with Decor Items That Show Off Your Style

Now this category is where you can have some fun! Mix in some touches from home (like a favorite throw pillow or a picture of your BFFs) and add in some new, adult items like a potted plant or a gorgeous vintage mirror. The trick is to come up with a theme or particular style and work with it until it feels like home. Consider picking up some of these dorm decor items to truly make your place feel like home.

✔️ Wall Art + Decor

How you choose to decorate your walls is totally up to you! Consider putting up mirrors to enlarge your space, or posters that speak to your sense of style are great places to start. If you’d prefer to go with an aesthetic, that works too! Anything from minimalist, boho, to indie are all popular ways to decorate the walls of your dorm room.

You can really make your dorm room a great place to hang out with the help of some wall decor. 

✔️ Tapestries

If you like boho, naturalistic vibes, consider adding a tapestry to your wall. These designs are always warm and inviting, and are sure to give off chill, comfortable vibes. You can also attach them to your lofted bed to make a curtain as well.

✔️ String Lights

Nothing says cozy and relaxed quite like string lights. They also help take your dorm room from boring, to homey in no time. Consider stringing them around your room, or attaching them under your bed and in your study area. 

And Don’t Forget Cleaning and Laundry Supplies

Although not as much fun, these are dorm room essentials for girls too

Colleges do not give their students cleaning services for their rooms -- you’re in charge of that. This means you need to stock up on cleaning supplies and gear. A broom or a sweeper are great to have handy, as well as paper towels and some basic sanitizing wipes. Because you’ll also be doing your own laundry, make sure you arrive with these essentials too.

This laundry bag is sturdy enough to bring your clothes safely to the laundry facilities. Click here to shop laundry essentials.

✔️ Laundry Bag/Basket

You’ve got to have a place to store your dirty clothes! Plus having a laundry bag or basket makes it super easy to tote your clothes to the laundry facilities.

✔️ Soaps and Dryer Sheets

Obviously you'll need something to actually get those clothes clean. You'll want a good laundry detergent for sure, but you may also want to bring fabric softener and color-safe bleach to keep your stuff cozy and bright while you're at school. Dryer sheets or dryer balls will reduce static and help your things dry properly.

✔️ Drying Rack

Some items you won’t want to put in the dryer, so make sure you have a collapsible drying rack for your dorm room. Drying racks are also a great way to save some money on drying—if you have a small load, you can just put it on the rack to dry instead of paying for a dryer.

✔️ Wipes or Surface Spray

No matter what kind of cozy chairs and pillows you bring to campus, seating space in a dorm room is pretty limited. Chances are, your desks and tables will be very multifunctional. Sometimes they're for studying, sometimes they're for getting ready, sometimes they're for sitting down to dinner (or a midnight snack). It's always helpful to have something on hand to wipe up and spills between uses!

There you have it, our list of dorm essentials for girls. Make sure you pick up these items before heading back to your dorm next semester!