Packing for the Dorms

Preparing to move away for college is exciting, stressful, and emotional (for students and parents). Students moving into dorm rooms need classroom supplies, dorm furniture, dorm room bedding, college-approved appliances, toiletries, towels, shower and bathroom supplies.

College dormitories offer a unique experience.  The college or university is an excellent resource.  Check the university website and student welcome packet before buying too many supplies for college.  Student housing provides a checklist of student necessities, including dorm room packing lists, prohibited appliances, and student supplies.

Small, simple items usually get left behind.  Shower supplies and toiletries are easy to forget.  Make a checklist for toiletries, towels, personal items, and bathroom supplies necessary for living in student dorms. 

The following list includes must have shower and bath supplies for students living in dorm rooms or residence halls.  

Dorm Bathroom Supplies - Shower Totes or Shower Caddy

College dormitories and residence halls typically have community bathrooms.  The dorm bathrooms have toilets, sinks, mirrors, and single stall showers with shower curtains.  A shower caddy or shower tote is a must have bathroom supply for students living in dorm rooms.  The dorm shower caddy is convenient and easy to carry.  Use a shower caddy or a shower tote bag to keep personal hygiene items and toiletries organized and together.

Dorm bathrooms do not offer the privacy and security of home.  Toiletries no longer sSaltwater Canvas Blue Mesh Tote - College Dorm Shower CaddyCredit: Amazon.comit handy in the bathroom.  College theft rates are very high.  One way to avoid college theft is to keep personal supplies organized and in their own space.  Shower totes help with the toiletries and bathroom supplies.

Shower totes are available at many stores, including Amazon.   Two of the best selling shower totes for college dorms are the Collapsible Dorm Caddy Shower Tote and the Saltwater Canvas Blue Mesh Tote - College Dorm Shower Caddy. 

Students that take advantage of Amazon's student program can get discounts on college school supplies and free two day shipping.  This is a great deal for students that got a late start shopping for their school supplies, textbooks, and bathroom or housing supplies for college.

Shower Slippers, Shower Socks, and Flip Flops for Dorm Showers

A lot of dorm students have to use community bathrooms.  College dorm bathroom have germs and bacteria even when they are clean. Dorm bathrooms can get funky even if they do not look or smell bad.   

Community bathrooms are a breeding ground for foot fungus. Community bathrooms means sharing the bathroom and shower stall floor with other students feet and shower habits. The best way to prevent getting foot fungus in dorm bathrooms is to wear a pair of cheap flip flops in the shower.  Old Navy flip flops are perfect dorm shoes.  Old Navy flip flops are cheap, so you can buy more than one pair.  Flip flops make good shower shoes plus they are easy to slip on for middle of the night trips to the bathroom.

Shower socks, shower slippers, or flip flops are must have bathroom supplies for students living in the dorms.  Wear flip flops or other shower shoes in community bathrooms or showers.  Avoiding foot fungus and other grime on the bathroom or shower floor is a good hygiene practice. 

Dorm Bath Towels

Buy dorm towels.  Do not use big beach towels as dorm bath towels.  Space is limited.  Be practical. Bring one extra set of dorm towels, including bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, and a few kitchen towels. 

Girls with long hair need to bring a realistic number of dorm towels.  Bring an extra towel just for drying hair. 

Buy medium sized towels that can dry out by you hanging them up on a clothes hanger.  Air dry towels to prevent the musky smell and you can reuse them.  Dirty laundry piles up fast.  Washing towels is not likely to top the list of things to do.  Laundry access may be limited in the dorm, frat house, sorority house, or other shared student living arrangement. 

Shaving Razors

Shaving razors can pose a health risk.  It is possible to contract Hepatitis C by sharing an infected person's razor, if it has blood on it.  Avoid sharing shaving razors with others, even if you think it's safe.  Keep shavers and razors packed in a bathroom bag or shower caddy to prevent others from using them.  It is not uncommon for someone to "borrow" a razor or use the wrong one on accident.  Anyone can get Hepatitis C if they are exposed to it.

Extra Toiletries and Bathroom Supplies for Girls and Guys

Bathroom bag or case
toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, mouth wash
lotion, face wash
nail clippers, travel manicure set
tampons and pads
perfume or cologne
hair brush, comb, hair dryer, curling iron
hair spray, gel, styling products
shampoo, conditioner
razors, shavers, extra razors, shaving cream, aftershave
and other toiletries and bathroom supplies as necessary

Students that take prescription medication need to make arrangements with a pharmacy close to the college.  Prescription medications need to be kept in a safe place.  If you take a medication like Adderall or Ritalin it is probably a good idea not to tell other students, especially in the beginning. 

Sharing Toiletries and Bathroom Supplies

Students that live in dorms, residence halls, shared college housing, college campus apartments, sororities and frat houses need to remember that they share their bathroom.  Some girls and guys have great bathroom etiquette and others make a mess, leaving water on the bathroom floor and counters anytime they shower or brush their teeth.  No one wants to walk on a wet floor or put their hand in a puddle of another student's water.

Although there might be a few things that are left in the bathroom, consider that every person who comes in the house with your housemates might use your bathroom supplies. 

Use checklists while packing dorm room supplies. Guys and girls checklists for bathrooms supplies and toiletries are going to vary, but it can't hurt to use more than one packling checklist to cover everything.

Hopefully this list of toiletries and bathroom supplies will help students and parents.  Students that are packing for college dorm room living need to plan smart because space is limited. The luxuries of home change in a shared living environment like dorm rooms and other types of college housing.  Pack toiletries and bathroom stuff to add a bit of home comfort.  Living in the dorms is one way to meet other students, socialize, and make friends.