The Dorm Essentials Every Freshman Needs in Delaware

Moving into your first dorm can be overwhelming. With the help of the University of Delaware packing list, here are some dorm essentials to add to your shopping list.

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Moving into your first college dorm can be equally exciting and nerve-wracking. During a time filled with so much change, it’s easy to forget about little everyday essentials you may need once you’re out on your own. With the help of the packing list from the University of Delaware’s housing info page, we’ve compiled a guide to all the products we recommend for your first dorm. From creative décor and storage solutions to everyday household items, here are the dorm essentials every freshman needs in Delaware.

A Good Planner

If you ask returning students for their advice to freshmen, many will say the same thing: “Buy the planner!”

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Even if you haven’t used one in the past to keep track of your high school classes, athletics and extra-curriculars, you’ll find that deadlines pile up fast your freshman year. With a lot less guidance and formal help from peers and staff, it’s important to take control of your own planning and preparedness. We recommend something highly customizable that you can have fun with. The Happy Planner has plenty of fun designs with different layouts, so you can find a planner that works for you. If the customization isn’t as important to you, you can always go for a more basic planner like this option from Amazon.


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Bedding, Home Goods and Décor

Twin XL Bed Sheets: The bed is typically the centerpiece of a dorm room. We recommend a set of comfortable, high-quality sheets in a solid color so you can switch out things like comforters, accent pillows and throws to personalize the space.

A Comforter, Quilt or Duvet: Choose something with some personality! Complement with throw pillows and blankets. Pictured below is a butterfly quilt and sham set and forest green chunky knit throw blanket.


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Twin XL Mattress Topper: A good night’s sleep before exams or deadlines is essential, and those dorm beds can be a little stiff. For the most comfortable sleep, we recommend a mattress topper.

A Soft Robe: Especially in the case of shared bathrooms, a good robe is a dorm essential. If you don’t have one, this option from Pottery Barn is perfectly soft and luxurious.

Soft Lighting: Most dorm buildings offer harsh florescent lighting, so for late-night study sessions and hang-outs, opt for a softer string light set or multi-purpose desk lamp.


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Storage, Storage, Storage: Typical dorm setups include a bed, a wardrobe and a desk. When it comes to dorm essentials, you can’t have enough creative storage solutions. A set of fabric drawers is always a good option, or go for a set of over-the-door hanging shelves for a dorm or closet door.

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Décor: Making a space you love is such an underrated way to improve overall mental health. You can always check thrift stores for affordable art, shop local artists or pick out wall art that matches your preferred aesthetic on Dormify. Flip through the images below for inspiration!


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Laundry Hamper: We recommend a tall hamper, as it takes up less floor space. Don’t forget laundry supplies like detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets.

Bath & Personal Care

A Shower Caddy: In the case of shared showers, something to easily transport everything to and from the dorm bathroom is a commonly forgotten dorm essential.

Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner, Deodorant: All the things you already have at home. Don’t forget to pack them!

Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Because fresh breath is always a good idea.

Good Skincare: Don’t underestimate the impact stress can have on your skin! With the stress of freshman year, skincare is an easily overlooked dorm essential. (Even if you haven’t kept a consistent skincare routine in the past, better safe than sorry!) Burt’s Bees has an affordable skincare line with a great moisturizer, face wash and collagen serum.


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Clothes, Shoes and More

Hangers: We recommend these velvet-lined space-saving hangers for small dorm wardrobes.

A full-body mirror: A mirror is essential for your morning ‘fit check! An over-the-door hanging option offers convenience and doesn’t take up any extra space.

Shoes: With shoes, it’s best to stick to basics due to storage limitations in a dorm. Think: comfortable walking shoes, dress shoes, sandals and winter/snow-friendly shoes. When it comes to walking in the winter, don’t be afraid to splurge on a good waterproof and snow-friendly shoe. We recommend Columbia winter boots.

A good insulated jacketWalking to class in the winter can get cold! A serious winter coat is a must.


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Prepare for a rainy day: Whether you tend to opt for a good hooded rain jacket or an umbrella, you’ll certainly run into a rainy day or two, and it’s best to be prepared. A compact umbrella is a good option and can have a permanent home in your bag so you never get caught in the rain.

Other University & Dorm Essentials

Paper Goods: We’re talking paper towels, toilet paper and tissues.

Cleaning Supplies: Amazon has several cleaning bundle options, which are a great starting place.

First Aid kit: You never know when you’ll have to clean and bandage a small cut or minor burn. A simple First Aid kit is a dorm essential you want to have on hand.

A mini fridgeSome college freshmen opt out of this dorm essential, but we recommend grabbing one! A mini fridge means easier access to brain fuel, whether that’s a yogurt in the morning or cold brew coffee with cream. This compact choice even includes a small “freezer” section and ice tray, so you can skip the Starbucks line and make your own iced coffee.


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Snacks: It’s obviously a good idea to keep some healthy options like fruits and veggies or protein bars, but indulging in your favorite snacks can be good for your mental health. Don’t be afraid to grab snack packs of your favorite chips or some ice cream if you have freezer space.

A Thermos: Whether it’s to keep ice water cold throughout the day or make iced coffee last through your morning class, an insulated tumbler is certainly a college essential. We love the YETI double-wall vacuum insulated tumblers.

Office & School Supplies: Dorm shopping can feel overwhelming. Don’t forget your notebooks, pens, headphones and laptop!

Related: 5 Road Trips to Take From Delaware Before Summer Ends

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