College Dorm Move-in Checklist

We’ve compiled the Six Degrees Team dorm move-in checklist for all the parents taking their kids to college in the Fall. We are busy Seattle area Realtors, and many of us are moms of teenagers including college-bound teens. We’re well versed in helping families move homes, and now we’re ready to share our essential must-haves for dorm move-in day!

Do you want a printable version of this checklist? Click here to download a PDF.

Move-in Day Must-haves

tools in a toolkit

  1. Collapsable Dolly: Make moving boxes, furniture, and other heavy items from your car to your dorm room with a low profile dolly.
  2. Jumbo Plastic Zipper Bags: Use them for packing and moving clothes, bedding and more. Then keep them in the dorm room for under bed storage!
  3. Folding Step Stool – Need we say more?
  4. Toolkit: A basic toolkit for minor repairs or assembling furniture.
  5. Cleaning Supplies: Disinfectant wipes, a small vacuum or broom, and dish soap.
  6. Command Hooks and Strips: For hanging items without damaging the walls. Get various sizes of hooks to hold things big or small.
  7. Zip Ties – These can come in handy for containing cords and more.

Bedding and Comfort

Pink pillows with a white and black striped throw pillow

  1. Sheets and Mattress Protector: Don’t forget a mattress protector too!
  2. Comforter and Blankets: Choose a comforter that’s cozy for colder months and lightweight blankets for warmer weather.
  3. Pillows and Pillowcases: Bring your favorite pillow along with extra pillowcases.

Bath and Laundry

Shower caddy with toiletries

  1. Towels and Washcloths: A couple of sets of bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths.
  2. Shower Caddy and Toiletries: A caddy to carry your toiletries to and from the bathroom, including shampoo, conditioner, soap, and toothbrush.
  3. Laundry Bag or Basket: Something durable to carry clothes to the laundry room.
  4. Laundry Supplies: Detergent, fabric softener, and a stain remover stick.

Storage Solutions

open drawer with an organizer full of office supplies

  1. Under-Bed Storage Bins: Utilize the space under your bed for extra storage.
  2. Closet Organizers: Hanging shelves and shoe racks can maximize closet space.
  3. Desk Organizers: Keep your study area tidy with organizers for pens, paper, and other supplies.
  4. Drawer Dividers: These can help keep your drawers neat and organized.

Kitchen Essentials

a white mini fridge against a yellow background

  1. Mini Fridge and Microwave: If allowed, these can be lifesavers for quick meals and snacks.
  2. Reusable Dishes and Utensils: A couple of plates, bowls, cups, and a set of utensils.
  3. Water Bottle and Coffee Mug: Stay hydrated and caffeinated with your own reusable bottles.


A white power strip with cables plugged in

  1. Power Strips and Extension Cords with USB chargers: Dorm rooms often have limited outlets, so these are very handy.
  2. Desk Lamp: A good quality lamp with adjustable brightness for late-night studying.
  3. Headphones or Earbuds: To study or enjoy media without disturbing your roommate.

Take the stress out of moving day by getting through the checklist in May and June.

If you’re considering a downsize or move now that the kids are away at school, then you’re in the right place! One of our specialties is helping families downsize – we can help with decluttering, repairs and update to get your home on the market. Learn more here.

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