Residence Hall Room Essentials

As a student living on campus for the first time, this list will help you decide what is absolutely necessary for your room! Only bring what you are actually going to use! Feel free to print out this list and take it shopping with you.


  • Pillows
  • Big Pillows (Help when you want to get comfy or lean against while studying)
  • Fitted Sheets and Sheets (Our Residence Halls have extra-long twin beds, so it helps to buy extra long sheets and fitted sheets!)
  • Heavy Blanket or Comforter
  • Pillow Cases
  • Alarm Clock
  • Mirror
  • Mattress Pad (really helps!)
  • Sleeping Bag (If your having a guest over, or you are a guest, this might come in handy)

Bathroom Supplies:

  • Shower Caddy or Bucket (Makes it easy to carry your things to the shower)
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Body wash
  • Flip-Flops
  • Towels
  • Bath Robe or Wrap around towel
  • Hair Dryer
  • Comb
  • Brush
  • Hair ties/ headbands/ hair accessories
  • Make-up (Ladies 😉
  • Contact lens case/Glasses case
  • Case for retainer if you have one
  • Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine Products
  • Razors/Shaving
  • Q-tips
  • Chapstick/ Carmex
  • Hair spray/gel/mousse
  • Nail clippers
  • Moisturizer
  • Perfume/Cologne
  • Band-aids/ other first-aid items

Desk/Study Area:

  • Desk Lamp
  • Desk Organizer
  • Laptop (This is not necessary, we have computers in every building that you can use for FREE!)
  • Pens, pencils, highlighters
  • Markers, crayons, colored pencils (You never know when you’ll need them!)
  • Tape, Tape, Tape!! (I use it to hang decorations 🙂 ) (Scotch tape and good sticky packing tape)
  • Stapler/Staples
  • Post-it notes
  • Index Cards
  • Plenty of paper
  • Folders
  • Notebooks (Lots of note-taking)
  • Scissors
  • Calculator
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Ruler
  • Calender (I bought a dry erase calender, K-mart $4, it’s nice and easy to use)
  • Planner
  • Dry erase board (Everyone puts one outside their door and leaves funny messages, it’s great)
  • Desk pad ( I use it to write down little notes, but it’s not necessary)

Food Supplies:

  • Cups, mugs, plates, bowls, eating utensils
  • Small Refrigerator (Max. Size is 4 cubic feet, these are NOT necessary, but it is definitely a nice addition to the room)
  • Microwave (Only heating appliance allowed)
  • Napkins
  • Your favorite snacks (Try to keep it healthy, but having your fave snacks can make you feel at home)
  • Cereal (Best friend at breakfast time)
  • Fruit
  • Water bottles
  • Tupperware
  • Blender (Definitely not necessary, but I love my smoothies)
  • Whatever you like to eat (mostly snacks, because you have a great meal plan here)

Laundry/ Cleaning:

We have free laundry here! Washing machines and dryers galore!

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Fabric Softener
  • A hamper, or laundry bag (Make sure you can carry it easily)
  • A stain remover (My friends use Tide-to-go)
  • Paper towels
  • Broom/Swiffer Duster
  • Clorox wipes
  • Windex
  • Dish soap
  • Vacuum (I bought a handheld dirt devil, Wal-mart $15)
  • Trash bags


Do you need a printer? NO! We have free printing too!

  • Ethernet cord (This really comes in handy when you’re looking for a speedy internet connection, we have Wi-Fi too!)
  • Laptop (Again, not necessary, but nice to have)
  • Laptop case (Just in case you’re carrying it to the library and don’t trust yourself not to drop it)
  • Laptop lock (Our campus is one of the top safest campuses in Illinois, I don’t need one, and you probably wont either)
  • Extension cord
  • Chargers (For phones, cameras, laptops, etc.)
  • Camera (Make memories!)
  • Batteries
  • USB drive/ jump drive/ flash drive
  • Small fan (We have great AC and heating so I don’t use one, if you think you’d like a fan…you can get one)
  • MP3 player
  • Stereo/iHome
  • Power strip/surge protector
  • TV ( You can bring a TV, we have great cable here!)
  • Gaming systems (Go Gamers!!)
  • DVD player


  • Hangers
  • Sewing Kit
  • Pants/Shorts
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Bring something for all different types of weather!!
  • Winter jackets, boots, hats, gloves, etc.
  • Rain jackets, rain boots, UMBRELLA!
  • Flip-flops
  • One formal outfit
  • Sportswear
  • Pajamas/Nightwear
  • Belts
  • Slippers
  • Bathing suit/swim trunks (You never know when you’ll need it)


  • Under-bed storage bins (Get long ones, I use them for sweaters, food, miscellaneous items)
  • Stand up drawers ( I bought these awesome plastic stand up drawers at Wal-mart for about $10 each, I keep my odds and ends in them)
  • Medicine
  • Vitamins (Important to get your nutrients!)
  • Kleenex
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Air fresheners + Febreeze
  • Posters or wall decorations (Have fun with it)
  • Command Damage-Free Hanging wall hooks (Perfect for hanging lights, keys, etc.)
  • Floor rug
  • You can bring a plant (I have bamboo, it adds a nice touch)
  • Cards (So many nights full of card playing in the res. halls)
  • Board games (Bring your favorite and get some people to play :)! )
  • Movies (How we spend most of the weekend)

Tips on expensive items such as a TV, Microwave, and Small fridge:

While these are necessary by any means, many people speak with their roommates before the semester starts and agree who will buy the TV, microwave, or fridge. You can have one person buy the fridge and the other buy the tv and microwave so that it equals the price of the fridge.

Personally, I bought my small refrigerator at Wal-Mart for $128 dollars. It is a Haier 3.3 cu ft, 2 doors, a freezer and a refrigerator. It is the perfect size and keeps all my food nice and cold.

I have seen decent sized TV’s at Wal-mart for only $99, and I have seen microwaves at Wal-mart for as little as $35 that work great!

Wal-mart is definitely the place to buy appliances and if they do not have what you’re looking for, don’t go straight to Best Buy. Shop around for a bargain because in college, every penny counts. Try Target, K-mart, Lowes, Bed Bath and Beyond for your appliances.


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