Bed Bath and Beyond has a great service to help out of state students. It works like a bridal registry. You get a scanner and you shop the store for items you need for your dorm. You scan the items and when you are done the store will catalogue your purchases and give you the address to the BBB closest to your school. You can pick up your order the day you move in to the dorm.
Don’t pack too much clothing-You will be sharing a tiny room with at least one other person. It will also be easier to keep your room clean if you do not have too many clothes.
Decorate your walls- You cannot put nails in the wall so you need to get Command damage free hanging hooks. You can make picture collages on Shutterfly or other photo sites. You can order posters on Poster.com. Some students like to hang lights similar to Christmas lights. I have even seen videos using decorative shower curtains used to soften the walls or make dividers.
Get some type of mattress topper-The beds at school are all different and some are very uncomfortable. I know this because I have been on college tours and stayed in the dorms.
Flip Flops and robes are nice for the community showers-I noticed some stores sell flip flops with small holes in them so the water can drain through. Robes or large towels are useful when walking through the hall after a shower.
Ear plugs and eye mask-I go back and forth about this because it is nice to have ear plugs if your roommate snores or if you live in a loud dorm but you will most likely get used to the noise after awhile if you do not use earplugs. I have been told not everyone gets used to the noise. They eye mask is great if your roommate is a night owl and you are not.
Multi power plug- Often there are not enough power plugs in the room. You may want to get one with a surge protector.
Most dorms are not air conditioned and it gets hot in the small rooms.
Fridge and Microwave- Need to check with the school. Some schools provide them or provide an opportunity to rent them. Some schools have one unit that has a microwave on top with the refrigerator down below. Some schools do not allow microwaves.
Plastic plates, bowls, Utensils- It is nice for a student to have cereal or a bagel available if they want a quick breakfast before heading to class. It is also nice to warm up left overs for a quick dinner. Of course you need to include dish soap so the student can clean them in the bathroom.
Rug- The floors in the room can get gritty and dirty and if you do not have a rug it is hard to get keep sand and dirt out of your bed.
Hand vacuum – It is nice to be able to spot clean the rug. Snacks can be spilled and it is great to be able to vacuum it up.
Printer- Check with your university. Most colleges have places you can print your documents but it may be far from you dorm. Other schools may have a computer lab in each dorm. If you do not need it you will have more room in your dorm. But it may be more convenient to have it right in your dorm. Printers with scanners are nice too.
Coffee maker- Small coffee makers or Keurigs may be nice for students that drink coffee in the morning. When your dorm is a distance from the cafeteria it may be easier to make a quick cup of coffee in your room.
Shower Caddy-Something to hold your, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, etc.