Your dorm checklist before you leave for the holiday break

Here's what you need to check off your list ✅

Gray dorm with white table
(Image credit: Pottery Barn Dorm)

The semester has flown by and you’re just a few short days away from heading home and are wondering what should be on your dorm checklist before you leave for the holiday break. 

Naturally, you don't want to leave your dorm in a mess, but you're not sure exactly what you need to be doing before you head home for the holidays. Don't panic, preparing to go home for the break is easier than you'd think. 

In order to get your dorm room in order before you head off, all you need to do is ensure that your trusty dorm supplies are neat and organized. Need a little helping hand with what you should check off before you head off for the holiday break? We've got you covered. 

Here’s what you need to do in your dorm before you leave for the holiday break

Don't make the mistake of rushing off for the holiday break without taking the time to check all of the important stuff off of your to-do list. 

1. Unplug your lamps (and all your other electronics too)

Before you leave your dorm for an extended period, it’s always a good idea to unplug all of your lamps. And, it’s not just your lamps that need to be unplugged, it’s also a good idea to go around unplugging all of your other electronics, from power cords to mini-fridges. Pro Tip: Also remember to pack all of your essential chargers — I'm talking your phone, laptop, and iPad! Trust me, you don't want to be stuck at your parent's house without them.

2. Empty out your mini fridge 

Talking of mini-fridges, it’s also a good idea to empty out your mini-fridge, removing any food or drinks from inside. Before giving the mini-fridge a clean, wiping out the interior as well as cleaning the exterior of the unit. This will prevent any nasty smells from taking over, gross! Plus, you can make a list of items to bring back from home if you want to stock up.

3. Take the trash out 

Make sure to empty all of the trash cans in your dorm room before you leave for the holiday break. Otherwise, you’ll probably return to a rather smelly room and potentially a dorm that’s been invaded by pests. It will be so much nicer to coma back to campus and be greeted by a neat, tidy, and fresh-smelling room!

4. Water the plants 

If you’ve got plants in your dorm room, then it’s important to water them before you head off for the holidays. If you’re worried that your plants won’t have enough water to last them for the entire period you’re gone, you could always opt to get an automatic plant waterer from Amazon

5. Strip your bed and wash your bedding

Before you leave for the holiday break, make sure to take the time to strip your bed and wash (and dry) all of your bedding. That way, when you come back after the holiday break you won’t have to worry about getting all of your bedding cleaned and ready to use. When you come back you can just flop down and get cozy right away. Dreamy!

6. Shut your windows 

To make sure that your dorm room remains secure while you’re gone (and free of any pests) make sure to shut all your windows and lock them. You really don't want to come back and realize a pigeon or mouse has moved in! Plus, it's a major security risk so make sure you check before you head off.


By taking the time to complete the tasks above, you can ensure that when you return after your holiday break your dorm is neat, orderly, and pest-free. Now don't stress, some simple dorm hacks can help your semester go nice and smooth.

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.


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