16 Dorm Room Essentials You Didn’t Know You Needed, But You Totally Do
Dorm room shopping is tricky. Freshmen typically buy a bunch of things they'll never actually use, and returning college students are bound to leave a thing or two off the list. We've got you covered, though.
Smart bed risers
One or two outlets in your dorm room won’t be enough to charge your laptop and phone and power your alarm clock and TV, let alone any of your roommate’s belongings. This four-piece USB bed lift set solves that problem by providing you with extra outlets, plus does double duty of creating more space under your bed for storage. Find out even more clever storage hacks.
Dorm room closets are notoriously small, so any extra help making a small space feel bigger will make a world’s difference. This 50-pack of slim velvet hangers is ideal for storing as many garments as possible. Plus, the velvet keeps clothes from sliding off and piling on the floor. Check out these 17 genius hacks for organizing your college dorm room, too.
Work from home
For Sundays when it might be too difficult to make it to the library, this adjustable laptop tray marries comfort with efficiency. The tray has adjustable-height legs and four tilting positions for maximum comfort, as well as a side-mounted cup holder to keep electronics safe.
A desk stapler
Shockingly basic, a stapler is a must-have for all college students. There’s nothing more demoralizing than losing points on an assignment because an essay wasn’t stapled; in some cases, professors might not accept the assignment at all. College kids do not want to bet on finding a stapler (with staples!) at the library or in their college’s building when a major assignment is due.
Under bed storage
When you’re in college you don’t have storage under the sink storage in the bathroom or the hallway closet to keep your extra items in. Sturdy and stylish bins are perfect for keeping your extra toiletries, towels and blankets, and clothing organized.
Hang it up
A tapestry is a great way to add some flair to a small dorm room, especially ones without drywall. This Five Palms Tapestry from Dormify brings a bit of Cali to wherever campus may be. It also serves as a great backdrop for Instagrams. Don’t forget to invest heavily in Command Velcro picture-hanging strips, which can hold several pounds up on the wall without causing damage.
Fold it up
Gamers and sports fanatics alike will need some sort of folding chair, like this University of Maryland one. These chairs work great for tailgating outside, but they’re also perfect for when friends come over to play video games or watch sporting events. Because it folds right back up, it can be stashed in a closet or under the bed when not in use. Check out these super strange scholarships that helped some students pay for school.
Avoid plantar warts
Regardless if the bathroom is an on-suite or communal, it’s likely not to remain clean for long. Flip-flops are a must for college students to avoid various foot fungus diseases. Showaflops offer the bonus of having holes in the flip-flops, which allow them to dry faster and provide a better grip when showering, plus they come in a multitude of colors, patterns, and styles.
Forget a car, college students today now have everything they need at their fingertips. Especially for students attending school in towns without quick access to grocery stores, subscription services like Blue Apron and HelloFresh are actual lifesavers. For entertainment, HBO Go brings Game of Thrones, Netflix has Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Hulu provides The Handmaid’s Tale. Beauty lovers can get high-end and green beauty products through Birchbox, and Boxed will send items like paper towels and mac and cheese in bulk.
The air quality—or lack thereof—is hard to assess before moving into a dorm room. A humidifier is a great way to ensure you are able to breathe well through the night. Similarly, a fan or heat lamp might be helpful, depending on the climate of your university.
Keep the bugs out
Arguably the most important thing you can buy for your room, a bed bug blocker zips around university-issued mattresses. If the last resident brought bugs back from a camping trip or the mattresses simply weren’t cleaned before your arrival, this is the best way to make sure you wouldn’t even know. After your mattress is protected, slap a topper on it because a bare mattress is likely to be less than comfortable.
Pump up the volume
Small spaces require multitasking objects. The iHome, enabled by Bluetooth technology, is perfect for playing music, charging your phone—it even has Android and iPhone capabilities—and waking you up for class in the morning—it even has Android and iPhone capabilities. Follow these secrets from professional organizers to keep your dorm room clean.
Lugging all of your toiletries back and forth to the shower in college is a huge pain. Having a bag or plastic bin to keep the essentials in is a convenient way to keep everything organized. Getting a shower caddy with a hook is a bonus so that you can hang it over the door instead of letting it sit on the germy shower floor.
Roll it down
A hamper is a must-have for any college student, especially those who are schlepping dirty clothes to a communal laundry room located in the building’s basement. A good hamper should stay upright, be light enough to move back and forth, and not break if you haven’t done laundry in a while. We like this rolling hamper, which is especially convenient for those living in rooms on the opposite side of the building from the laundry room.
Many university-issued bed frames do not have a headboard, which can cause pillows to get stuck between the bed and wall. It is also difficult to lean back in bed when you’re watching TV or working on a paper. This therapeutic oversize foam backrest is a great way to keep your posture in check. A body pillow is also another way to plug the space before adding regular pillows to your bed.
Light it up
Extra lighting is crucial for dim dorm rooms only lit by fluorescent overhead bulbs. These desk lamps boast extra storage, an outlet, and USB port built right into the base, and the flexible gooseneck helps direct light where you need it the most. Next, read about how to organize your closet (it’s pretty tricky when you share it with another person).