5 Essentials You Need for Your Dorm Room

By Jill Scherr, Student at Academy of Art University


If you were anything like me growing up, you always loved any excuse to shop, especially trips to buy back-to-school supplies so you could be super prepared for the first day of school/college.

I’ve learned over the years that it is great to be prepared … just not over prepared … and to wait to feel things out as you adjust into college life. Believe me, the novelty and excitement for buying those school supplies usually wears off as soon as the jam-packed syllabus for each course comes your way. So why not leave a few fun things on your list to shop for after you arrive on campus, because trust me, you’ll need the pick-me-up! It’s also a fun way to bond with your new roommates.

Here are my top five unique essentials that should be in every dorm room this fall:

1. Mini Fridge:
My essential number one would be a great mini fridge to keep some tasty snacks to have when studying or having some guests over. A great reason to have a mini fridge is to avoid gaining the dreaded “Freshman 15” by staying away from unhealthy vending machines or making a run to another building late at night and compromising your safety.

2. Bunk Pocket:
Next is a small device that is so simple yet so handy. The “bunk pocket” is great to always have your cellphone ready, which if you’re like me, it is your alarm/lifeline. It makes it so easy not to have to search around for it when you accidently oversleep after a fun night of partying … or studying … and have to race to class!

3. Roll-Up Ironing Pad:
Since there is not a lot of space in dorms, especially for something as cumbersome as an ironing board, you’ll want something that rolls up nicely and is compact to store away without taking up much space. While you may not use it every day, this is perfect for when you need an outfit to look extra crisp for a job/internship or a special night out. Check out this one from Bed Bath & Beyond for $19.99.

4. Wall Decorations:
These are cool items to invest in since there are lots of rules on hanging things up in the dorms/apartments you may be staying in. They are also great ways to warm up your walls and make them more home-like and interesting. Wizard Wall is great for reminders, notes, etc., and the PB Teen murals add a decorative and creative touch.

5. Clothes & Go:
Last but certainly not least, is my personal favorite, the Clothes & Go. It is such a unique creation to take your clothes when traveling to move in, going home for the weekend/holiday/semester or just a quick, unplanned trip. All you do is take your clothes off of your closet rack (as long as they are on their hangers) and tie them onto the designated top and bottoms spots, close up the device (which turns into a bag that you can carry on your shoulder) and put it into your car. When you are ready to unpack your outfits, they will be ready to hang right back up and will remain wrinkle free and ready for wear! You can find the Clothes & Go for $15.

What People Normally Forget:

  • Batteries
  • Power strip
  • Shower shoes/flip-flops and caddy
  • First aid kit
  • Fan (if your dorm doesn’t have air conditioning)
  • Towels

Things to Leave at Home:

  • Unnecessary valuables
  • Large/heavy furniture
  • Winter clothes (wait for your holiday trip home to switch out)
  • Items such as candles/incense
  • Any pets (a small fishbowl may be the exception)

I hope these were some unique ideas to help you with your campus decor. Feel free to share your favorite dorm pieces in the comments. Happy shopping!

[Image from Bed Bath & Beyond]

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