College can be a huge change for some people, and your dorm becomes your safe haven. From a bedroom, a kitchen, study space, and more this is your new home. These 30 college dorm essentials will guarantee the most smooth transition into an independent lifestyle on your own.
1. Shower Caddy
This is one of the things that you just have to have. Whether your dorm has a communal bathroom or not, chances are you are going to have to share your bathroom at some point. A shower caddy keeps all your bathroom needs organized and easily transportable. Grab and go. This is definitely one of our top college dorm essentials.
2. Mattress Topper
This pick is all about hygiene! Unless your dorm building is brand new you haven’t been the only person who’s lived in that room or slept on that bed. You have no idea who’s been on there or what’s happened on there… yuck!
Not only is this the most sanitary option but more comfortable too! You can get a memory foam mattress topper to help you get the best in between class naps!
3. Full-Length Mirror
This is a college dorm essential you need! Most dorms don’t come equipped with it, and neither do the bathrooms. If you have any plans to go literally anywhere this is something you’re going to want to invest in.
4. Coffee Machine
A morning pick-me-up is definitely essential during college, and buying a latte from your favorite cafe every day can get expensive. Time to invest in a coffee maker and do it yourself! Whether you like your brew black or you have a favorite recipe, this is totally one of the college dorm essentials.
5. Portable Fan
Tiny dorm rooms means more heat, it’s just a fact. Also, you have to keep in mind that you’re sharing a space with another person. That person might have different preferences when it comes to what temperature to keep the room at etc. A simple solution is to invest in a portable fan.
If you ever feel a little muggy just turn this baby on and you’re good to go!
College is all about planning and organization. It’s a time in your life where you have a million things going on at once. It’s essential to invest in a calendar to keep track of important dates and see your month from a glance.
7. Desk Light
One of the college dorm essentials for your late-night study seshes! When we say you need this, you absolutely do. Again, keeping in mind that more than likely you are sharing a space with another person their schedule is going to be different than yours.
There are going to be times when they want to sleep and you need to study, so you make a compromise. You turn the room light off and you turn your personal desk lamp on so that you can still get work done.
The absolute best way to stay on top of your schoolwork and anything else. If the calendar isn’t enough then you’re going to want to get a planner. You can take your planner to class with you and write down everything you need to keep on top of life!
9. Shower Shoes
Another essential hygiene item because let’s be honest, communal bathrooms are gross. The showers are one of the main places where diseases like athlete’s foot brew. So let’s just avoid that altogether and wear some shower shoes.
10. Storage Bins
One of the main college dorm essentials is anything that can maximize the small space you are given. You are basically packing up your entire life and moving into half a room. It’s gonna be jam-packed.
Our advice is to put any type of storage bins wherever there’s room. Put some under the bed, next to your desk, or in your closet. It creates organization and space optimization.
If you’re living in a dorm during college you are going to have to do your laundry either at a laundromat or at the laundry center inside the dorm building. A hamper gives you a place to store all your dirty clothes throughout the week and easily transport them for wash. We recommend getting one with wheels to make things extra easy!
If you ever need to watch videos for class, listen to music, or watch movies you need a pair of headphones. Preferably some with some decent noise cancellation.
13. Mini Vacuum
A mini vacuum is another one of those hygienic college dorm essentials. Small enough to store in the corner of the room or in your closet, your mini vacuum will always come in handy for messes or just general cleaning.
14. Alarm Clock
Sometimes a phone alarm just isn’t enough. You’re going to want to invest in a quality alarm clock to help you get up after those long nights out.
15. Power Strip
Chances are there are only going to be around 4 plugs in your dorm room, half of those being taken by your roommate. Invest in a power strip to cover all your electric needs.
16. Oil Diffuser
College dorms don’t allow students to have candles, so let’s go for the next best thing! Just make sure you talk with your roommate before using it to make sure they’re okay with the scent.
17. Command Strips
Another thing about dorms is that you can’t make any holes in the wall. An easy solution is command strips to hang anything you need.
Here’s the fun part, decorating! This is time to really get creative with the small space you have. Just because it’s a small space doesn’t mean you can’t make it fabulous! Time to put all your Pinterest dorm room inspiration to use!
19. Mini Trash Can
Another thing that doesn’t come with the dorm that you absolutely need. Might as well make it worth it and get a cute one!
20. Shoe Storage
Another one of those college dorm essentials to help maximize your space. The closets in a dorm room are small, and trying to stuff all your clothing and shoes in there can get difficult. Shoes are bulky and take up a lot of space so any type of shoe storage will help with that.
21. Space Saver Hangers
Keeping the theme of closets the best way to keep your clothes is with these space saver hangers. You can fit between five to six on one hanger making this not only a college dorm essential but a life essential.
The easiest and comfiest way to get to and from the showers. These are also convenient for just lounging around your room so definitely invest.
Eating out during college gets expensive. Bring some kitchenware with you so that you can cook simple meals right from your room.
24. Portable Heater
Just as important as the portable fan, we have the portable heater. If you’re someone who gets cold easily especially during the winter month this could be vital.
25. Corner Chair
Ok we know this one is a little extra, but so worth it if you have the space. During your stay in the dorms there’s going to be different people in and out of your dorm. It makes it more comfortable for everyone to have an extra chair, and it’s a stylish look too.
25. Cork Board
This is one of the most useful and decorative pieces you can put in your dorm room. You can literally hang anything you want on it. My personal favorite was hanging pictures of my friends and family, but you can totally customize this and make it your own!
26. Ear Plugs
More than likely, your first year, you’re going to be assigned a random roommate. You could someone who snores really loud, or someone who always has someone over. Either way, earplugs are going to be something you want to have on hand.
27. Lap Desk
Sometimes working at your desk is less than ideal. If you’re looking for a more relaxing study space, a lap desk is the way to go.
28. Sleeping Mask
Same thing as the earplugs, you never know what’s going to happen with your roommate. Maybe they need to pull an all-nighter or they’re just up doing something, so you’re going to want to have a light blocker on hand.
Most dorms don’t come with a mini-fridge, so if you plan on having any snacks, it’s something that both you and your roommate should invest in.
30. Electric Kettle
Craving some ramen noodles? Or maybe even just a hot cup of tea? A kettle is essential when you need to boil some water at the push of a button. It makes snacking a whole lot easier.
What’s your most essential dorm room item? Share down below in the comments!
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Alina is currently a student at the University of Arizona, majoring in Psychology. She has a passion for writing about everything including fashion, design, health, lifestyle, and so much more!