College is supposed to be the best four years of your life. You will be able to experience real freedom for the first time, meet completely new groups of people, all different from one another, take challenging and exciting courses, join interesting groups and organizations, meet your lifelong friends and maybe even your future spouse. Preparing the summer before college can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience and can feel overwhelming from time to time, but is one to look forward to. You get to pick out your first semester classes at new student orientation, meet and connect with your new roommate and friends on social media, and most importantly, shop for the essentials for your new dorm room. There are a lot of claims in the media about certain products that you must purchase for your dorm before freshman year and mixed messages on what is essential. Read on to find out the products you will actually use in your dorm room and what will last you the full school year and beyond.
1. Comfortable bedspread and sheets
A key essential for every dorm room is a comfortable bed set with soft sheets, a comforter and pillow cases. Those creaky twin college dorm room beds are anything but comfortable on its own so investing in a long-lasting set that will last the whole school year is one step closer to creating your home away from home.
2. A few cups, plates, bowls and sets of silverware
It is important to have at least two of everything and then one back-up in case something is dirty or you have company in your dorm room. Shop for just essential silverware and some plastic cups, plates and bowls in your room as you will be spending the majority of your meals in dining halls your freshman year.
3. Picture Frames
Probably the most sentimental product you will have in your dorm room are a few picture frames that hold memories with your friends and family back home. Scattering these around your side of the room or desk will make the room feel more homey and could help with onset homesickness. Some people like to decorate their frames with stickers or rhinestones. You can also pin your personal photos to a bulletin board along with other photos you find on the internet to create a mood board.
Hanging a tapestry is the best way to add some personality to a room because they typically take up a whole wall. You can be creative with the design or colors of your tapestry to make your side of the room your own. Many websites offer a variety of tapestry designs like Redbubble or you can create your own with a recycled bedsheet.
5. Bar Cart
Bar carts bring the perfect combination of functionality and personality to a room. They can be used for holding cups or bowls, bath towels or a box of silverware. You could also add a flower vase or picture frame on top for the perfect room decoration.
6. Plastic Drawers
Plastic drawers are very versatile for a dorm because they can be used to store almost anything. Try out some plastic drawers in your closet to hold your most expensive items you brought with you to college, makeup, or some fresh bath towels.
7. Bed Risers
If you have a small amount of space in your dorm room like I did, bed risers are your best friend. Place one riser under each leg of your bed to create greater space underneath. You now have more space to store clothes drawers, extra pillows, a step stool, etc.
8. Foldable Bins
Foldable pins are perfect to travel to college with because you can collapse the ones you do not use, which is easy for alternating clothes between the colder and warmer seasons. These can be stacked on top of one another in your closet or under your bed.
9. Throw Blanket
One of the best things you will bring to college is a fluffy blanket to cover you when it gets cold or when you are watching a movie on your chair. This essential is transportable and will be your go-to for a quiet, relaxing night inside.
10. Butterfly Chair
If space permits, a foldable chair like a butterfly chair creates a more homey feel in your dorm room and will offer you another space to relax other than your bed or desk chair. This product is functional and can add personality to your room.
11. File Holder
An essential for your dorm room is a file holder that can be placed in the corner of your desk. Organization is key to earning good grades and minimizing stress. Invest in a file holder to hold loose class assignments, notebooks or folders.
A stapler is essential for any desk because with college comes a lot of time researching and writing papers. Having quick, easy access to your own stapler will save many trips to the library before an assignment is due and help you lead a more organized life.
13. Weekly Planner
A calendar for your room is great but even better is a portable weekly planner to write down and keep track of upcoming assignments and events on-the-go.
14. Desk Lamp
Remember to not only rely on your ceiling light for school-related tasks at your desk. Invest in a bright, bendable desk lamp so you don’t put strain on your eyes. This will also help you stay better focused during work time.
15. Comfortable Desk Chair
Equally important is a comfortable desk chair if your school has not already provided you with one. Shop for something cozy enough for you to relax but with enough structure and support to help maintain good posture and focus.
16. Shoe Tree
Purchase a shoe tree for your dorm room closet. This will keep your shoes organized and declutter the space at the bottom of your closet and around your bed.
17. Furry Rug
A furry rug is essential for a cozy feeling in your dorm room and especially in the winter time, will keep your feet warm and snug.
18. Soft Light Lamp
A soft light lamp is a smart purchase because it can be used at night time when the harsh ceiling light goes off. This will give your dorm room some mood lighting for reading or chilling with your roommate.
19. Extension Cord
An extension cord is essential to a dorm to connect your laptop or any other electronic across a room that may have limited outlets.
20. Makeup Organizer
A makeup organizer can be put on your desk or in your closet. This is a cute and nifty way to add decor to your dorm room and keep all your everyday items organized.
21. Makeup Brush Holder
It is also a smart idea to invest in a brush holder if you have a makeup organizer because these can be placed side-by-side each other to create a clean clutter-free desk space.
22. Step Stool
A step-stool is essential for reaching high places in your dorm room that you would otherwise be unable to reach. Investing in one of these will benefit both you and your roommate because you will now be able to store your stuff in high shelves.
A toolkit is an essential in case a screw falls out unexpectedly, you need to nail something to your wall or you would just rather not wait until a handyman comes to your rescue.
24. Shoe Tray
A shoe tray is a must for students that attend college in colder climates. When the snow starts to fall, you will appreciate a shoe tray at the door of your dorm room to collect water dripping from your shoes and not all over the floor of your room.
The swifter is the perfect cleaning supply for college students because they are easy to use and pick up dirt and dust very easily. They can be replaced with a new towelette at the base of the swifter after each use or flipped over for a fresh surface to clean with.
A broom is also important to have in a college dorm room because if something spills like crackers or popcorn, it will perform the best for cleaning up these messes.
27. Disinfectant Wipes
Disinfectant wipes are a must because they can disinfect most surfaces, leaving your room nice and clean and clear of bacteria or dust for a healthy environment for your roommates and guests.
28. Paper Towels
You will find having paper towels around comes in very handy. These disposable towels are perfect for accidental spills, holding snacks and pretty much wiping down any surface.
A human essential. You will need this more than you know. Kleenex will come in handy during allergy and cold season so it is in your best interest to stop up on this!
If for some reason the power in your dorm goes out, having a flashlight handy will be important to navigate around your room, use the bathroom and find your cell phone!
Investing in these products is a smart choice for your freshman year. There is a lot of unknown that comes with your first year but follow these tips and you will find you have everything you need for organization, emergencies, meals and a comfortable experience.