College is a whirlwind of big changes in any young person’s life. From navigating classes to figuring out how to live in a dorm, nothing is easy at first. But, certain things make dorm life especially easier, things that every college student should have in their dorm. So, if you’re starting up your packing list and figuring out what exactly you need to pack, check out this list of things that are super important to have in my opinion. But of course, these dorm essentials might not work for everyone, so take a look and see what you like!
1. Bedside pocket
I can speak from personal experience when I recommend the first item on our list of dorm essentials. When you move into your dorm, you most likely won’t have any sort of bedside table to place items such as TV remotes, glasses, and charging cables. If you’re also dealing with one of those super tall dorm room beds, figuring out a place to keep your bedside items can be a hassle, but not if you grab one of these handy bedside pockets! It’ll make your life ten times easier, trust me.
2. Step stool ottoman
Next up on our list of dorm essentials is a must-have if you have a super tall bed like many dorms have. Unless you’re really agile, it’s pretty hard to get on and off a bed that tall, so having an extra boost to get up is a lifesaver. Plus, you can store things in the ottoman part of the step stool, and we all know how important it is to maximize storage space in a dorm. This step stool ottoman can also be an extra place to sit if you have friends or any guests over!
3. Closet organizers
You never really know what you’re going to get in terms of closet space when it comes to living in a dorm, so it’s always best to be prepared to have to make the most of it. Buying some closet organizers is a great way to do this, plus it’ll keep you nice and organized throughout the year. Storage bins or baskets are a great place to start if you have shelves, but you can also find organizers that will hang from your clothing rack. You’ll probably need easy access to certain things in your closet, and having an organized closet is definitely the way to go!
4. Alternative lighting
Next up on our list of dorm essentials is the extremely vital alternative lighting. Okay, so this might not be essential for everyone, but I couldn’t stand the harsh hospital-like overhead lights that were in my freshman year dorm. So, I swapped those for some string lights and a lamp, and never really went back to using the overhead lighting. So if you’re like me, I highly recommend finding some alternative lighting that fits the vibe of your room, whether it be simple string lights or a few lamps around the room.
5. Extra storage containers
You’ll be needing to store a lot more things than you are probably aware of when living in a dorm, but there’s a solution to this. While your room may come with some storage furniture already, I don’t know anyone that didn’t need more space to store things. Having extra storage containers allows you to stay organized and also keep track of all the little things you might need in your day-to-day life. Whether you need a place for your medications, extra school supplies, or snacks, you can’t miss out on staying organized!
6. Blackout curtains
You might completely forget about this next item on our list of dorm essentials because I know I did. Forget trying to reason with those flimsy and annoying blinds that might already be installed in your dorm, because chances are that they won’t do you any good anyway. I highly suggest looking into getting some blackout curtains for your windows for many reasons. You’ll probably sleep a lot better at night, plus the sun won’t be shining in your face in the early morning.
7. Mattress topper
Sometimes you get used to certain luxuries you have at home and forget that when you move into a dorm, you might not have those anymore. One of those luxuries is the comfort of your bed, something that will definitely be different when you move into a dorm. Unless you’re super lucky, the mattresses in dorms will not be the most comfortable. So, why not make it slightly comfier and add a mattress topper? Mattress toppers come in all different sizes and levels of firmness, so find one you like and forget all about being uncomfortable!
8. Snack cart
This next must-have on our list of dorm essentials is very important to not only me because I’m sure everyone can agree you just have to have a snack cart. Snacks are an absolute lifesaver in college, no matter if you’re a freshman or a senior. When the dining halls close and you’re left to your own devices, it’s super important and handy to have things to eat already in your room. You can grab a moveable cart like pictured below to store your snacks, or just store them in any dry container. You might think you’ll want to eat in the dining hall every day, but I can guarantee you’ll be glad to have some backups when you just want to chill in your dorm!
9. Over the door mirror
Space is almost always limited in dorm rooms, even more so since you’re most likely sharing your space with a roommate. You probably don’t have a lot of wall space, so getting an over the door mirror is a great way to have a full-body mirror, but not take up any more space than necessary. You can hang one on the back of your main door or even on the back of your closet door. These mirrors are usually pretty inexpensive too, which is great if you’re shopping on a budget!
10. Reading pillow
Save your back and get your study on with one of these comfy reading pillows! A lot of people love to study on their beds, but it can be hard on your back and neck if you stay hunched over for too long. So, take that pain away with a reading pillow! They’re not only great for doing homework in bed, but they are also super comfortable to nap on when you get tired of studying. You can also use these if you have some friends over and you need an extra place to sit or lounge. You honestly can’t go wrong with one of these reading pillows!