Dorm Room Essentials You Need
This post is all about the best dorm room essentials for college students.
When I lived in a dorm during freshman year, I remember feeling overwhelmed before move-in because I didn’t know what I would actually need.
All the dorm packing lists I found on the Internet contained the obvious things, like bedding and toiletries, but not much else.
So here are the things that most dorm packing lists don’t mention. These are my top dorm room essentials that you will ACTUALLY use that will make your life so much easier and more organized in college.
For a complete dorm room packing list, be sure to read my ultimate college packing list that contains EVERYTHING you need to bring to college.
You can also download a free PDF version of the packing list below:
My dorm room was always freezing because we didn’t have central heating. It felt like an icebox in there most of the winter. Having a fuzzy fleece blanket helped me stay warm and cozy on those cold days.
5. Mini Keurig
For coffee lovers, a Mini Keurig is a dorm room necessity. These super compact coffee makers are perfect for small spaces like dorm rooms, and they can fit wherever you have five inches of free space.
Another essential for surviving dorm showers is a towel wrap. It’s a towel that snaps in place allowing you to walk hands-free without having to hold your towel up or worry about it slipping down. Perfect for walking down the hall to the showers with your shower caddy in tow.
Call me a clean freak, but I found walking barefoot in my dorm bathroom really, really gross. Would you want to walk around barefoot in a bathroom you shared with a hall of 30+ girls? Probably not. Invest in a cheap pair of shower shoes. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Most dorms don’t allow you to put nails or tacks in the wall, so if you want to hang anything (framed photos, wall art, hanging storage, etc.) you will need to use command hooks. For hanging lightweight things like photo prints, you can also use command tape. It’s always good to have both on hand!
9. First Aid Kit
Having a first aid kit on hand is one of those things that you take for granted while at home and then realize you actually need while at college.
I can’t tell you how many times people in my dorm came to me for band-aids because they knew I had a first aid kit in my room! Make sure to add common meds like ibuprofen and cold medicine to your kit too.
Having a designated haircare basket is a great way to keep your dorm room organized. You can store all your haircare products like hair straightener, curling iron, hairbrush, comb, hairspray, etc. in it.
11. Mini Steamer
I brought a small ironing board and iron with me to college (I actually won them in a giveaway on Senior Night at my high school) and let me just say how impractical they were! An ironing board is bulky and hard to store in a tiny dorm room. A mini clothes steamer is the perfect alternative.
Velvet hangers are space efficient and allow you to hang more clothes (which is perfect for tiny dorm wardrobes!) They also make it so your clothes don’t slide off the hanger like they do on plastic or wire hangers (and they look prettier!)
13. Laundry Hamper
A collapsible laundry hamper is a dorm room essential for storing your dirty clothes. I like this one because it comes with two bags, one you can use for dirty clothes and another for bringing clean clothes back from the laundry room.
A great way to maximize space in your dorm room is with an I have a large ottoman in my apartment now, and I had a small one like the one above in my college dorm room. You can sit on them, you can store stuff in them, and they add a nice decorative touch.
Having a sticky pocket on your cellphone is a total lifesaver in college. You just stick it to the back of your phone and you can use it to store your student ID, license, credit card, dorm key, etc.
If your dorm room is anything like mine, you will either have lofted beds or bunk beds which means you can’t use a traditional nightstand. A great alternative is a bedside shelf that attaches to the side of your bed. You can keep your phone, glasses, water bottle, etc. in one easy to reach place.
For keeping food in your room, a plastic food storage organizer is a great option. It doesn’t take up too much space and you can use it to store any non-refrigerated food items you want to keep in your room.
Extra long charging cords are a total lifesaver. If you’re on your bed or another place further away from an outlet, you can still charge your phone.
Most dorm rooms only have a couple outlets and they’re usually somewhere hard to reach (like behind your desk or bed.)
So having a power strip like this with ten outlets and four USB charging port will make it much easier to keep everything plugged in all at once.
If you have a lot of shoes, an over the door shoe organizer is a great way to keep them organized and save space in a dorm room with limited storage options.
21. Foldable Storage Drawers
Another great way to maximize storage space in your dorm room is with foldable storage drawers. These are perfect for storing things like socks and undergarments and keeping them organized.
22. Desk Organizer
It’s so much easier to focus and get work done in your room when you have a tidy and organized desk. Using a desk organizer like this is an easy way to keep all of your school supplies in one place.
23. Compact Vacuum
My dorm building did not have a vacuum cleaner for residents to use, so bringing my own was a must. I like this compact bagless vacuum. It’s pretty affordable, yet it still works well and gets the job done.
24. Mattress Topper
The mattress that will come with your dorm bed is probably not going to be the world’s most comfortable mattress. A memory foam mattress topper makes it SO much more comfortable and will help you sleep better.
This four-inch memory foam mattress topper is a good choice for dorm beds.
25. All Purpose Cleaner
All purpose cleaner is an essential dorm cleaning product you can use to clean every surface in your dorm room super easily.
More College Essentials
This post showed you the best dorm room essentials that every freshman should have when moving into college!
Don’t forget to download my FREE three-page printable college packing list to help you keep track of everything you need for moving into your dorm:
And for even more college essentials, check out the following posts:
- The Ultimate College Packing List
- 31 Best Dorm Gifts to Give College Students
- Best Planner for College Students: Top 5 Reviewed