10 Items You Must Have For Your Dorm

Updated: May 25, 2020

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Dorm room shopping can be fun! It is your chance to either find a new style, get things you use everyday, and time to get a fresh start for a new school year. To help you shop, I have created a list of some of my favorite items to use and purchase for my upcoming school year.



1. Papermate Gel Pens

I LIVE by these Papermate gel pens as they do not smear easily, last a long time, and are very comfortable to write with. Pens are critical for school as you will be taking tons of notes, revising and editing papers, and simply just need writing utensils.

2. Tote/Backpack Laundry Hamper

Do you and your roommate a favor and get something to put all of your dirty laundry in instead of leaving it all over the floor. To make things easy for you on wash day, get a laundry hamper that you can carry on your back or shoulders to the laundry room. This frees up your hands to carry your laundry detergent and fabric softener.

3. Plastic Shoe Caddy

My dorm room did not come with a nice walk in closet that could store my clothes and extra stuff. I was restricted to a small free-standing wardrobe and had to make it work. To maximize my storage space, I purchased a clear shoe caddy that I could hang over the inside of my wardrobe door. I used this not only for shoes, but for my skin care items, medicine, school supplies, and whatever else I needed to store away for later.

4. Shower Caddy

Having a shower caddy is CRITICAL. Especially if you are having to use a communal bathroom. This allows you to carry all of your bathroom essentials with you, and saves you from dropping things on the walk down the hallway. I suggest getting a mesh/waterproof one as they will dry quickly and will not mold easily due to being able to drain water.

5. Power Strips

My dorm room did not allow for extension cords due to fire hazards, but they permitted power strips instead. Some colleges don't have this rule, so be sure to check your residence hall's policy. Either way, having these are important as dorms have very few wall outlets (and are usually very spaced out) as I learned the hard way. Getting these ensure that you won't run out of wall outlets to charge your laptop, phone, or other devices.

6. Door Stop

This next item was not obvious at first for me to buy for my dorm room, but I am actually happy I spent the extra money to get it! Dorm room doors are typically heavy and need a door stop to keep them propped open. This will make it easy on move in day and also makes it easy to make friends by being able to keep your room door open!

7. Bedside Caddy

I have a lofted bed, which means if I forget to bring something with me to bed, I have to crawl all the way back down to get it. It may sound like me being lazy, but trust me. It gets old really quickly. This bedside caddy allows you to store multiple items (including an iPad, phone, books, tissue, etc) by attaching to the railing/underneath your lofted dorm bed. Even if your bed is not lofted, this is still super convenient to have as dorms are limited on space to put stuff.

8. A Planner

Listen to me. To save yourself from going insane GET. A. PLANNER. Seriously. Without a planner, you will end up forgetting when an assignment is due, a test date, or worse, a finals date. I prefer a physical planner as me writing down stuff also forces me to remember it better. Dedicate time either before or after your classes to write down assignments or other commitments you may have. This will save you from scheduling conflicts and keep you organized during the school year.

9. Command Hooks and Strips


Most dorms do not allow you to drill holes in the wall to hang stuff. Therefore, command strips will become your new best friend. I used a lot in my dorm room because I had a lot of decorations. My advice is to get several of these, as they can wear down and might need to be replaced later in the school year.

10. Mattress Topper - Memory Foam

Finally, invest in a mattress topper. Dorm beds are usually not comfortable, and sleeping is important for good grades and health.

I hope my list of my favorite top ten items will help you with your back to school shopping. Let me know in the comments if you tried any of these and how you liked them, and also any other school items someone should buy!

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