10 Must-Haves For Your College Dorm Room

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Shopping for college can be a super fun time, but it can also get expensive, especially if you don't know what things to truly need to buy. In today's post, I share some of the items that I thought were useful to me and my roommates in my dorm room my freshman year. After living there for a year, I was able to learn what is actually important to have and what I could have not bought. Hopefully these recommendations will help you will your shopping for your dorm room. The items that I listed I personally used and thought that they were a great addition to my dorm room to help me organize and also function day to day.


Wonder Hangers

I love these because they save me so much space in my wardrobe and closet. Trust me when I say, dorms are TINY, so really need to maximize your space. These hangers collapse down and allow you to hold 5 items on one hanger! I even hung up winter coats on these hangers and they are withstanding the weight perfectly fine!

Over the Door Organizers

I mentioned this one in my last post on what to bring to college, and I'll say it again because I think they are super helpful to have. I just bought two over the door clear shoe organizers and they hold all of my makeup, medicine, and other personal items on my closet door so it is out of the way.

Laundry Basket with Wheels

In my last series on what to bring to college, I mentioned that I bought a tote bag laundry bag. I also recently bought one with wheels and I like them both equally. The wheeled one is obviously easier to move, but the tote is also great for smaller spaces. If you are able, I recommend a wheeled one since your laundry room is probably on a different floor or down the hall, but again, a tote one is perfectly fine too!

Sleep/Rain Audio Player

Dorm rooms will be noisy, especially if you aren't on the top floor. In order to sleep with parties and such going on around me, I had to play rain noises. I personally got a Boom to play audio from my phone, but they also sell actual rain devices which I also included below! These are great if you cannot easily fall asleep and want to have noise that isn't people talking!

3 Drawer Organizers

I have at least 4 different 3 drawer organizers and they are all super helpful! They can stackable so I can use my vertical space in my dorm. Also, they are great for holding games, clothes, medicine, or whatever else you may need. They are also extremely durable, as I have moved mine across states several times now.

Air Fryer

My roommates thought this item was dumb, but they ended up using it more than I did (HA). This air fryer is perfect for quick snacks in the dorm room like fries or chicken nuggets, along with so much more. It is compact and super easy to use, and I will recommend one to anyone, without or with a kitchen!

Rice Cooker

This was yet another one that my roommates thought was pointless, but got used a lot. Rice cookers have multiple purposes. I like this one because it has a steaming attachment for veggies and can boil water for spaghetti, ramen, cook beans, and other small dinner meals for when I did not feel like going to the dining hall!

Bedside Fan

Some dorms may have air conditioning. Some may not. Ours did, but there were constant arguments as to what temperature to keep the room, so on top of my bed, it was usually very hot. I got this bedside fan for Christmas and it saved me so many nights of waking up sweaty.

Bed Risers

If you dorm room does not come with lofted beds, I seriously recommend getting these bed risers. I was skeptical at first because they are just plastic, but so far they have been holding the weight of my bed and I just fine! The best part about these is that you also get more storage space underneath the bed which you will need in a tiny dorm room or apartment. You might want to measure the size of the bed posts though before ordering.

Power Strips - With Surge Protection

Finally, you want to try and get power strips preferably over extension cords. This is because some dorms don't allow extension cords due to fire concerns (check your housing website to see their policies). However, they will allow surge protectors and luckily, power strips are made that have the UL surge protection approval on them that can come up to 12 feet long! I personally got the 6 or 8 ft ones and they worked just fine!




Hopefully this list of items will help you shop for your dorm room or apartment. If you want some more inspiration, check out the post I did last year on items that I liked for my dorm room!

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