Don’t think of your hundred square-foot dorm room as an uninspiring cell—think of it as a blank canvas, ready to decorate to your heart’s content. I spent hours the summer before my freshman year trying to figure out everything I’d need to make my dorm room sparkle. I wanted to make the room (or my half of it, at least) feel special and like me, but I didn’t want to waste money on things that took up precious space or couldn’t be used in future years.
So, rest assured: these essentials come from a certified cheapskate. Amazon has you covered on this one, so sit back, open your shopping cart and relax.
Something to hang your jewelry on
The Mkono wall-mounted organizer fits the bill nicely. One of my favorite things about this is that it not only hangs, but it also doesn’t require dorm-unfriendly drills. Stick a few command strips on this bad boy, and you’re good to go.
I think jewelry boxes can get cluttered so fast, necklaces wrapping around each other in a never-ending knot. This is ideal for finding the right pair of earrings in seconds, so you can sprint to your 8 a.m. in style.
Art prints are your new best friend
Some people swear by tapestries, but for me, a few tasteful art prints are the way to go. What prints you pick depends on your specific style, but I just found these Bluett flower prints. They have officially been added to my shopping cart. Remember, it’s probably best to get a handful of larger prints, so they take up more space but still leave room for extra décor.
Storage space comes at a minimum when you’re sharing one hundred square feet with another human being. Even if your bed can be lofted high enough to fit a few bins, you’ve got to have somewhere to put your scarves, jackets, purses and (if you live in Florida or another rain-heavy region) an umbrella or two.
My roommate and I had over-the-door hooks on each of our closet doors, and we both still use them in our apartment now. You can never have too much hanging space, and this hanger from DecoBros should do the trick.
Adjustable shelving for all your midnight cravings
This one is easy to forget and probably one of the pricier things on this list, but you will not regret it. A lot of colleges provide mini-fridges and sometimes even microwaves, in which case this shelving will be a great addition.
Your fridge fits in the bottom with your microwave above it. Add in the adjustable shelves and you have space to put snacks, a coffee machine and more. This is how my roommate and I stored our cereal, chips and fruits—everyday things we wanted easy access to! Check out the Suprima Adjustable Shelving. If you split the cost with your future roommate, the price tag isn’t too scary. This is the only item on the list that hasn’t made it into my apartment this year, but it’s perfect to pass down to a younger sibling or high school senior once you’re through with it.
A multi-purpose ottoman to make storage worthwhile
I know this last one seems more functional than fashionable, but trust me, this was my secret weapon freshman year. This ottoman doubled (tripled? Quadrupled?) as a storage bin, a footrest, a seat and even a booster to climb into my lofted dorm bed. Plus, flip the lid open and it can even serve as a decent tray. Breakfast in a Twin XL bed, anyone? This Humble Crew storage ottoman even comes in purple.
There you have it! My top five recommendations for dorm items that you’ll never regret picking up. All of these are available from Amazon as well, so if you forget to pick them up in the summer, they can get shipped straight to your university come fall.