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Breanna Coon / Her Campus

Dorm Essentials Under $20

Living in a dorm can be tricky. You have to maximize your space and think seriously about what you want to buy or bring. These five items are things that you may not have thought to get, but will definitely help your dorm experience in the long run. Plus, they are all under twenty dollars. What more could you ask for?


1. Air Freshener

An air freshener will definitely change your room experience, and is something that most people will buy for their dorm. However, it is important you buy a good one. When looking for a room freshener, you want to look for one that absorbs smells, not just masks it. This one by Citrus Magic comes in many different scents, floral, citrus, and fresh, and does a really great job at absorbing odors. I like the solid one, so you don’t have to even think about it, but Citrus Magic also makes spray versions as well. Now, you don’t have to worry about eating pizza or ramen noodles in your room in fear of the lingering smell.

2. Boot Tray

This is crucial if you live somewhere snowy! A boot tray is a cheap product that is life-changing to keep in your dorm. Not only does it prevent you from tracking snow and road salt around your room, but it’s also useful in the fall and spring to avoid tracking mud around. This one is only six dollars and is well worth it. It is a simple purchase you can keep by the door to prevent a dirty carpet and to keep an overall cleaner room!

3. Foldable drying rack

This is a necessity for anyone who wants to keep their clothes in good shape. A drying rack is a great way to air-dry your clothes in your dorm, so you don’t have to put some of your more precious items in the dryer. Plus, being foldable helps it stay compact so you can keep it hidden until you need it. This one from Target is less than fifteen dollars, has twenty feet of drying space, and is small enough to fit under your bed or in your closet.  

4. Book light

This one is especially important to keep peace with your roommate! A book light isn’t something that you might think about bringing to school, but it is a life saver. Personal book lights light up just your book, so the overhead light can be turned off. This is especially useful if you have a roommate who is looking to sleep when you’re still up doing readings for class. I find it also makes me read more in general, as I use the light to read at night instead of play on my phone. This one from Amazon is rechargeable and has in multiple shades of light and has 9 levels of brightness. Plus, it is rechargeable, so you never have to worry about a battery!

5. Desk organizer

This is crucial if you’re like me and more on the messy side. My top drawer in my desk is filled with all the miscellaneous important stuff I may need, and sometimes it gets a little too messy. With a desk drawer organizer, I am able to put everything in its place, which makes it much easier to find things when the time comes. This one from Target is only ten dollars and has a variety of shapes within it to fit all your items into place.

Julia is a biochemistry major on the pre-med track. She aspires to be an OB/GYN and is focused on writing blogs about women's health. When not writing, Julia is also a member of Koshare Dance Collective.
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