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As college students during a pandemic, we’ve been spending an absurd amount of time in our rooms. Whether you’re living on campus or at home, it’s important to personalize your space and make it your own. While decorating your dorm room is always important, it’s even more necessary now that college is entirely online. It can definitely feel depressing to feel trapped in an uncomfortable room all day, seven days a week.

In order to combat this, I recommend investing in the essential items I’ve listed below. They will not only make your space more comfortable, but more practical as well. 

Comfortable Bedding

Bedding can make or break your room. Your bedding should reflect you in all ways, balancing perfectly between comfort and style. If you’re messy, I recommend steering clear of white or light-colored bedding – darker colors are much safer for accidental spills and messes.

Throw pillows and blankets are also important to brighten up the room. Throw pillows allow you to add personality and color to your personal space, and throw blankets are perfect for movie nights and when you need an extra layer during the winter season. 


This one is crucial, especially if you’re living in a dorm or apartment. Most times, college living spaces have very limited lighting. It’s difficult to work in the dark, and it can be very discouraging to do work after sundown. In order to stay motivated throughout the night, a lamp or some other form of lighting is necessary. String lights are also a great addition to any room – they brighten the space and create a great atmosphere. 


Pictures of friends and family are a must. They’re a great way to remain in touch with your loved ones, remedy homesickness if you’re away, and add a pop of color to your room. They’re also extremely versatile. You can use simple picture frames to decorate a night table or desk, or you can hang frames to decorate wall space.

Another great way to decorate with pictures is using Mixtiles, which are removable, reusable, and leave no marks on the walls. I personally have this picture frame collage from Amazon hanging in my room, and I am absolutely obsessed. 

Desk Accessories

Organization is key in college. Having an organized desk will motivate you to take on the day and be the most productive version of yourself that you can be. Some things I recommend getting are a pencil holder, paper clip/binder clip holder, and a Post-It note holder. In addition, having a phone charger by your desk is always a plus.

Underbed Storage

College living spaces can be tight. As a college student, taking advantage of the space under your bed is absolutely essential. Underbed storage boxes, crates, or drawers can make all the difference when it comes to maximizing your space.

Command Hooks

Command Hooks are a lifesaver! Command Hooks are reusable and removable, and they don’t leave any marks or residue once they’ve been removed. They come in different sizes and colors, so you can always match them to your room aesthetic. I use them for hanging everything from my backpack to my facemasks and towels.


Similarly to the desk accessories, owning a calendar will help you successfully organize and succeed on your tasks. Time management is crucial in college, and deadlines can definitely creep up on you. A calendar will help you keep track of assignments, due dates, and commitments. Whether it’s a whiteboard calendar, a classic paper calendar, or a virtual calendar, I recommend investing in one. 

A Coffee Maker

If you live on coffee like many students do, having a coffee maker in your own space is a must! It’s cheaper than buying coffee and much more convenient too. Keurig’s K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker is the perfect choice – it’s an ideal size and comes in a variety of colors. 

A Dustbuster and Cleaning Supplies

No matter where you’re living, you need cleaning supplies. A classic dorm room essential that has been around for years is the dustbuster. A dustbuster will help you clean up after yourself in a quick and easy way, and will also eliminate crumbs from your space if you’re a frequent snacker. 

While making each of these additions to your room may be expensive, it’s extremely important to invest in your happiness and comfort. We’re all spending an increasing amount of time isolated in our rooms, and it will make all the difference if your space is personalized and comfortable.

Abby Blick

U Penn '24

Abby Blick is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying the Biological Basis of Behavior. She is from Long Island, New York and loves her dog, the NY Rangers, and Netflix.
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