Must-Haves For Your College Dorm

As August begins and summer classes come to an end, we approach the dreaded two weeks until fall semester starts. Unlike elementary through high school where you’re given a list of supplies, college is a different kind of dance. Instead of your normal “school supplies”, we must pack what we need to survive…I mean, what we need to live a college life.  If you’re anything like me, you might like to do what some people calling “overpacking”, but I call it “preparing for any situation.” To each their own. Because of this, I brought a lot of unnecessary and key items my freshman year, and I’m here to help you learn from my mistakes and pack some of the essential items you need for college.

Sit back, relax, and brace yourself for fall semester!

Bedside Caddy


Some of you might have a shower caddy packed and ready to go for all your toiletries, but don’t forget about bringing that convenience into your bedroom. If you’re someone who likes to do work on their bed or have certain items near you, a bedside caddy allows you a place to put away all the items you like to bring to bed with you without having to get up. It’s easy to install and will save you time.



Staying hydrated is such an important concept to maintain in your life. Depending on whether you’re living on or off campus, it might be a walk to get to the nearest water fountain. A Brita is a great investment because not only are your quenching your thirst, your water is also filtered and ready to go. Pro tip: stock up on filters because they’re not cheap!

Bluetooth Speaker


Music is food for the soul. A Bluetooth speaker allows you to not only jam out in your room (not too loud if you have a roommate) but also bring the party to the bathroom with you. It will help you get ready in the morning and provide you with a stage to perform your favorite bops.

Closet Hanging Shelf


Even if your college is nice enough to supply you with a decently sized closet, giving yourself some extra storage space never hurt. Not only will this declutter your closet, it will give you space to hang up new clothes you’ll buy throughout the semester and free shirts you’ll collect along the way. Your wardrobe never looked better!

Drawer Dividers


College gets hectic with the free items you can get at events and the items you brought from home. I’m not the most organized person, but I do like to keep my areas somewhat put together. Drawer dividers are such an easy way to organize school supplies, clothes, undergarments, and anything else your heart desires. You get the look of organization without the hassle that comes with maintaining organization while being a college student!



Dorm room temperature is so unpredictable. You might have roommates that hate the cold and want it at a high temperature. Having a fan in your room allows you to adjust the temperature how you like it without upsetting anyone (including your roommate if you have one). I was able to buy an inexpensive clip fan that I had blowing near my face to keep warm on hot days especially.

Floor Lamp


Add the perfect amount of light for your space with a floor lamp. Sometimes the room lights can be a little harsh and fail to create the atmosphere you want. A floor lamp gives you the versatility to spice up or tune down your space. If you have a roommate, this is perfect for times when you’re up and they’re not and you don’t want to wake them. We love a kind roommate!

Handheld vacuum / Mini vacuum


Just like your room at home, and sometimes worse, your dorm room will get messy. Dropped some chips on the ground or crumbs of your favorite snack fell on the floor? No worries when you have a vacuum! If you’re someone that hates bugs and doesn't want to deal with getting rid of them, having a vacuum will fix the mess for you. You never know how badly you need a vacuum until you don’t have one, so why put yourself through finding one? A broom and dustpan can only do so much, but to have both never hurt either.



This is an item that I didn’t really think much about when I was trying to figure out what to pack for college, but once I bought it, I didn’t regret my decision. Not only can a kettle heat your water up for all of you tea drinkers (myself included), but it also comes in handy if you buy ramen noodle cups. Those are quicker and easier to make with this bad boy on deck. My tea was piping hot and my noodles were hot and ready.

*Disclaimer: not allowed in typical dorms, but usually are permitted in apartments or apartment style dorms. *

Mini Whiteboard


This might seem like a wild card, but a mini whiteboard is such a useful item to have in your dorm. My suitemates and I used it as a door decoration for different things, such as telling each other whether we were in class, at home, or out. We also used them as a fun way for ourselves, or our friends we had over, to write notes on. One of my suitemates used her whiteboard to study for classes like math. Not only does it save paper, it’s a great place to do practice problems on. Two for ones are the best deals!



Having your bed lifted/lofted to give you extra space or add a touch to your room is a great design element to utilize. Ottomans are the stepping stones you need in your life and something you can count on to always lift you up and keep you steady. Not only does it work well to get into your lifted/lofted bed, but it can also be used as an extra storage space. Trust me, you’ll need all the storage you can get.



If you’re a part of the handful of people that know how to iron, give yourself a pat on the back. Now, for the rest of us who never really got the hang of it, hate it, or never learned, a steamer is the friend for you. Not only does a steamer save space and time, but it’s small, lightweight, and easy to use. No wrinkles in this house. Ironing? We don’t know her. 

Wheeled Laundry Hamper


If you don’t have the luxury of living close to home, you’ll have to do your own laundry. Depending on the type of person you are, laundry can be relaxing or a pain. In most dorms, your laundry room will be down the hall or even in a separate building from where you’re living. Procrastination on laundry is all fun and games until you have to haul all those clothes to the laundry room. America might run on Dunkin, but your laundry hamper needs to run on wheels. Not only does this make it convenient for you, but your arms and back will thank you for this investment. Hot Wheels, beat that!

No matter what you bring, make sure you have these on your list. Crush this semester before it crushes you!


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