Dorm Essentials Guaranteed To Make Your Life Easier

Getting ready for college can be a nightmare. You’ll probably already be stressed enough knowing you are going to be away from home in an entirely different scene.

It can be a challenge to keep organized when making sure you have what you need to make living in a dorm actually livable.

It’s a very tight space and you’ll be sharing it with another person and along with the whole floor fighting for the good shower (unless you have a suit).

Here are few things to have that I found out to be most helpful when living in the dorms:


  • Tension Rods

These can have multiple uses. I loved playing around with these. Many dorm rooms have open closets. Since you usually aren’t allowed to drill any holes in the walls, buy tensions rods to place across your closet. Find some curtains that both you and your roommate agree on to cover up that ugly closet view. You can also use tension rods and curtains t to make a space more private. If you have a small nook in the room, place the rods and curtains to create another “room.” You can even use this idea under a bunked bed to give yourself a more a little hideout.


  • Storage Boxes

Dorm rooms really don’t offer many areas to keep any of your belongings in an organized way. Get storage bins, boxes, shelves, or whatever to help keep your stuff from becoming clutter. Stores like Bed Batch & Beyond, Target, or Wal-Mart stock up their shelves year-round of basic furniture units for dorm rooms. They offer a variety of storage units ranging from size, color, and uses.

Use small bins or trays for your desk to hold office supplies such as printing paper, homework, pens, pencils, etc.

Find stackable bins that can be placed in your closet to hold socks, underwear, or T-shirts. You can even use one of the drawers to keep personal items and medicines.

Make sure you get separate bins to organize the food and snacks you keep in your room. You don’t want to mix your clothes, homework, and food all in one place.


  • Pop-Up Hamper

Don’t expect to throw your dirty clothes on the ground and hope that mom will come around to pick them up at the end of the week. You need to do your own laundry and maintain a livable space. Put your gross dirty clothes into a hamper. Stay away from bulky plastic hampers. They are harder to maneuver when the time comes to lug that pile from your dorm to the washing machines, wherever those may be in your residence hall.

These convenient hampers sometimes have compartments to keep your detergent and other washing supplies. And when the hamper is not being used, just simply fold it up and carry it back to your room.


  • Shower Caddy

A residence hall isn’t just your home where you can keep all your shampoos, soaps, and razors where you want in the shower. Every shower time you need to carry your bathing supplies back and forth from your dorm to the bathroom. This is all so simple when you have a shower caddy with you. It might seem obvious, but you would be surprised when people think they can easily just carry a bottle of soap with them. It’s more than that. It’ll carry all the bath essentials you need; shampoo, conditioner, other hair products, body soap, wash clothes, loofahs, razors, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, and any other products you use.


  • Clamp Light

Don’t feel like going to the library or to another study area to do some last minute reading? Just feel like lounging in bed while you finish the last couple pages but don’t want to disturb your sleeping roommate with the blazing overhead light? Clamp lights are great to hook up behind your bed for the perfect amount of lighting to read, but dim enough to not disturb your roommate.


  • Duffle Bag

Many students forget to bring a travel bag to college. It’s a very small item that is easily ignored because you don’t think of the purposes to use them immediately. However, they are so important to bring. Weekend trips back home and even visiting friends at another college result in using some sort of travel bag. It allows you to be organized when traveling to other destinations. It can also be used as gym bag so you don’t have it take up room in a storage area.


  • Power Strips and Extension Cords

If you don’t invest in a few power strips there will come a time where you and your roommate will get frustrated trying to figure out what deserves to be plugged in. You have lap top and phone chargers, TV plugs, lamps, the fridge, the microwave, and so much more. Don’t stress yourself by forgetting a power strip.

Remember an extension cord or two as well. Outlets can be placed in the most awkward spots in a dorm room. Having extension cords will allow you to have your things plugged in exactly where you want them to be.


  • Air Freshener

I don’t want to scare you but there can be some really funky smells that develop in the residence halls. It can be quite off-putting. Don’t let that stench seep into your room. Be proud of where you are living at and make your room smell nice. Have some bottle of Febreeze near by or some plug-ins (my preferred choice). You never know what smells can happen suddenly.

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Gina Stolzman

Gina Stolzman

Gina Stolzman is a senior at University of Iowa pursuing degrees in Journalism and English. Having a passion for food, she loves cooking and visiting restaurants. Besides cooking, you’ll find her reading, catching up on TV shows, or hanging out with friends and family. She is an enthusiastic Chicago fan. She devotes herself to “da” Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and White Sox.