15 College Dorm Room Essentials

Everything you need on your college dorm room checklist

Moving into college might sounds simple. After all, how much can even fit into a freshman dorm room? Therein lies the problem!

When you're dealing with a small space (likely shared with a roommate), you need just the right type of furniture, accessories, and organizational gizmos to really make the space feel like a home. Enter: Our 15 College Dorm Room Essentials, below.

This shopping spree isn't exactly an exciting one but... you'll thank us later. 

From storage solutions to organization ideas, your freshman dorm room will benefit from this checklist of simple necessities.

1. Bed Risers

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The most simple, and necessary of the checklist is ironically the most often over-looked! This one had us running to Walmart on move-in day...

Bed risers do just that: they raise your bed up, just a extra few inches off the ground in order to make room for under-the-bed-storage space. Believe us, you'll need it!

Bed Risers
Bed Bath and Beyond
Click here to purchase

2. Clip-on Lights

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Arranging a dorm room is tricky, and who's to say that you'll have space for a bedside table, or floor lamp? Cover your bases with a clip-on light, that you can affix anywhere (on the side of your bed, or desk), and relocate in a jiffy!

Clip-On Lights
PB Teen
$39 USD
Click here to purchase

3. Clip-On Fans

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Same things goes for fans! Why take up space with a floor fan when you can instead clip this baby onto pretty my anything? Most dorms are renowned for iffy AC, so this thing could keep you sane during the warmer months. 

Clip-On Fan
$16 USD
Click here to purchase

4. Flexible Power Strip

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Power to the people! Just kidding.. that was pretty cheesy, but seriously what's worse than running out of plugs? How're you supposed to keep all 10 of your apple appliances charged at ONCE without a power strip? Pro-tip: grab a flexible power strip, ideal for accommodating cramped spaces. 

Flexible Power Strip
Organize It
$20 USD
Click here to purchase


5. Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

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Following just one weekend of late-night munchies, you'll agree: you need a dust-buster. When half your friends crowd into your small apartment and spill cheetos on the carpet (which is a reality, let's be honest), there's really no other solution. Crumbs lead to all sorts things, and do you really need a pet rat?

Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Bed Bath and Beyond
$30 USD
Click here to purchase


6. Space Heater

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This one sort of compliments that clip-on fan we'd mentioned above. Unfortunately, college dorm AC can be an unreliable thing! If you're headed to school up North, be sure to grab a space heater, you might find yourself quite literally wrapping your body around it come January. Either way, it's nice cozy addition to have under your desk.

Space Heater
$30 USD
Click here to purchase

7. Hand-Held Steamer

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Limited closet space, limited dry-cleaning budget, and a fast-paced life-style inevitably lead to wrinkly clothes! Investing in a hand-held clothing steamer will save you loads of money and keep you looking fresh, not frumpy, in class. 

Hand-held Steamer
Bed Bath and Beyond
$60 USD
Click here to purchase

8. Coffee Maker

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Because... first, coffee. 

It's obviously optimal to head to your dining hall, or on-campus café for an early morning cup of joe. That said, if you're pressed for cash, time, or (most likely) both, you'll be glad that there's a Keurig two feet from your bed. 

Keurig Coffee Maker
$66 USD
Click here to purchase


9. Storage Bins

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Stow away sweaters, socks, shirts - you name it - in storage bins. Why? Besides the way these bins allow you to gracefully hide your mess of a closet... they're also great space solutions. Stack them, slide them under your bed, and use them on move-in day as carry-all boxes. Not to mention - aren't they sort of cute?

Storage Bins
PB Teen
$10 USD
Click here to purchase

10. Desk Organizer

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After even just your first week of classes you're bound to have a bunch of clutter on your desk. An orderly desk is the first step on the road to productivity and: good grades! Keep your mess in check with desk organizers. We like these ones, for their stripes. 

Desk Organizer
PB Teen
Click here to purchase

11. Shower Caddy

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Face it - there's a communal shower situation in your future. For that, you will need a shower cadddy, unless you want to scamper down the halls with shampoo and body wash flying out of your arms. A flexible caddy, like the one picture here, is a great small-space solution. Stuff it in a corner, or hang it on a hook, the possibilities are endless (and that was a far too enthusiastic way to speak about shower caddies). 

Shower Caddy
PB Teen
$29 USD
Click here to purchase

12. Laundry Bag

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Buy a laundry bag (not a hamper), if only for the fact that you can hang it on something and avoid taking up floor space, in a small place where floor space is so precious! We recommend these bags by PB Teen, which are basically back-packs, and big enough to fit a bunch of piled-up laundry, or your roommate (should he/she become "too much"). 

Laundry Bag
PB Teen
Click here to purchase 

13. Over-the-Door Shoe Rack + Hanging Rack

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Use your door for some type of storage. This post is two-fold, because if you've only one door, you're gonna have to choose which storage is best for you. 

Option 1: An over-the-door shoe rack, if you have a bunch of footwear and shoe organization is your thing. 

Option 2: An over-the-door coat hanger, if you have a bunch of coats and shoe organization isn't a phrase you're familiar with. 

Over-the-Door Shoe Rack
PB Teen
Click here to purchase

14. Rolling Storage Carts

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Convenient storage in a non-committal place. Need we say more? These storage carts are good looking, simple, and perfect for snack storage, text books, clothing - you name it. If there's anything at all that you want to stash, stow, and potentially wheel around... you need to invest here. 

Rolling Storage Carts
PB Teen
$80 - 150 USD
Click here to purchase

15. Noise Cancelling Headphones

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How else are you supposed to sleep, or study for that matter?

If your roommate snores, or your next-door neighbor's a DJ, or the kids who live above you like the break-dance at midnight, you need a way to drown out the din. Added-value: these also play music (lol) so, perhaps they'll spark a new-found friendship with your next-door neighbor (the DJ), or something.

Noise Cancelling Headphones
Click here to purchase

Made it through our list? Go you! Now you're prepped to outfit that dorm room like a pro. 

Spot something we missed? Oh no! Fill us in on your dorm room essentials in the comments section below!