10 Dorm Room Essentials You Can’t Live Without

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Going away to college for the first time is as stressful as it is exciting. Knowing what to expect will ease some of your anxieties about dorm life.

Although you can run to the nearest Walmart and pick up anything you forgot, you’ll be competing with every other college freshman who didn’t think ahead. Be prepared for dorm life by bringing these dorm room essentials on your first day!

A Fan

Residence halls get hot quickly, especially on the top floors. Not every building has air conditioning, either.  Get yourself a desk fan or a fan that can be placed on your floor.

Shower Shoes

Most college dorms have communal bathrooms. That means you’ll be sharing a bathroom with dozens of people. You don’t want to share their foot fungus, too!

Get some shower flip-flops to wear when you’re in the dorm showers. Once you see the bathroom floors, you won’t regret it.

Bed Risers

Dorm rooms aren’t big, so you’ll want to make use of the space underneath your bed. Bed risers create more space for storage or your desk. Just make sure your school allows them to be used!

Command Strips

Tape will rip the paint off of your dorm room walls, and thumbtacks will leave holes. Both of these damages can cost you when it’s time to move out. Save yourself from paying hefty repair fines by getting a pack of Command strips. These adhesives hold posters, canvases, and other decorative items under 20 pounds. If you need more places to hang your coats, get some Command hooks.

A Plastic Shower Caddy

Since you’ll likely be sharing a bathroom with everyone on your floor, there won’t be a spot to put your shower toiletries in the bathroom. You’ll have to leave your soap, shampoo, and anything else in your room.

Make your trips to the shower easier by getting a caddy to hold it all. The plastic shower caddies work far better than mesh caddies, since mesh caddies are more prone to growing mold.

An Extra Trash Can

You’ll likely be given a trash can for your dorm room, but you’ll probably fill it up quickly. This will be especially true during your first week of school, when you’re still unpacking and setting up your room.

Pick up an extra trash can to cut back on trips to the garbage dump.


You’re not always going to want to run to the dining hall for food, and it may not always be open. That’s why you need snacks in your dorm room.

Restrict your food to non-perishable items that can be easily sealed shut to prevent bugs from moving in with you.

A Bookshelf

Most students have more textbooks than they can keep track of, especially while they’re taking their prerequisite courses.

Create a space for all of those textbooks with a small bookshelf. Use the top shelf to display some decorative items!

A Laundry Backpack

Most students bring laundry hampers to school with them, but these drag across the floor and are hard to carry. They’re also prone to breakage.

Stay one step ahead of your classmates with a laundry backpack. This will make your trips to the laundry room easier.

A Whiteboard Calendar

Whether you invest in a monthly calendar or a weekly version, having a whiteboard calendar will help you keep on top of your priorities. Using a whiteboard saves paper and leaves more room for edits.

Although most whiteboards come with a black dry erase market, you can spice things up with vibrant Expo markers.

Before buying anything for college, check with your university’s residence life regulations to make sure nothing you’re packing is prohibited.

Commonly banned items include microwaves over a certain wattage and rice cookers. Shop ahead of time, and shop smart!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top