Dorm shopping is one of the most exciting things to do during the summer before college! As Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond start to advertise their dorm supplies I find myself growing more and more excited for the start of the school year. It all feels like it can’t come soon enough but, living in a small dorm room with another person is going to be a huge change so, dorm shopping feels all the more important. Last week, I went dorm room shopping with my mom so that we’d still have plenty of selection in stores and I’ve also asked for dorm related gifts for Christmas and my birthday, which is in May. Not all of the items listed here are necessary but, there’s some fun ideas. Below are some of my favorite items I’ve gotten for my dorm room!
See my full college shopping/packing list here: https://campusqueenbee.wordpress.com/2017/07/23/college-shoppingpacking-list/
Cork Board/Bulletin Board: Organization is always key! I like to be able to see what I have to do and a bulletin board is the perfect solution. This floral print is a fun twist on the normal brown board and will definitely look cute hanging on the wall above my desk in my dorm room. It can be found on Amazon.com here.. And here’s some cute pushpins to go with it.
Monthly Dry Erase Board: From what I’ve heard, it’s easy to lose track of the different due dates, class times and activities in college. Hoping this calendar will help me stay on top of it all, especially with the “notes” section on the side. You can find this on Amazon using this link.
Weekly Dry Erase Board: Okay, maybe I overdid it with the dry erase boards, but I’m a firm believer that you can never be too organized. I especially liked this one because of the cork at the bottom! Here’s a really similar one on Amazon and here’s the markers I got to go with it.
Photo Clip String Lights: The perfect dorm room combo: string lights and photo display! My mom surprised me with these for Christmas and they’ll be the perfect way to add light to my dorm room while having a nice reminder of home from the pictures. You can find these on Amazon using this link.
Photo Display: I can’t wait to put my pictures in this piece! I’ve personally never seen anything like it so I love that it’ll be something different. It holds 25 pictures so, just like the clip lights, it’ll be nice for when I’m feeling homesick to have visual reminders of my family and friends. Here’s the link to this super cute display.
Letter Board: While my mom and I were in Target we saw this cute letter board and had to pick it up for my dorm room. It’d be a cute way to display my name and my roommate’s name outside the dorm or a fun decoration to keep in the room. I thought this was a really different thing to have for a dorm room so I’m excited to hang it up and show my friends! I also got these super cute words to put on it. Here you can find this fun decoration.
Posters: A dorm room wouldn’t be complete without posters! Here’s one my friend gave me that will definitely inspire each time I look at it. I’m hoping to get to some thrift stores before school starts to look for some more.
Plants: I’ve read before that it’s good to keep plants in a dorm room, for health and psychological benefits. Even if that’s just a myth, they’ll certainly be a nice touch. I was able to find these succulents at Lowes.
Bedding & Sleep
My roommate and I chose a color scheme including gray, coral, aqua, black and gold. With that in mind, and wanting gray bedding because it would match almost anything, I went to the Pottery Barn Teen website and found the perfect bed set. I chose this duvet cover and two matching pillow cases, which can be found at this link.
Since my bedding is gray, I wanted to find a way to add in some color. Accent pillows are the perfect way! I found mine at Target. There were so many pillows with super cute quotes and designs there. These might actually be my favorite thing for my dorm room because they’re so fun!
I also purchased my sheets, blanket and throw blanket from Target. What can’t you find there? The sheet set is really neat because the fitted sheet has pockets on the side for storing things like a phone or glasses. The gray blanket is sooooo soft. I have one just like it on my bed at home and it keeps me so warm. I intend to use the pink blanket as a throw blanket to add a little more color and because, as my mom informed me, that way I won’t have to get the bed all wrinkled up when I sit on it. Here’s a blanket exactly like the fuzzy, gray one I got.
As I’ll probably be sitting on my bed a lot more than I do now, I’m going to bring this backrest from home with me. I also plan to bring this pillow that has a pocket which enables it to functions as a tablet holder. Here’s a backrest just like mine and here’s the pillow I have, which always comes in handy when I’m laying in bed and scrolling online.
A lot of friends I’ve talked to plan to use their phone as an alarm clock in college but, I can’t trust myself to wake up to that and I think it’s nice to have a clock in a room as well so, I invested in an alarm clock. The one I’ll be using has 2 USB ports, for charging a phone, tablet or other device. Here’s a link to the one I plan to use.
For late night reading, studying or anything in between, this clip light will certainly come in handy. It can be clipped onto a bed, shelf or any hard surface so that you can have a light focused on your activities without keeping your roommate up. I have this one with a warm white light so that it isn’t painfully bright.
Come September, my laundry room won’t be right next door to my bedroom so, I had to find a way to make transporting laundry easier, as well as a place to store it. I was able to find this laundry backpack that is able to fit 3 loads and has a pocket for carrying detergent. This will definitely help to make transporting laundry easier. Since limited space is a factor in dorm life, I wanted to find a hamper that doesn’t take up a lot of room and could easily be pushed to the side or put away if needed. Luckily, I found a two pack of pop-up hampers that can do just that. These also have pockets for detergent and dryer sheets, incase I want to transport laundry in them instead. These are also really nice for transporting things on move-in day. Here’s a similar set on Amazon.
Every blog post, checklist and article I’ve read about college says that storage is one of the most important purchases you can make in regards to college. On the top of my shopping list were Tupperware bins for moving in and storing clothing under my bed. I was able to find some in this cute pink color at Target!
Next, I needed a stand for the TV I won in a raffle so, my mom and I found a stand that also has some storage space. I’m thinking about keeping food for the microwave, which comes with my dorm room, on the bottom shelf and dish ware, silver ware and other kitchen accessories on the upper shelf. This was also found at Target.
Some other storage items I’ll be bringing with me include these wire storage cubes, which are super cool because they can be arranged and stacked in different ways. I’ll be putting these fabric cubes in the storage cubes to hold things like towels, clothing and more.
I found this drawer divider called “Dream Drawer” in Bed, Bath and Beyond, which will help to keep my drawers organized. This can be found on Amazon for only $12.99. I plan to store my shoes in this under-bed container in order to save closet space. I’m so happy I found this because now I’ll be able to bring way more shoes than I was planning on. I’ll be using this closet organizer to hold clothes that can be folded and, there are pockets along the side for holding shoes, socks, hats, gloves and whatever else I may need to fit in there. The closet organizer can be found here.
My mom had the great idea of getting an Ottoman to function as both storage and seating. It’ll be a nice way to make storage look a little more dressed up. This one has pockets on the side as well. Here’s the link to this one.
Along with the aforementioned items, I’ll be bringing some other small storage items to keep on my desk or on top of my closet. Most of these were found at Bed, Bath and Beyond and the pictures are below. Here’s the link to the 3 drawer organizer and to the desk organizer. I can’t imagine that needing more storage or organization with all of this but, there’s no such thing as being too prepared!
I was able to find all of my dish ware and silverware at target. I got white Corelle dishes and bowls because they’re known for being resistant to chipping and breaking and I can be very clumsy. These can be found here on Amazon. The cups pictured are plastic and, also, resistant to breaking. I really like this silverware set because it came with a place to store the silverware so that’s really helpful for trying to fit all of this in a small room. And, of course, some dish towels to wash it all with.
Although my residence hall has water bottle filling stations in it, I plan to bring this Brita pitcher with me so that I can have water in my dorm room too. I have one at home and my whole family loves it so I would definitely suggest investing in one. Here’s the one I have, in this really cute aqua color, on Amazon. If a pitcher isn’t for you, there are smaller Brita water bottles that can be bought as well.
Using communal showers will definitely take some getting used to. I won’t be able to leave my soap in there, will have to wear some kind of shower shoes and I’m sure many other things I’ll learn along the way. To make the change a little easier, I have these two shower caddies, one of which I’ve had for years and the other I received for Christmas. I imagine I’ll use the soft one more because it has 7 pockets and will fit a towel and washcloth better but, we’ll see which is more convenient once the school year starts. The soft one can be found here.
Below the shower caddies are one of my favorite items in daily life, a hair towel. I have curly hair so it’s really important that I use a soft towel on it to dry and I’ve found that they help prevent frizz. It’s so much easier to use than a regular towel to wrap hair and I would definitely suggest it for anyone with long hair. It can be found here on Amazon. Next to it is one of three sets of washcloths I will be bringing with me to college. I’ll also have 6 towels so that hopefully I can avoid doing laundry too often.
I’ll be bringing a pair of $1 Old Navy flip flops to use as shower shoes. While I hope the bathrooms will be clean, communal showers are notorious for being kinda gross so, this will be a good, cheap way to avoid athlete’s foot and whatever else the shower holds.
The last thing anyone needs is a dirty dorm room. Clorox disinfecting wipes make it easy to clean quickly and Febreze is always nice for freshening up blankets, chairs and a room. I’ll also be bringing this vacuum because my floor is carpeted and my roommate will be bringing a rug for the room. This vacuum is really nice because it’s slim and can fit in a closet or corner easily. Mine is in purple and can be found here.
With limited outlets in a dorm room and tons of technology that needs to be plugged in, extension chords and extra outlets are a must. This Power Curve+ is really nice because it has 2 USB slots and all of the outlets rotate. On the right is an extension cord and a lamp cord, which will be nice for turning things off without getting out of bed.
A desk lamp is a necessity for dorming. Most dorm rooms have pretty poor lighting and you don’t want to have to keep the room light on when you’re working on homework after your roommate is asleep. This lamp is really nice because it’s so slim and takes up very little room and displays the weather, time and date. It has 3 setting for light which is a nice extra. It can be found here.
I’m lucky enough to have an air conditioned dorm but, before I knew what school I’d be going to, I got this small fan. It’ll still be nice to use on a bedside table for the really hot days and nights and it’s really nice because it is so small and won’t take up much room.
Washi tape is so fun to decorate and do crafts with. I’ve seen some great ideas on Pinterest, like covering your phone charging cube with it and decorating your dorm door with it to add a touch of color. It can be found at any craft store or online.
Two teenagers in a small room can definitely lead to a smelly situation. Just incase the room does start to stink, I’ll be bringing this air freshener with me. Candles aren’t allowed in my residence hall so, this is the next best thing.
One of my worries about being away from home is “what happens when I get sick?”. Between walking to classes in the winter and the abundance of germs on almost everything I’ll touch, it’s inevitable. So, to be prepared for any medical emergencies that may come up, be it sickness or just a simple cut, I’ll be bringing this first aid kit with me. It includes Band Aids, Neosporin, Motrin, Medical Gloves and more. These can be found virtually anywhere or you can make one from home. Here’s one similar to mine but a bit smaller and, therefore, more convenient.
On move in day and hot days, my roommate and I will certainly want to have the door open for circulation and to air out the room. My mom found this old iron in our attic and figured it could be used as a door stop. It’ll be nice to be able to have the door open to invite friends in as well.
Space is very limited when it comes to dorm closets so, slim hangers are a must. I would suggest these.
At many colleges, crime is a large concern for parents and students alike. My mom got me this laptop security box and I’m so glad I’ll have it with me. It comfortably fits a laptop (I’ve tried the 3 laptops we have at my house and they all fit) and there’s still room for plenty of other things, such as a passport, health insurance card, birth certificate, money, jewelry and most other important or valuable items. It’s also fire resistant and comes with a cable to tie it down to a desk leg or a bed leg so that no one can take the box. The only downside is that it is slightly large so it’ll be difficult to find a place to store it in my room. Even if you don’t get this box, I highly suggest bringing some kind of a safe with you to college. The one I talked about can be found here.
Sometimes we all need a break from sitting at a desk. For my birthday, I got this lap desk that I love! It has an attachable LED light, a slot for tablets, a tray that slides from either side to hold a phone or other small device and it is is so soft and comfy because of the cushion at the bottom. Mine is in the color “Silver Sparkle” and it’s so nice. I plan to use it to get some work done while sitting on my bed, on the floor, or wherever else I find myself. The one I have can be found here on Amazon.
I’ve been using this mirror for years and it’ll be prefect to bring along to college. It has 4 different light settings and is perfect for makeup and some extra lighting for the room. I’ll also be bringing an over the door mirror with me to put in my closet. Here’s the link to this mirror that is perfect for keeping on a desk.