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10 Dorm Room Essentials You’ll Actually Use

Leah Faye Cooper
10 Dorm Room Essentials You’ll Actually Use
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Photo: Yuna Park/STYLECASTER

If you’re heading off to college this fall, you’re about to embark on some pretty significant years. You’ll hopefully learn a ton, make great friends, and have a lot of fun. (Can you tell that we’re nostalgic for our college days and incredibly jealous of anyone who’s about to start? We are.)

Transforming your dorm room into a space that’s comfortable and reflective of your taste will be one of your first tasks if you’re living on campus, and it can honestly be a bit daunting. Most dorm rooms are small blank canvases, equipped with little more than two desks and a pair of twin-size beds. Plus, the shopping checklist you either Googled or got from your school probably has a few things on it that you don’t really need.

Instead of spending your money on an alarm clock (just use your phone), a shoe cubby (it’ll take up too much room), or a printer (you can print everything at the library), snap up the essentials. Ahead are ten finds you’ll actually use, from shower shoes and a laundry bag to a desk lamp and a compact coffee maker.

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A compact coffee maker

You'll be very thankful for this during finals week, and any other time you need a jolt. This slender and space-saving coffee maker sits at only eight inches wide, and brews from three different cup sizes all in under a minute.

Keurig® K-Compact™ Single Serve Coffee Maker, $59; at Wal-Mart

A mini fridge

The cafeteria probably won't be open 24/7—you're going to want to have some snacks on hand!

Igloo Mini Refigerator, $129; at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters
A desk lamp

You'll definitly spend some nights studying, so you'll need this.

Svirvel Work Lamp, $29.99; at Ikea

Extra shelving

There's a good chance storage space will be limited—rolling shelves are a smart buy.

Loft Living™ Wood And Metal 4-Tier Rolling Cart, $59.99; at Bed Bath and Beyond 

A laundry bag

Your dorm room definitly won't come equipped with a washer and dryer, so you'll need one of these.

Laundry Bag, $12.99; at H&M

Mounting tape

Most schools won't allow you to nail anything on the walls. Mounting tape will come in handy if you want to decorate.

Command Mounting Strips, $3.99; at Target

A cosmerics organizer

Having beauty products sprawled everywhere isn't a good look. Grab one of these to keep everything organized.

Vanity Drawer Storage Organizer, $26; at Urban Outfitters

A microwave

How else are you going to reheat the pizza you saved from the last social in the student union?

GE Compact Microwave, $71.99; at Best Buy

A mirror

Mirrors are another thing you may not find in your dorm room, so definitely keep this on the list.

Tiered Vanity Mirror, $39; at Anthropologie

Shower shoes

Since you'll likely be using a communal bathroom, these are an absolute must.

adidas Adilette Slides, $44.95; at Nordstrom

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  • coffee-maker
  • mini-frigde
  • ikea-lamp
  • shelves
  • hm-laundry-bag
  • command-strips
  • makeup-case
  • microwave
  • mirror
  • adidas-slides