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Here’s the thing about college: It’s one of those things that feels so exciting yet so stressful at the same time. Freedom! Friends! No more curfew! But along with that, doing laundry on your own? Cleaning? All while managing new and hard classes? It can certainly feel overwhelming and stressful.
I keep thinking how in just a few weeks I’ll be moving into my first ever college dorm and living away from home. Am I excited? Of course. Am I nervous? More than ever.
Just thinking about what I would buy for my dorm room left me in shambles. How am I going to fit all my shoes and clothes? What aesthetic do I want my dorm room to have (floral versus minimalistic are the top two contenders), and how much space is a 121-square-foot room anyway? If you thought the internet would alleviate any of that stress, think again. There are hundreds of places to buy dorm decor from, and I could already feel my wallet shaking from some of the price tags I’ve been seeing.
Lucky for you, I did the work so you don’t have to! After weeks of comparing sites and prices (and yes, asking older college friends who had already gone through the pain of freshman year for recommendations), I found the best retailers to shop for all your dorm decor and essentials. Whatever your aesthetic or current stress level regarding your dorm for next year, I’m sure you’ll find something you absolutely love. I’ve found everything from personalized shower caddies to the coolest wall art. And no, it’s never too early to start your back-to-school shopping!
Keep reading for dorm inspo from the 14 best spots for all of your decorative needs. I’m sure by the Fall, you’ll feel organized, trendy and ready to start the semester off strong.
I don’t even have to tell you that Amazon has anything and everything you could imagine to spice up your dorm room. Take, for example, this three-tier rolling storage cart that’s perfect for holding school supplies, toiletries and other essentials. The best part about shopping for dorm essentials on Amazon is that you can sign up for a Prime Student subscription to start your six-month trial. After your trial ends, Prime will only cost you $7.49 a month, which is half the price of a regular Prime subscription. That’s free delivery, exclusive deals and TV shows for yah!
Target is the perfect one-stop shop for decor and essentials at great prices. Dorm mattresses aren’t known for being the most comfortable, so a memory foam mattress topper like this one is key if you don’t want to feel like you’re sleeping on a literal rock every night. Plus, the retailer recently increased its Target Circle college student discount from 15 percent to 20 percent. This means you can save 20 percent on a one-time purchase from July 3 through September 3.
Bed Bath & Beyond
If you’re an organization guru, Bed Bath & Beyond is your new go-to for bedside organizers, shower caddies and more. I’ve bought everything from picture frames to storage containers here, and there’s even a College Savings Pass that gives you 20 percent off of every purchase through September 30. I’m in love with this personalized shower caddy that you can get your own name embroidered on. No more losing your items or getting them mixed up with your roomie!
Dormify is THE spot for the cutest dorm decor. From pillows and comforters to mirrors and neon signs, this is the perfect place to find things to craft the look you want. It even has a section for curated rooms (pick your aesthetic!) to make your shopping experience easier. Wavy mirrors are having a moment and this chic one is perfect to place above your bed or near your door for last-minute touch-ups.
For a more boho and chic vibe, check out Urban Outfitters. The retailer carries tapestries, lights, comforters, throw pillows and everything in between. If you have a bathroom to yourself or share one in a suite, spruce up the space with this very on-trend checkered bath mat.
Wayfair is my go-to for decor because of its cute and trendy options at low prices. This sleek desk lamp is perfect for all of your late-night study seshes when dorm room lighting simply won’t cut it.
Society6 is my fave place for all things decorative and artsy, whether it be prints and posters or mugs and pillows. I am in love with its collection of wall art since it offers so many unique pieces that are made by independent artists. Scatter a few prints around your room or go all out with a gallery wall. The world is truly your oyster at Society6! Start with this beautiful print that’s sure to bring some much-needed color to your space. You’re in luck because students get a 25 percent discount through Student Beans.
For a one-of-a-kind look, head on over to Etsy. A lot of items can be customized to your liking by certain sellers, and there is no shortage of handmade and vintage items. Brighten up your room (literally) with this customized neon sign. It adds a personal touch to your dorm since you get to pick the text, font and color of the sign.
The Container Store
Nothing screams organization like The Container Store. It’s perfect for all your (you guessed it) container and storage needs. It’s no secret that you won’t have all the space in the world in a dorm room, so convenient storage solutions are the key to avoiding clutter. This hanging shoe organizer will save you so much floor space and keep things tidy as can be. Calling all college students and parents: Take 15 percent off when you sign up for The Container Store’s Organized Insider Exclusive Offer from July 14 through August 14. For the long haul, though, get your 20 percent student discount at UNiDAYS.
Walmart is home to all of your everyday dorm essentials. It’s chock-full of decor, cleaning supplies, toiletries, appliances, school supplies and whatever else you need to make your dorm more organized and comfy. Not all dorm rooms come with mirrors, but you definitely need one to check your college OOTDs and take cute mirror selfies with friends. This one is super simple and also super affordable. You won’t find a cute gold mirror for $7 anywhere else! If you’re constantly restocking on dorm essentials, you might want to sign up for a Walmart+ membership. You get free shipping, early access, free delivery and more for $12.95 a month (though you can start with a free 30-day trial).
Nordstrom is here to help you get quality sleep between all of your lectures, club meetings, study sessions and hangouts. This alarm clock also functions as a reading light and sound machine, so if you have trouble sleeping and waking up (same), this handy device needs to go straight into your cart.
If trendy bohemian is your dorm aesthetic and you want to hold on to your wallet, T.J.Maxx marries both savings and style. The retailer has a range of new and affordable pieces that you’ll love in your dorm room, like this adorable door mat that’ll welcome you back into your humble abode each and every time.
Marshalls is the place to shop if you want the best savings without sacrificing quality or style. Since businesses send their extra merchandise to these department stores for lower prices, you’re guaranteed to find trendy decor without spending too much coin. Cozy up in this cable knit throw blanket while you’re treating yourself to some Netflix shows or taking a well-deserved midday nap.
Great Useful Stuff
Just like its name suggests, Great Useful Stuff is a hub for products that are high-quality and make your life easier. Shop wooden finish alarm clocks, desk caddies and more. All of its products are so long-lasting and durable that they just scream: “Use me!” The Original Multi-Charging Station is a prime example of an item that’s both stylish and functional.