Dorm Room Essentials

A new school year is beginning! If you are moving into a dorm, start off your year on the right foot with these packing and decor tips from Domestic CEO.

Amanda Thomas
5-minute read
Episode #125

The new school year is beginning, and for many, this will be the first time attending college and living in a dorm room.

It can be difficult to think of everything you might need for your daily life when you are away at school. I know I took for granted a lot of the things that were just always available in my parents’ house. Once I was in my own dorm room, I realized just how much stuff my parents provided on a regular basis--who really thinks about the fact that you can always find a stapler, scissor, or paper clips on hand, for example?

When you move into a dorm room, though, suddenly you need to own all those things yourself. So here are some pointers on how to get ready for life on your own in your college dorm room.

Less is More

As you are packing up your belongings and necessities, remember not to over-pack. Check with the college to know exactly what items are provided for you; things like a bed, dresser, trash can, a mirror, or maybe even a microwave might be provided. Get the list in advance, so you know what not to purchase.

While you are packing your clothing, use a “less is more” mentality. You don’t need to take every pair of jeans or every t-shirt you own. Think about which clothing items you can mix and match easily, which items can do double-duty (like a sweatshirt working as a shirt or as a jacket), and take into consideration the weather in your college town. If you are moving far away from home, you might be facing lots of rain and snow,, so get clothing that works for that climate. If you are headed to sunny Arizona, you’ll need to stock up on shorts, tanks, and flip flops. Remember, you can always purchase more clothing once you are at college.;

Storage Needs

To get all your clothing stored in a teeny, tiny dorm room closet, try using some of these handy products:

  • Wonder Hangers: this hanger accessory expands the amount of storage space available by hanging your clothing vertically. This is a must have for anyone who loves clothing--and has a stuffed dorm closet.
  • Hanging Jewelry Organizer: I just love the small amount of space one of these takes while providing a ridiculous amount of storage and organization for jewelry. Many of these organizers offer 80 compartments just waiting to be filled1 Who says you can’t take all your jewelry to college? You can also store hair accessories in this organizer, too.
  • Free-standing shelf or plastic drawer cart: If there’s space in your dorm room, both of these are good options for adding more storage. Even if there’s not enough wall space, you can always plac ea shelf or storage cart at the foot of your bed, if there’s room.
  • Command Hooks: These handy hooks are a college student’s good friend. You can add these hooks anywhere in your room to add more storage. Attach hooks on the back of a door to stow your purses, backpack, hats, and jackets.
  • Bed Risers: These handy helpers can drastically increase storage space under your bed. Using these risers adds additional inches of height, so plastic storage bins can fit neatly under the bed. Stow jackets, boots, and other seasonal clothing under the bed when they are not needed.
  • Space Bags: These bags are another wonderful way to store seasonal clothing items. You can load up a bag with tons of stuff, then use a vacuum cleaner attachment to suck out the extra air--dramatically reducing the amount of storage space you'll need for those items.