25 Dorm Room Ideas

25 Dorm Room Ideas

25 Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips

Planning a dorm room and collecting dorm room ideas is a fun and exciting experience. You want to make sure you have all of the dorm room essentials and a good way to organize your things in a super small space. I have helped set up two dorm rooms – one for my oldest son and one for my daughter. This 25 Dorm Room Ideas post contains ideas and inspiration from my daughter’s dorm room.

 

25 Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #1

The first step to creating your dream dorm room is to make a list. Start with a FREE Printable Dorm Shopping Checklist. After purusing Pinterest and other sources of ideas, go through your checklist and decide which items are your dorm room essentials. The dorm shopping list is available in the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. You may sign up below this post for access.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #2

Decisions…. decisions…. Shopping can be overwhelming even with a good list. Prepare to spend several hours shopping. My daughter and I drove to the Oklahoma City Container Store and spent well over 2 hours as she looked at all of the possibilities and decided which items would work the best for her.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #3

One thing you need to think about is how much you want to organize. It is possible to go overboard coming up with an organization system for every small item you own. If you know that the chances are slim to none that you are ever going to routinely put your things in small compartments, go for bigger storage options. My daughter chose these baskets for shoes and other clothing accessories. It is so much easier to throw your shoes in a basket than it is to put them in little slots.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #4

Think about how you want to get your laundry to the washers and dryers. My daughter chose this gray laundry basket for several reasons – one because her room colors were going to be gray and light blue.  (It also comes in a blue/green color.) Also, the laundry facility in her dorm is close to her room, so she did not have to carry it very far. It hold quite a lot of clothes and can be easily carried back and forth to her dorm room. If you are going to have to leave the dorm to wash your clothes, you might consider a backpack style laundry tote like this one.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #5

Buy quality items that will last past your first year. A lot of places sell plastic drawers, but none are as functional and as well made as these modular units from Container Store. You can pack your clothes right in the drawers and set up the unit when you get there and bonus – it fits perfectly under a lofted bed.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #6

Lay out your bed items at home to make sure it all coordinates exactly how you picture it. (Headboard, Sheets, and Throw Blanket: Pottery Barn, Decorative pillow: West Elm, Duvet: Urban Outfitters)

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #7

This beautiful basket also came from the Container Store. She put it under her bed to store extra towels, throw blankets, and things.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #8

Take maximum advantage of the space under your bed. These rolling carts store a LOT of items and fit perfectly under the bed. The carts are available in 7 different colors

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #9

Although no one will ever see it, get the best quality mattress topper you can. You will spend a lot of time on your bed! This mattress topper is a 4 inch memory foam that we purchased from Amazon. Her bed was a twin bed. Most dorms have twin xl beds. Here is a similar topper in a twin xl.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #10

A padded headboard to lean on with plug-ins is a great item to have and will be enjoyed and appreciated every day. This one came from Pottery Barn.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #11

Buy a functional tote to go to the shower. Make sure it has holes in the bottom to drain out water. This cute tote is available in several colors.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #12

Don’t be afraid to add a bit of whimsey. My daughter found this shark bathmat at Target. 

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #13

It is a long way to the ground from a bed lofted to the highest setting. Bring a stepstool or other way to get up on your bed. We went back to the Container Store and bought this doubly functional Poppin Storage cube.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #14

There are so many cute and functional storage ideas for your K-Cups. My daughter’s roommate set up their coffee bar with this jar and adorable sign she found at the Magnolia Silos in Waco.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #15

Do not leave home without a collection of Command Hooks in various sizes. You can hang everything from a drapery rod to a place for your bath towel with these babies.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #16

An over-the-door hook set is also great for purses, bath towels, jackets, and other items.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #17

We returned to the Container Store and purchased a refrigerator cart after realizing my daughter had no where to store her food. It is very sturdy and easily held the micro-refrigerator required by the school. 

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #18

Prepare to do a little cleaning when you get there. Some things will be move-in ready, others not so much. Others have not been painted in several years (like this wall) and the scuffs are not going to come off! I worked hard, but did not make much progress.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #19

To have a long bedskirt or not have a long bedskirt? It’s a big decision. I wanted to buy one for my daughter because I thought it would make the room look more finished. She did not want one because word on the street is that the girls end up tucking them in their mattresses because they are in the way when accessing your things. Dormify carries long bedskirts just for dorm rooms.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #20

Many university websites list the dimensions of the room, closet, furniture, even interior drawers. These measurements will be your best friend when you are selecting items like desk and drawer organizers. With the measureaments you will be able to select exactly which items will fit in a drawer. I have pieces from this modular item set in my own desk at home and was able to plan exactly which pieces to purchase and how to arrange them to get maximum use in my desk.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #21

Don’t forget a first aid kit. A small first aid kit can be easily put together with the items needed for minor scrapes, headaches, menstrual cramps, diarhea and other small emergencies a college student might have. I have made first aid kits as graduation gifts before. See How to Make a DIY Dorm First Aid kit HERE.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #22

Duffle bags are perfect for weekend travel and for move-in and move-out. They hold a lot of items, store flat, and are an easy way to move clothes, shoes, towels, sheets, etc. in or out of the dorm.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #23

Put together a Move-In Survival Kit. A bit of prep and a few tools will help dorm move-in day go smoothly. You can read more about what to bring and how to survive the day HERE.

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #24

Take some encouraging scriptures with you. These printable Bible verses will be wonderful additions to a bulletin board and are available in the Almost Empty Nest printables library. You may sign up below for access. 

Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips #25

And finally, keep it all in perspective. Dorm rooms are temporary. They should be a comfortable and stress-free zone for a new college student to rest, hang out with friends, study, eat some meals, and absorb college life. Pinterest perfect should not be the only goal when shopping. Buy what you need and some things you want. Moms, honor your kid’s wishes about their room and Kids, be respectful of mom and dad’s pocket books and “suggestions.” Sometimes they have been there and know a few things. And DON’T FORGET SUNGLASSES FOR THOSE GOODBYE PICS!!  

How to Make the Best First Aid Kit for College

How to Make the Best First Aid Kit for College

How to Make the BEST First Aid Kit for College

 

It’s inevitable. Your college kid is going to cut their finger, have a headache, or suffer some sort of GI issue at 2 o’clock in the morning. In their previous life, they ran to the family medicine cabinet for a bandage or medicine. But now what, get up and go to the pharmacy? Or have a well-stocked DIY Dorm First Aid Kit?

What makes this first aid kit the best first aid kit for college? It is the best first aid kit because it is not so full of gauze and tape that they think they could bandage a severed limb, but has just the right amount of items to manage a small crisis. It is also very compact (a dorm room necessity) and  portable.

Read on for how to make your own.

Interested in what to do if your child has a medical emergency while at college? What to Do if Your College Student has a Medical Emergency

Also check out: DIY College Survival Kit

diy dorm first aid kit and best first aid kit for college

How to Make the Best First Aid Kit for College

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see the full disclosure in the foot bar. 

 

There are many commercially-available first aids kits out there, but most of them have the same problem – they are stuffed with a lifetime supply of bandages, but they don’t have any of the over-the-counter medicines or other supplies needed for a splinter, headache, small cut, or gastro-intestinal issue. The best first aid kit (especially one for a college dorm room) should have just the amount of supplies needed for a very small crisis and not look like the one used at a camp site 5 miles on foot from help.

Because my kids are high school and college-aged, we know a LOT of high school graduates. I decided to put together these kits for the 19 seniors we gifted this year. It required several trips to different stores and searching online, but I found reasonably-priced and useful items for the kits.

Setting up to make the first batch of first aid kits

Items Needed for the Best First Aid Kit for College:

  • Container for the supplies: I found these containers at Target. They are 11″ x 6 5/8″ x 2 1/4″ and cost $2.99 each. I recently found (thanks to a reader) these super cool empty first aid boxes.
  • A collection of bandages and supplies for minor injuries. The Featherlite First Aid kits that I used are currently out of stock on Amazon. I am disappointed because they truly have the best combination of supplies. Each one contains: a first aid book, 2 Acetaminophen (Tylenol) tablets, 2 Antiobiotic ointment packets, 12 antiseptic towelettes, 2 aspirin tablets, 30 bandages in 4 sizes, 2 burn cream packets, 5 butterfly closures, 2 moleskin pads, and 3 sting relief pads. These supplies are enough to treat a minor cut, burn, or insect bite and take up very little room and fit inside the container. A similar substitute is the Vive Mini First Aid kit.
  • A thermometer. It does not have to be a thermometer worthy of their chemistry lab. An easy to use and inexpensive thermometer will help them answer the question, “Do you have fever?” when they call in the middle of the night saying they do not feel well.
  • Tweezers: For splinters
  • Cough Drops: when they can’t stop coughing and need to sleep, take an exam, or are driving their roommate crazy.
  • A pain reliever: Acetaminophen and/or Ibuprofen

 

If you are making a kit for your own child, take the Tylenol and thermometer out of the boxes to free up more space. A few items you may consider adding are:

 

Immodium

Hydrocortisone cream

Antiobiotic ointment

Their prescription medications

 

Make sure they have their health insurance card. They should keep it in their wallet for convenience or put it in their dorm room safe. The card is replaceable and most insurers have removed social security numbers as member identifiers on the cards, so a wallet is probably the superior location. It will save a lot of hassle at a clinic or pharmacy if it is readily available.

College Student Health Handbook

Another item to add to a Best First Aid Kit for College is The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook with practical and conversational information about everything from first aid to what to do if you think you have an appendicitis.

Getting a kiddo ready for college is hard work! Aside from remembering all the usual stuff like bedding and towels, a quality and useful first aid kit is a necessity. What do you think belongs in the Best First Aid Kit for College?

 

Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off

Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off

Parent Survival Kit for College Move In

 

You have known this day was coming for several months. You have shopped for all the dorm necessities on the College Dorm Room Check List, have them packed up (How to Move to the U), and everything is in the front hall ready to go in the car. But, what else do you need to ensure a smooth move-in day? There are a few “don’t forget” items you need to include in your Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off.

Also Check Out:

College Dorm Room Checklist

25 Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips

 

college move in

PARENT SURVIVAL KIT FOR COLLEGE DROP OFF

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

Whether you are approaching college drop-off with dread or excitement or a combination of both, you want the day to go as smoothly as possible. There is the potential for crowded hallways and staircases (forget the elevator), no or very little air conditioning, and a high emotional level from every person you bump into in these crowded hallways. Being prepared will keep you from bursting into tears as soon as you walk into your child’s very small room that is already full of her roommate’s stuff and her roommate’s five family members.

 

SUCCESSFUL COLLEGE MOVE IN DAY TIPS:

 

FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE SCHOOL

Plan to arrive at the time you have been assigned. Don’t try to beat the system. They have assigned the times for a reason and they will not want to check you in early. If you manage to beat the system and get moved in early, it will cause resentment from your child’s roommate who arrives to find the room already set up without his input.

BRING A PARENT SURVIVAL KIT FOR COLLEGE DROP OFF:

college move in

THE ITEMS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR PARENT SURVIVAL KIT FOR COLLEGE DROP OFF

 

A dollie or wagon. Hopefully, happy and enthusiastic upper classmen will meet you at the curb and take everything to the room for you. If this does not happen, you will be prepared to stack things in your wagon and make quick work of moving the stuff to the room.

We originally bought this wagon for our daughter’s track meets. It was awesome! It folds up flat, has drink holders, and all-terrain wheels. It is a life saver almost anywhere.

MORE ITEMS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR PARENT SURVIVAL KIT FOR COLLEGE MOVE IN

A wheeled ice chest with some cold drinks and snacks.

A door stop to prop the dorm door open while moving in or to keep the room from being too stuffy.

A few tools (electric screwdriver/drill, rubber mallet, hammer) for assembling shelves and drawer units.

Pen and Paper to make a list of items to go buy once you arrive.

Tape Measure. If you need to go buy shelves or drawer units, it will help to know the space available.

Alcohol Swabs and a blow dryer: These seem like strange items, but they will make hanging Command Strips so much easier. Getting the wall clean and dry before adhering the strips will make them stick better.

Kleenex (a few for your pocket and a box for the car).

Multi-purpose cleaner and paper towels to clean spots in the room or furniture that were missed by the last occupant.

 

A FEW MORE COLLEGE MOVE IN DAY TIPS

Expect chaos and be ready to be patient and malleable to the situation.

Don’t plan to give advice to your child about room setup or anything else. This is not the time. It is their room and they need the freedom to decide where the bed goes, what drawer they want their underwear in, and whether they want you to unpack everything.

Take pictures of any existing damage to walls, floors, doors, and furniture in case it is an issue at move-out.

Plan a shopping trip. After you arrive and get the basic unpacking done, take a survey of the room and make a list of items to go buy. These may be items that were too big to bring with you or just some snacks and laundry detergent. A shopping trip gets you out of the dorm for a while and lets you and your child pick out a few last things together.

Find a place other than the dorm for your good-byes – some place calmer and more private. Take your child out to dinner or for ice cream as your last activity and say good bye there.

 

While it may be hard to believe, you both will survive the drop-off experience. Planning ahead and bringing a Parent Survival Kit for College Move In will certainly help. You cannot anticipate everything the day will entail, but having a few items at your fingertips will keep the panic at bay. When it is time to get in the car and drive away, smile through the tears and congratulate yourself on raising a spectacular kid who is ready for the adventures and experiences ahead.

See 25 Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips for ideas about how to set up the room and what to bring.

How to Pack for College

How to Pack for College

How to Pack for College

 

It’s coming! That day filled with excitement, anxiety, dread, tears, fun, and sweat – that day you finally climb in the car and drive your child to his new temporary home – a college dormitory. You’ve spent the summer going over the College Dorm Room Checklist and meticulously checked off the items. But before you hit the road, you need some College Packing Tips. Let’s talk about How to Pack for College!

And, don’t forget your Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off!

More Back to College Posts:

25 Dorm Room Ideas

Back to College: The Essential Guide

The Complete Guide to Paying for College

12 Bible Verses for College Students

 

how to pack for college

How to Pack for College with these College Packing Tips

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

College Packing Tip #1

Gather these supplies:

  • Banker’s boxes (can be purchased in multi-packs at Sams, office supply stores, or online). These are just the right size for small collections of items, are easy to carry (handles), and stack in the car or on a dolly.
  • Ikea Bags: People swear by these Ikea Bags. We have a lot of duffles that we use have used instead, but if you are short on duffles, these will more than do the trick. They are inexpensie and are great for packing clothes, linens, towels, really anything… Like banker’s boxes, they can be easily collapsed after the move for storage.
  • Depending on your items, a few larger boxes
  • Drawer units, storage boxes, laundry baskets, etc. (Any dorm room item that will hold other items.) You will never be sorry you purchased good, quality drawer units that will last through college and beyond.
  • Mover’s stretch plastic wrap
  • a system for labeling
  • trash bags
  • Wheeled duffles or suitcases
  • The Parent’s Survival Kit for College Move In

 

how to pack for college

College Packing Tip # 2:

How to pack your clothes for the move to college

Make a small hole in the middle of the non-open end of several trash bags. Slip the trash bags over clothes on hangers. We have learned over many moves to Zip tie the hangers together to keep individual hangers from falling.

Place other clothing in wheeled suitcases or in your drawer units.

 

 

College Packing Tip #3:

Packing school supplies and other small collections of items for the move to college:

Small items like desk supplies that will not stay neat in a duffle fit perfectly into banker’s boxes. These boxes have handles are are very easy to label. They can be collapsed and put back in the car for the drive home or easily stored in a dorm room.

 

College Packing Tip #4:

Packing large and oddly shaped items for the move to college:

Some items will not fit in boxes and will have to be placed in the car “as is.” Wrap anything that might get dirty or has loose parts with plastic stretch wrap. The plastic wrap can also be used to hold drawers closed and contain items in a laundry basket or trash can.

College Packing Tip #4:

Label, label, label EVERYTHING for the move to college:

Label every box with your child’s dorm name, room number, and name. Hopefully you will be met at the curb by some smiling upper classmen who will empty your car and have everything to the dorm room in less than 10 minutes. However, you want these willing souls to bring your stuff to the correct room!

 

Pile all of your stuff by the door and prepare to load it in the car. 

Using these College Packing Tips for your Move to College will save time and headaches once you arrive at your school. The more you can compact the items into containers that are easily carried and stacked, the better it will fit in your car and the easier it will be to get to the dorm room.

If you are a veteran parent of the college move or have other how to pack for college hints, please share them in the comments, then head over to the Parent Survival Kit for College Drop-Off for tips for the move-in day.

New Apartment Checklist

New Apartment Checklist

New Apartment Checklist

 

 

It’s time to move out of the dorm and get an apartment!!! I have compiled a complete New Apartment Checklist to assist you as you navigate the aisles of IKEA, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and order online. And best of all, the list is printable!! I have gone through stocking apartments with my sons and now my daughter will move into her first apartment this fall. They have lived in both furnished and unfurnished apartments. When we needed to furnish the apartments, we bought furniture from IKEA, Craig’s List listings, Amazon, and the Container Store.

The New Apartment Checklist printable is part of the Almost Empty Nest Member’s Library. Sign up below!

 

Also check out:

College Apartment Kitchen Ideas

Back to College: The Essential Guide

First Apartment Care Package – A kitchen care package with recipes

New Apartment Care Package – A cleaning bucket with supplies and printable cleaning checklist

College Apartment Recipes

Adulting: 7 Expenses to Consider When You Enter the Real World

New Apartment Checklist

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

Here are some items to consider as you shop and gather items for your apartment. You will not necessarily need everything on this list. 

Furniture you may need for your new apartment:

Some apartments will be completely furnished, some partially furnished, and some will not have any furniture all. IKEA and Craig’s List are great places to get reasonably priced furniture.

  • Mattress: We have bought 2 of these mattresses. They are easy to ship, a great price, and are very comfortable.
  • Bedframe
  • Nightstand
  • Dresser
  • Desk
  • Desk Chair
  • Armoire (if there is not a closet)
  • Dining table and chairs and/or barstools
  • Couch
  • Chairs
  • TV
  • TV stand
  • Coffee table/end tables

 

Kitchen

  • Skillet
  • Sauce Pan
  • Mulitpot
  • Crockpot
  • Indoor Grill:  My sons have used their indoor grills more than any other appliance. It is an easy and quick way to grill chicken breasts, cook hamburgers, make grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.)
  • Airfryer: A great apartment cooking gadget. Great for heating frozen food to crispy perfection. It is also an easy place to cook one chicken breast. We love ours and my daughter wants one for her apartment.
  • A Cookbook like How to Cook Everything: The Basics
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Paring Knife
  • Cooking Utensil Set
  • Can Opener
  • Pot Holders or Mits
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Pizza Pan
  • Silverware
  • Drinking Glasses
  • Mugs
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Coffee Maker
  • Toaster
  • Microwave (Check to see if the apartment provides one.)
  • Paper Towel Holder
  • Strainer
  • Dish Soap
  • Dish brush or sponge
  • Dishwasher Detergent
  • Food Storage
  • Trash Can
  • Trash Bags

Living Room

  • Streaming device and/or antenna. What is this antenna thing you ask? Back in the dark ages, it was all we had. Now you can use one to watch network television without cable or a paid streaming service. 
  • Lamps
  • Rug

Bedroom (***Check the size of the bed if the apartment is furnished. Some are twin XL and some are full-size)

Ideas from the Container Store

These modular drawers can be used under sinks, under beds, or to create a drawer unit

This Turn-It Organizer is also great in a bathroom cabinet. It is a lazy susan, so you can access items easier.

My daughter and I love our real acrylic makeup organizers. They can be configured to exactly fit your needs.

Ideas from the Container Store

Hanging Storage for sweaters, purses, and other items

Ideas from the Container Store

Cleaning Supplies

  • Vacuum
  • Bucket with cleaners and rags or sponges
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Swiffer

 

Storage Ideas

  • Shelving unit
  • Underbed storage
  • Storage Furniture (These Poppin box seats support 275 pounds and can be collapsed when not in use.)
  • Drawer organizers
  • Stacking drawers (I LOVE these modular drawers that can be configured to meet your exact storage needs. See 25 Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips for a picture of my daughter’s modular drawer set.)
  • Elfa drawers (These are amazing, come in many sizes, can be customized and will last forever. We have had some of our Elfa units for over 20 years. They will go from your child’s dorm room to their first apartment to their first place after graduation and beyond. They are also great for packing in.)

Ideas from the Container Store

Health and Safety

To Make the Apartment Comfortable and Personal

 

Other Practical items

The first goal of setting up an apartment is to purchase just enough items to make the apartment comfortable and functional, but not more than you need. The New Apartment Checklist. It is available in the Printables Library. Take it with you to the store or use it as you order online.

It can be helpful to have the dimensions of apartment rooms, closets, cabinets, and any furniture provided. If you have this information, take advantage of it, and plan out the room. If not, work with whatever information you have knowing that you can always go to the store or order additional items after you move in.

 

Best wishes as you and your child take on the adventure of a New Apartment.

 

Free Printable Apartment Checklist available in the Printables Library.

Sign up Below!

College Dorm Room Checklist

College Dorm Room Checklist

College Dorm Room Checklist

 

 

Getting ready to move to college can be scary and stressful, but shopping for the dorm room shouldn’t be. I have compiled a complete College Dorm Room Checklist to assist you as you navigate the aisles of the super store or order online.

I have stocked three kids with items to go to college and each one (especially my daughter as compared to my sons) has ended up with slightly different items at school depending on their tastes and desires

Your student most likely won’t need or want every item on the list, but the list will help you think about what they should bring.

And best of all, the list is printable!! The list is available in the Printables Library. You may sign up to access it below.

 

Also check out:

25 Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips

Back to College: The Essential Guide

10 Dorm Room Items They Will Actually Use

Parent Survival Kit for College Move In

ultimate college dorm room checklist

College Dorm Room Checklist

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see the full disclosure in the foot bar.  

Dorm Room Bed

Your bed is the most important part of your room. You will spend a lot of time there. It is not only where you will sleep, but most likely the most comfortable place to sit and hang out. It will be worth putting a good quality mattress topper and pad and good quality sheets on your college dorm room checklist.  I also recommend a headboard especially one with plug-ins to give you an easy place to charge your phone. 

 

dorm room ideas

Long Bedskirt for Lofted Beds

A long bedskirt hides the items you store under your bed and gives the room a more finished look. Dormify carries them in many different colors.

dorm headboard

Dorm Headboard

Headboards are a nice thing to have because they give you something soft to lean on. A powered headboard is even better because it gives you a place to plug in your phone at night.

Dorm Bathroom

The most important bathroom items for your college dorm room checklist are your towels and a shower caddy. Monogramming your towels is a nice way to know which ones are yours. You can also choose a favorite color or a color that matches your room. 

For your caddy, make sure it has holes in the bottom. You do not want it to fill with water while you are showering.

casabella shower caddy

Casabella Shower Tote

This Casabella Shower Tote is only $10.99. It is made from a flexible plastic, has holes in the bottom, and an integrated divider inside to help organize your toiletries.

Graduation gifts under $10

Clear Grid Shower Tote

One of my sons used this clear grid shower tote for more than 4 years – even after he moved into an apartment. It has holes in the bottom and is a good size for taking to the shower or storing toiletries on the counter or in a cabinet.

Closet

You closet is another super important part of your dorm room. It will help if you can get the measurements of the closet. Most have a shelf in the top above the closet rod. I used to include a double closet rod on my college dorm room checklist, but the feedback I hear is that they fall and clothes end up on the floor. 

 

 

hanging 60 pocket jewelry organizer

Hanging Jewelry Organizer

A hanging jewelry organizer is perfect if you have a LOT of jewelry. You can store tons of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more in a super small amount of space with this hanging jewelry organizer.

shoe rack

Shoe Storage

You need to figure out how to store your shoes. This rack is one option. My daughter chose a large basket for her everyday shoes and a few shoe cubbies for her nicer shoes.

hanging organizer

Hanging Storage

A canvas storage hanger can be used for sweaters, purses, or other items.

acrylic desk set

Desk Top Organizers

Fun desk top organizers like this Russell + Hazel Acrylic Bloc Collection keep your desk clean and make it a peaceful place to study.

 

metal desk drawer organizers

Desk Drawer Organizers

Desk drawer space is at a premium. I love this set! I have it in my own desk.

Cleaning Supplies

 

Food Area

Fridge Cart

Fridge Cart

These Elfa Rolling Carts with Drawers are the best place to put a fridge. It hold the rented microfridge just fine. When we set up my daughter’s room we initially did not have a cart, but went back to the Container Store to get one so she would have a place for her food. It saves floor space to have the micro fridge on top of a cart.

dorm room ideas

Coffee Station

Set up a coffee station with a coffee maker and pods. Bring a cute container and other accessories to make it a welcoming spot each morning.

Laundry backpack

Laundry Bag

This standup laundry bag is also a backpack so you can easily carry it down the hall to the washers or to the laundromat.

best gifts for college students 2019

Steamer

A Steamer is a space saving option. This Rowenta steamer (which I use all the time instead of an iron) has a delicate and high setting. A steamer does not require a laundry board or an ironing pad.

Storage

  • Shelving unit
  • Underbed storage
  • Storage trunk
  • Storage Furniture (These Poppin box seats support 275 pounds and can be collapsed when not in use. Our daughter used hers as a step stool for her lofted bed.)
  • Drawer organizers
  • Makeup organizers
  • Over the door hooks (Great for jackets and coats)
  • Stacking drawers (I LOVE these modular drawers that can be configured to meet your exact storage needs.)
  • Elfa drawers (These are amazing, come in many sizes, can be customized and will last forever. We have had some of our Elfa units for over 20 years. They will go from your child’s dorm room to their first apartment to their first place after graduation and beyond. They are also great for packing in.)
Poppin Seat

Poppin Storage Box

The Poppin Storage Box is another item we went BACK to the the Container Store to get after moving my daughter into the dorm. Why? She needed a step to get onto her lofted bed and if you are going to get a step, you may as well store something in it. (Those beds are up there…. She is 5’8″ and still needed a step stool.)

modular drawers

Modular Stacking Drawers

You will not be sorry you invested in these Modular Stacking Drawers. They are sturdy. The drawers slide well and they can be reconfigured for your apartment closet or any space you need them in. 

best gifts for teens 2019

Acrylic Makeup Organizer

Sadly, you will not have use of the entire bathroom counter and drawers in which to store your makeup. Real Acrylic (as opposed to cheap plastic) makeup organizers will last forever and give you a spot for your entire collection of makeup.

Health and Safety

  • The Best First Aid Kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Health Insurance card
  • Room safe (For jewelry, some prescription drugs, laptops, and other electronics that are easily stolen.)
  • Computer lock (There is a tremendous amount of “opportunity theft” on college campuses. No fun to walk away from a laptop for a second and turn around and it is gone.)
  • Surge protector (Fried electronics are not any fun either.)

To Make the Room Comfortable and Personal

 

Other Practical items

Absolute Must-Haves

 

dry erase board

Magnetic Dry Erase Board

Make sure you have a magnetic dry erase board and some fun markers!

foldy lock

Bike Lock

Get a sturdy steel bike lock like the Foldy Lock. One of our sons had a Foldy Lock. Someone tried to cut through it and GAVE UP!

The first goal of dorm shopping is to purchase just enough items to comfortably set up a dorm room, but not more than you need. The second goal is to purchase just enough storage items to organize the above items, but not more than you need. Print the College Dorm Room Checklist. Take it with you to the store or use it as you order online.

Some college websites give the exact dimensions of dorm rooms, closets, and any other furniture in the room. If you have this information, take advantage of it, and plan out the room. If not, work with whatever information you have knowing that you can always go to the store or order additional items after you arrive.

If you have taken a child to college, share your advice about what to take, what to leave at home, and how to store it all in the comment section below.