20 Underappreciated, Must-Have College Dorm Necessities

Aug 22, 2018Reading Time: 8 min

As we reach the end of summer, students and parents alike are gearing up for the upcoming school year. College students everywhere know that setting up your dorm is one of the most fun aspects of going to college - and one of the most stressful. Figuring out everything you’re going to need is sometimes a challenge, especially if you don’t have an older sibling or friend to give you some tips. Luckily, those at have compiled a list of 20 of the most underappreciated necessities that will make your college dorm as cozy and functional as it can be.

Storage Solutions

Storage Solutions

Dorm rooms can be pretty tiny, especially when you have to share your space with a roommate or two. But finding ways to maximize that small space and stay organized will make the room feel less cluttered, and hopefully a little bit bigger. Here are some of our favorite affordable storage solutions:

1. Over-The-Door Storage Rack

When working with a small space, you will have to be creative to fit everything without making the room feel cluttered or overcrowded. The back of your bedroom door is a great space to make use of, and this rack or similar versions will help you find room for quite a few necessities. This is a great place to put things that you need to grab before heading out for the day, including keys, your bag, or your jacket.

2. Hanging Shoe Organizer

Whether you have a huge collection of shoes or just one or two pairs, they can take up a lot of floor space. Not to mention, they can leave your room looking cluttered and messy. This hanging shoe organizer makes use of all the vertical space in your closet and keeps your shoes as neat as can be.

3. Clear Plastic Bins

Plastic bins, in general, are a great way to store things that don't fit in your dresser or your closet, but clear ones are a good extra step. If you can see what's inside the bin without having to take everything out, it'll save you some time and keep the insides neat and tidy. These are great for clothes, shoes, extra toiletries - anything that just doesn't quite have a home.

4. Bed Risers

Another often-overlooked storage space is under your bed! Most form beds have extendable legs so you can raise or lower the frame, but if you're looking for a little extra height, these bed risers are perfect. You can remove them at the end of the year when you move, and it opens up that entire area for things to be stored (like your clear plastic bins!).

5. Command Hooks

Adding a few hooks to your wall is great for bags, towels, belts - anything that doesn't quite fit in the closet or dresser. Command hooks are great for dorm rooms because they can easily come off when you're finished and they do not damage the walls. That means that there won't be any trace when you move out at the end of the year. A few colorful alternatives to the usual white or clear hooks will brighten your walls, too!


Adorable Decorations

Now that you have gotten all the functional issues taken care of, it's time to get creative! Your dorm room is where you'll be living, so it's important to make it feel like home with a personal touch. We've gathered some fun and creative ways to customize your room:

6. Personalized Photo Mural

If you're looking to make a big statement, take a picture that you love - maybe of your hometown, friends, family, pets - and make it into a mural in your room. Not only will you have a reminder of home, but it'll make your room totally unique.

7. Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

Customizing your dorm means walking a fine line between making it your own and not damaging school property. Peel-and-stick wallpaper is a great way to dress up boring dorm walls while still being easy to remove at the end of the year.

8. Mixtiles

Most dorms won't let you put holes in the walls, which makes it hard to hang up photos from home. If you're against using push pins, you can try something like Mixtiles, which allow you to print your photos and stick them to the wall without leaving any marks.

9. Fun Bedding

Your bed is probably going to take up the most space in your bedroom, making it the focal point of the room. Instead of going with a bedspread with one color or no pattern, shop around a little bit for a fun duvet cover and some pillows with a little more personality. It's an easy way to brighten the room and make it your own.

10. Rugs

Similarly to bedding, adding a rug is an easy and functional way to customize your space. Even if your room has carpet already, adding a small throw will make it feel cozy and reminiscent of home.

School Supplies

School Supplies

Decorating your room is all fun and games, and it's an important part of making college feel like home. But you did come to go to school, so we've created a list of some things that will make that whole school-part a little bit easier:

11. Desk Organizer

Your desk is probably going to be pretty tiny, especially if you’re sharing your room with one or two other people. A desk organizer like this one helps you save desk space and gives you a place to put everything away. This will allow you to focus on your homework and essays, not the clutter.

12. Floating Shelves

Everyone tells you to do the reading in college (and they're right!) but that means finding a home for all of those textbooks. Floating shelves like these make use of your wall space, look pretty cool, and will clear up space on your desk to give you a place to work.

13. Drawers

Extra storage space never hurt anyone, and once each semester is done, you might have some extra papers or syllabi that you want to save. Rather than give up valuable desk space for the new term, create a filing system for all important paperwork so you can refer back to it if you need to.

14. Wall Calendar

For a lot of students, college is the first time they're totally in charge of their own schedules and deadlines. Making sure you stay on top of things from the beginning will be super important to staying organized your whole time at school. A dry erase board calendar will make it easy for you to keep track of your school work, clubs, social events, and other commitments.

15. Planner

A planner is important for the same reasons, but with the added bonus of being portable. Whether you use a paper planner or an app on your phone, having your schedule accessible wherever you are will be important to sticking to it.



These days, technology is integral to the school system. Here are some must-have gadgets that will make your school days that much easier:

16. Laptop

Students today have to have a laptop in college. From typing up notes in class to pulling all-night study sessions in the library, you need a lightweight, handy laptop to see you through it all. Thanks to Acer, you have all of the laptops, computers, hardware, and accessories that you need to get through college.

17. Charging Hub

Whether you have multiple devices that need charging or you have friends over who need a little juice, having the ability to charge more than one device at a time will be super helpful.

18. Noise Canceling Headphones

College is a noisy place; whether you’re trying to block out a roommate while you’re studying or just want to watch a movie in peace, noise canceling headphones will help you find a little peace and quiet.

19. Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Hopefully you won’t be sitting at your desk all the time! Afterall, college is just as much about going out and meeting people as it is going to school. So when you do go out, a portable speaker is a great way to bring music with you on your next adventure.

20. Printer

Most schools have printing options in the library and other labs on campus, but if it’s late at night and you don’t want to leave your room, having a printer right there that’s only yours will be very helpful. Printers now are small enough that you can keep one in your room without giving up too much space, and it’ll save you the headache of finding time to run to the library.