Having done this whole college thing for almost four years, I’ve nailed down a pretty comprehensive list of college essentials! I spent my first year in a dorm room and the rest of them in an apartment and believe me when I say there’s a lot you need but also a handful of stuff that just takes up space. So here is a list of items you should definitely invest in as a college student!
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This one’s obvious but you need a comforter or duvet and at least two sets of sheets. Sure you can get away with one set of sheets, but it’s useful to have two in case one gets dirty, and you’re not able to wash it right away. Also, the standard size for college dorm beds is a size twin XL, so make sure to get the right sizes!
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Shop my favorite bed sheets below: (All under $80)
I ended up with way more clothes than hangers so buying hangers in bulk is a great idea.
You can either get a basket or a fold-up hamper depending on where you’re putting it. If you’re planning to put your laundry under your bed, I’d suggest a basket since it’ll fit better. However, If you’re planning to put it in your closet or some other place in your room then a hamper would save you more space.
I was very lucky and never had to use communal college bathrooms with all the girls on my floor. However, speaking to my friends who had to do so, they found a shower caddy useful. It’s easy to go down the hall and store your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. all in one spot.
Memory Foam Topper
Whether you’re using a dorm room bed or your own mattress in your apartment, a mattress topper makes everything 10x better. When you’re a freshman in college, living in a dorm room, the last thing you can expect to get is a 10-inch comfy new mattress. However, with a foam topper, your bed will be much softer and comfortable to sleep in!
Multi-Outlet Power Strips
This is a pretty self-explanatory item but also an essential one. Most rooms have limited outlets, so you don’t want to count on just a wall outlet for all your electric needs. With a power strip, you can charge your laptop, phone and use a lamp all at the same time.
To go off of the last item, most power strip cords aren’t super long. That’s where an extension cord comes handy because even if your outlet is at the corner of your room, you can put your desk in the middle and attach the outlet there.
Lamp With USB Port
Most likely, you’ll need a desk lamp for your room, and this is by far my favorite type of lamp. Not only do you get light usage, but you can charge your phone without an outlet.
If you’re a coffee enthusiast like me, I would invest in a Keurig if your school allows it (some dorm rooms don’t). Getting Starbucks every morning before class adds up so it’ll not only be cheaper in the long run but save you time!
You probably don’t have a lot of room, so bringing a regular vacuum would take up too much space. That’s where a handheld vacuum comes in handy because it’s compact and works the same as other vacuums.
Make sure to check if you’re school allows this before buying one because I’ve heard some don’t! If you can, a toaster oven is such a great kitchen item to have because it’s 2 in 1, small and easy to use.
Once again make sure your school allows mini-fridges cause some don’t, but this is a great way to keep leftovers if you’re in a traditional one bedroom dorm room.
Trust me, you can never have too many storage bins. The square ones are great cause they’re small and you can line them up on the bottom of your closet and use them to store clothes. I also use the bigger, rectangular storage bins to keep anything extra such as toiletries.
The perfect way to keep your shoes in one spot and also save on space since you can hang this up behind your bedroom or closet door.
This is an obvious one too but of course, you need a backpack. You can shop my favorites below! I put an affordable one, one that will hold the most items, and a fashionable high-end one as well.
Small Garbage Can
This is great to keep by your desk or in your private bathroom if you live in an apartment! Remember to get small trash bags as well.
Brita With Filters
It’s better to be safe than sorry, and a Brita is great to have so you can filter your dorm room tap water. You can either get a Brita pitcher or a Brita faucet filtration system, I’ve had both and love them equally!
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
Great way to clean spills and stains on your floor or desk. I use them on my white desk all the time since I do my makeup there as well. If you live in an apartment or a dorm with a kitchen, then you’ll definitely need these to clean the counter and stove.
Most (if not all) dorms and apartments have a strict policy against holes and marks being left on the walls. That’s where command strips come in handy! Plus they have a great variety so you can use the smaller strips to hang pictures frames and the heavy-duty hooks for mirrors.
I was always so used to having standard medicine around the house when I lived at home that I didn’t realize the struggle of not having it during flu season. So, remember to pack the basics such as Advil, allergy medicine, cough syrups, and any medicine you take often!
Those are all my dorm room essentials that I found very useful to have as a freshman and even living in my current apartment. Have any other recommendations that you found useful? Make sure to comment them down below!
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