{Back To School} The College Life: Dorm Room Essentials

When it comes time to leave the comforts of home and head to campus for the school year, you may be at somewhat of a loss as to what to bring along for the ride. You certainly can’t pack all of your possessions into a postage-stamp sized dorm room (which you will be sharing with a roomie, by the way). So you’re definitely going to have to pare your property down to the bare essentials, as well as find ways to economize many of your larger items.

Photo via Stagetecture

So when you’re making your list of items to pack, here are just a few necessities that you’ll definitely want to include.

1. Linens. Extra-long twin sheets are the order of the day, along with blankets, a comforter, and towels. You might not think much about your linens now, but when you’re only sneaking five hours a night with your busy schedule, those 600-thread count sheets are going to feel like a little slice of heaven.

2. Vacuum storage. Your wardrobe is so great; you just can’t see your way clear to leaving even one outfit behind! And you really must take Nana’s quilt, just in case you need a dose of the comforts of home. But all of these items can take up a lot of space, so if you want to make them as small as possible, bring a vacuum sealer and plenty of bags. This way you can stack them neatly in the bottom of your closet until you need them.

3. Minifridge. When the cafeteria is closed and you just can’t face another trip to the vending machine for soda and chips, you’ll be glad you squeezed this miniature ice-box under your desk. Pack it with individual servings of the fruits, veggies, and dairy products that will help to fill you up in a healthy way and give you the sustained energy you need for those late-night study sessions.

4. Shelves. With storage at a premium, one of the best things you can do to maximize space is use every level (including the empty area above your head). They don’t have to be anything fancy, but make sure there is a lip so that books don’t come tumbling down on your head during an earthquake (or a raging party in the room next door).

5. Headphones. You may be used to blasting your music at home (to drown out your parents
pounding on the door), but that simply won’t fly when you have a roommate and neighbors that are practically on top of you. So if you want to avoid listening to all the noise emanating from your neighbor’s room, or the annoying bubble-gum popping that seems to ease your roomie’s ongoing anxiety, then get yourself a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones so that you can minimize distracting sounds and get your groove on.

There’s no reason to make your life harder while you’re (or your child) still trying to settle on the best degrees for finding a job upon graduation. By making sure you have the must-have items that will get you through the school year, you can turn your dorm room into a comfortable, functional sanctuary that will serve as a retreat from the pressures and stresses posed by college life. With just a few key essentials, you’ll have no problem settling into dorm life.

About The Shopping Mom


  1. Having a comfy bed is definitely a must!