Ah, the dorm room. The four walls behind which you will retreat when the experiences of college, both amazing and stressful, become just a little too much. Although the amenities of the space you’ll call home for at least a semester of school are sparse (the standard dorm room comes equipped with a twin bed, a desk, chair, and closet), there are certainly ways to spruce up the place a bit and make it feel more like home. And that starts with some basic necessities.
We understand wanting to really go all out on your dorm room—in fact, we encourage a personal decorative touch—but there are some absolute must-haves that belong in every college space. Keep scrolling for a quick list of things to definitely grab before move-in day.
1. Cool Lighting
We can't think of a time when the phrase "it's lit" carries more weight. Save for some aggressive flourescent overhead light, your dorm will need some lighting upgrades. We suggest at least adding a desk lamp with enough flare to help inspire your creative juices when you're working into the night, like this double-headed geometric style.
Available at deqor.com | $90
2. Extra Storage
Allow us to reemphasize that dorm rooms are relatively quaint when it comes to size and, although you'll likely be equipped with a standard set of four drawers and some overhead space in your closet, storage is not a major feature of even modern day college living spaces. So, it's all about strategically using the space that you do have, like under your bed. These underbed bins are long, resilient, and come with wheels for easy moving and manuevering. Store anything like seasonal clothes or extra towels and blankets that you don't need regular access to.
Available at containerstore.com | $22.99
3. Rug or Carpet
There's a chance your room will come carpeted, but, even so, it probably won't be the finest carpet you've ever nuzzled your feet into. Plus, it will be a standard neutral color. Treat your dorm floor, regardless of carpeting, like you would any completely empty ground space and add touches the way you might on a wall with what else than a rug. A simple but colorful striped option, like this multi-color one, adds dimension to a plain area.
Available at deqor.com | $29.99
4. Touches of Home
This might seem a little less necessary than say a lamp for your room, but you'll never be comfortable in your new dorm room without personal accents and reminders of home. A photo display, like this hanging option, allows for more versatility than classic frames. You can hang anything from your favorite pictures and birthday cards to reminders and notes from friends, new and old.
Available at bedbathandbeyond.com | $19.99
5. Cute Hamper
For many people, going to college also marks starting to do their own laundry. Without the help of your parents, laundry can really become a serious chore. But it's necessary so make it a little easier to tackle with a chic but convenient hamper option, like this one, that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to carry to and from the laundry room.
Available at containerstore.com | $59
6. Upgraded Alarm Clock
We know what you're thinking: well, I can just use my phone as an alarm clock. But when it comes to making it to class or a final on time, we like to play it safe with a back up alarm clock. Modern day versions of the clocks come equipped with all kind of cool features, too. This retro-looking style comes with a dual alarm system that allows you to program it to cancel the alarm on weekends. Plus gradual wakeup lighting that syncs with your circadian rhythm helps you start the day on the right foot.
Available at electrohome.com | $29.99
7. Cozy Duvet
Sleep is arguably the most necessary but elusive habit you can have in college. Whether you're being kept up from studying or from a thriving social calendar, when it comes time to finally wind down, you're going to want to crawl into a super comfy bed outfitted with an attractive comforter. So choose wisely when it comes to your bedding. We suggest light touches of color, like this one with painted florals on a neutral white background.
Available at deqor.com | $278