Unexpected College Essentials for Your Dorm Room That Will Make Life Easier

Becca Cornell
Jun 7, 2021

College dorm rooms are small. And you may be sharing that space with a stranger. Trying to fit and organize all your stuff can be a logistical nightmare!   If you’re looking for ways to make your new home away from home at college a bit more comfortable and structured, take a look at some of these unexpected essentials. At the very least, they’ll make your life a whole lot easier and much more comfortable.  

Extra throw blankets


A few extra throws can be useful. You may have friends stay over; they'll need to roll up in them on the floor. Or you might freeze when the air conditioning gets too intense or the heater dies in winter. Plus, they can add color to your room.   Don’t worry about them taking up precious space in your dorm room: They can live on your bed and look pretty.  

$14.99 on Amazon


A comfy reading pillow

  Your bed isn’t just your bed in a dorm room! It’s where you’ll spend a lot of your time. More than sleeping, you’ll likely read, study, talk to your friends, and watch Netflix on your bed. One way to make sure your bed doubles as a great place to hang out or study is to get a reading pillow with arms.   It never has to be stored, so won’t take up closet space. It’s soft, supportive and cute, so will fit right in with your room. And it’s so super useful, you’ll wonder how you used to live without one.  

$14.99 on Amazon


A sleeping mask

  This is an especially good investment if you have a roommate. Not everyone will have the same schedule and may be up with the lights on when you’re trying to get some shut-eye.   A sleeping mask can help make sure you won’t wake up every time your roommate turns the light on. There are a ton to choose from, so you can get a new pattern for every night.  

$9.99 on Amazon


A cute charger buddy

  These colorful charger cord protectors will keep you from breaking the ends of your cables. While this is extremely helpful with your phone, you can use them for your laptop and any other devices you’re charging as well.   You can even use it as a headphone cord protector. You know how much wear and tear those charger cords are under. With a cable protector, you won’t have to replace your charger cords nearly as much.  

$7.19 on Amazon


A bedside caddy


Depending on the size of your room, you may not have a nightstand. This means that anything you want right beside you – like your phone – would have to be in your bed or on the floor next to it, which is not ideal.   A bedside caddy is the perfect answer to that. Just slip the frame under your mattress, and keep your phone, water bottle, and glasses safe and within easy reach.


$18.99 on Amazon


A shower caddy

While a lot of students already know this one, it’s worth repeating. You’ll have a lot of shower supplies to carry back and forth if your dorm has a communal shower. Your life will be so much easier with a shower caddy. Simply load it up once and take it with you every time you go to shower.    We like this one because it has compartments, which is nice for organizing. It’s made from shatter-resistant plastic and has holes at the base for drainage. The built-in handle is smooth and makes the tote easy to grab and go.  

$15.99 on Amazon


A spa towel cover

  While this sounds fancy, it’s actually extremely practical. Your hands will often be full when going to the bathroom from your dorm room, so having a towel that stays up itself will help you from flashing your roommates and their guests.   This wrap has a hook-and-loop fastener to keep it closed, and even features a large front pocket.  

$15.99 on Amazon


An over-the-door shoe holder

  When living in a college dorm, the more creative you can get with your storage, the easier life will be. Not only can you use these for shoes, you can use them to organize other things as well. You can hang one on your closet door and one on your room door. From school supplies to jewelry, these give you a great way to stay organized and keep your room clutter free.  

$10.76 on Amazon


Bed risers

  Bed risers are another way to add storage to your room and they’ll make your room feel a little bigger too. Raise your bed up higher to give yourself more space to store your stuff underneath. You can increase the height of your bed by 8 inches if you stack these, and they can support a total weight of 1,300 lbs.   

$10.76 on Amazon


A hanging shelf organizer

  These hanging shelves go inside your closet, and are great space-saving tools for organizing in small spaces. You can keep clothing, sheets, and towels on the main five shelves, and put smaller items like socks and slippers in the mesh pockets along the sides.  

$12.99 on Amazon


Flat totes

  While using totes for storage is a no brainer, getting the flat ones that are more easily stored can make a big difference. In addition to fitting neatly under your bed, modular sets stack well, and have boxes of different sizes. The plastic lids and bases are clear too, so you can see what’s inside at a glance.  

$39.69 on Amazon


A folding step stool

  When you’re trying to find every spare inch of storage in your dorm room, chances are you’ll have to stash at least a little bit of your stuff out of reach. Getting a folding 9” step stool that's easy to store instead of a standard one is a smart choice. It won't be in your way, and you’ll be able to reach those things you tossed up on top of your cupboard or at the back of a high closet shelf.  

$10.49 on Amazon


A bed skirt

  A skirt can hide all the totes and other things you stored under your bed. It's easy to do: You just wrap the elasticized skirt around your bed, and it’ll conceal the storage. It can add a nice pop of color to your dorm room too.  

$16.99 on Amazon


A storage ottoman

  These are great for storage and double perfectly as an extra seat for your room as well. College dorm rooms are sorely lacking in seating, so anytime you have a chance to add some, you should!  

$70.97 on Amazon


A laptop tray

  You’ll probably do most of your studying in the library or at your desk, but it can be really nice to have the option to do it from the comfort of your bed. You can use your laptop tray to relax with a little Netflix too.  

$34.99 on Amazon


A reusable water bottle

  Staying healthy (and hydrated) in college is important! Make it easy to remember to drink lots of water with a portable and reusable water bottle. Not only is this good for around campus, it’s great for in your dorm room as well as most don’t have their own faucet.  

$16.99 on Amazon


A Brita pitcher

  Your water should taste great. In addition to a reusable water bottle, a Brita pitcher can be a useful addition to your dorm room. You’ll have clean, filtered water, to refill your water bottle.  

$34.99 on Amazon


Stackable snack bins

Snacks are of the utmost importance for study sessions, so making sure to always be stocked up is priority number one! Try using these stackable ones for easy storage, easy access, and a cute look for your dorm room.  

$39.99 on Amazon

  Decorating and organizing your dorm room can be a lot of fun, and can make your freshman year much more comfortable and enjoyable.