What You Do and Don’t Need For Your Dorm


Ahh, dorm shopping. Nothing feels quite as anxiety provoking, but also exciting as buying things for your first college dorm. I remember reading so many different blogs, and by the end of it I felt 1) overwhelmed, 2) like I needed to buy every single item in Target’s home section. However as the year went on, I realized there were so many things I had bought that were completely useless. Below I’ve included a list of the things I found to be most useful and essential for your dorm and the things that really aren’t worth it.

Don’t buy a drying rack

I know, your mom is insisting your sweaters and delicate clothes will shrink if you put them in the dryer and then they will be ruined! Here’s the thing though, I promise you that you will NEVER use it. I saw so many people claiming this as a must have, but for me it just took up space in my dorm. If you feel like you really have to wash your sweaters just lay them flat over the air conditioning, promise it works the same.

Do buy a quality mattress pads

While shopping for your things you may think, “oh, i’ll just pick up this cheap mattress pad, the beds can’t be that bad.” But they can, and they are that bad. Imagine prison quality with a fireproof cover and that’s exactly how your bed will feel. When you get there, you will thank yourself so much for investing in a thick and quality mattress cover because now you can actually sleep.

Don’t buy 30 different towels 

Seriously just don’t. I get the vibes you feel right now. You want to be independent, you want to spread your wings and feel grown. Buying so many towels though is going to just take up space. My roomie and I both came with 5 towels each and it was by far too many. Stick to two and maximum three, that’s seriously more than enough.

Do buy an electric tea kettle

You guys…. I seriously can’t stress enough how much this thing saved my life. Even if you aren’t a tea drinker these things have SO much use to them. If you don’t know what they are, they basically are an appliance that boils water super fast. Not only can you use this for coffee and tea, but you can also use it to make things like oatmeal, ramen noodles, mac and cheese, and a bunch of other really easy meals. This was super helpful for me especially in the mornings when I didn’t want to walk to the dining hall before class.

Don’t get boxes of plastic forks and spoons

Although it feels easier to buy these, use them once, and throw them away, it’s super harmful for the environment. If you don’t want to have tons of different silverware either, invest in some of the eco-friendly utensils like these  they can be thrown away and don’t cause the damage that plastic does! This not only saves the environment, but also keeps you from the hassle of having to do dishes

Do buy an essential oil diffuser

Many dorms don’t allow candles, and buying the plug-in’s can get really pricey. I opt’d to buy an essential oil diffuser for my room and it’s worked wonders. Essential oils are relatively inexpensive (I found a set of 4 at tj maxx for $10,) but the diffusers themselves are usually under $20. Plus essential oils have been shown to have positive effects on your mood depending on the oil you diffuse.

Don’t buy extras of everything 

I know at the time your parents are stressing, and you’re stressing and it feels like you should buy 2 sets of extra light bulbs, batteries, sheets, link rollers, ect. For me though, I found at the end of the year that over half of the things I got extras of didn’t even get used. Save yourself the space and the money, even if you do run out of something dorms are very communal and there’s a good chance someone down the hall has an extra of what you need.

Do buy a Brita Water Filter

Even if you don’t mind tap water, most of the time the faucet in your bathroom (if you even have that) isn’t going to be big enough to fit your water bottle in and fill it up. Rather than spending money on plastic water bottles every month, invest in a Brita. My roommate and I alternated filling it up every morning and it saved us so many trips to the water fountain downstairs to fill up our bottles.


  • Command hooks for towels
  • String lights to make the place more home-y
  • Re-usable bags ($1 at TJ Maxx)
  • Ethernet cord (wifi is unreliable in college kids)
  • Amazon Fire Stick (you need this)
  • Cozy throw blankets
  • Bathroom bag
  • Slides (shoes)




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