We’ve all been there, comfortably settled into a new dorm when we realize we’re out of a much needed item, or gotten half way through a semester only to realize we never really moved into our space.
With limited room, dorm living can be tricky to make the most of, but it’s all about striking a balance between personal preference and practical application. That way, you’ll feel comfortable living there throughout some of the most important years of your life.
We, at the Technique, have curated some items that you should consider bringing to your dorm to ensure you stay organized while optimizing space for all of your belongings.
Provided below are some recommendations for items to invest in for your room. While we highly recommend these items, you’ll surely find your own running list of supplies you may need to stock up on throughout the year.
Invest in an Organizer
An organizer (under the bed organizers, shoe organizers, etc.) is important in a space as small as a dorm.
A storage ottoman will allow you to put any extra blankets, shoes or other items which you choose to hide out of sight. Bonus points if you can get an ottoman that can double as a seat or step stool to get onto your lofted bed.
Dorm room organizers will allow you to configure all of your items in an optimal way and make good use of your space.
Under-the-bed clothing cubes will allow you to store any seasonal items that you won’t need at the start of the semester, which we recommend putting under your bed or stacking in your closet.
If you get fabric storage cubes, you will be able to protect your items from dust and have more storage space to stack multiple cubes on top of one another.
If you get some clothing storage containers that have clear windows, it will allow you to see which items you have packed away.
Consider having a bedside caddy or shelf attached to the side of your bed.
If you choose to loft your bed, having a bedside caddy will be very useful to store your items for quick and easy access.
One option is to get a fabric caddy that you can hang on the rungs of your headboard, but you could also get a bedside shelf instead.
The bedside shelf works well as a nightstand and is attached to the bed frame.
A shelf can typically hold up to 15 pounds, and serves as a good spot to keep your books, phone, charger and water bottle.
Apartment style dorms include a kitchen space that comes with a refrigerator, dishwasher, oven and microwave. Other than that, you will need to bring your own supplies.
Common items to consider include utensils, cutting boards, oven mitts, cups and plates.
Additionally, if you plan on cooking it can be helpful to have a basic supply of spices on hand — salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cilantro, cayenne and so on.
Think of the basics. It’s always easy to forget the small things we become accustomed to having on hand.
As the semester wears on, you will want to have cleaning items such as bleach, rubber gloves, disinfectant wipes, dish soap and sponges.
Try to think of the basic items you would use for both touch-ups and deep cleanses.
Additionally, you will likely need a vacuum to maintain carpets from time to time.
This is a critical item which will allow you to keep your clothes off the floor and take them to the laundry rooms in your dorm with ease, especially if you can get one with wheels.
If you get a laundry bag with straps, you can hang it on the bed frame, in your closet or wherever you prefer it tucked away to create more open space.
Bringing a Brita filter to college is a nice splurge, as you can always have filtered drinking water to fill your water bottle or coffee maker.
If you are going to get a Brita, make sure to also bring extra filters. The water pitcher will let you know when the filter is ready to replace.
You want to make sure you are drinking clean water! In the dorms, you will get your drinking water from either a fountain or the kitchen sink, so getting a hand-held water filter will enable you to easily go back and forth to fill it up.
Hanging Storage for Space
Adding in a cloth shelf system to hang on your closet rod will allow you to have increased storage space alongside your hangers.
The cloth hanging shelf lets you keep the floor space free, leaving a spot for shoes, luggage or boxes.
Side Table Storage
If you have the space for it, a utility cart will give you a designated spot to put anything you would like from snack essentials, books, a coffee machine, bath products or whatever you would like. A cart with wheels is preferred as it will allow you to move it around for easier access.
Georgia’s weather is oftentimes unpredictable, so having some extra blankets for additional warmth during the colder months will be beneficial.
The bed in your dorm is a twin XL, so getting some twin XL size blankets will be a good investment.
A bedrest pillow and weighted blanket are also cozy additions for when you want to relax.
If you want to make your room festive, you can invest in some lights, decorations or anything that makes the room reflect your personality.
An extension cord is great in case you need to plug in multiple things around your side of the dorm.
Common decorations include posters, white LEDs (aka “fairy lights”), tapestries, notes from friends and family or anything with sentimental value that reminds you of home.
For a more ambitious setup, if you can acquire a portable projector and a large white sheet, you can turn your dorm into a mini theater.
Try to make a list of all the things you will need by category to ensure you have everything you want for the semester. For example, things you will use for your kitchen, living room, bathroom etc.
The opportunity to cultivate your own space can be daunting, but we hope that these tips have helped guide you as you navigate the process.