5 Must-Have College Dorm Items

Your college dorm room or apartment truly becomes your home away from home when you’re in school. For that reason, it’s important to make it feel like you! Of course, it’s always important to keep your roommates in mind as different people have different styles, so make sure to bring them in on the conversation—especially if you decide to implement some new things or add space-taking objects like counter-top kitchen gadgets to the mix.

There are a variety of different ways you can make your college abode feel like home, so we’ve compiled a list of some things that will help add a finishing touch to your accommodations.

1. An over-the-door mirror

This is particularly important if you’re a female living with other girls, and you all have classes that start at similar times. However, this can be a good necessity for men as well. Depending on where you live, bathroom space might be limited, or you might have to share a public bathroom with a couple halls of girls. There’s something so nice about having your own mirror to put your makeup on in the morning or to simply put an outfit together in front of.

These type of mirrors are great because they don’t take up much space, and you can usually get one for a fairly inexpensive price.

2. Moveable storage

Most dorm rooms are pretty tiny, so it’s nice to have some compact storage that you can move around as necessary. Roll carts like this one from IKEA are great because you can use them for a variety of purposes. Put your dry goods in one, and bam! You have your own pantry. Store notebooks and schoolbooks in it, and it acts like a shelf. Depending on the height of your bathroom counter, you could also store toiletries in one of these and slide it underneath the counter. Make sure to take measurements of your space and see if this type of storage would work well for you.

3. A coffee maker

Whether you’re an avid coffee drinker, or you prefer tea and oatmeal in the morning, a coffee maker will save you a lot of money in the long run—especially if you’re the type who likes to guzzle one or two Starbucks drinks a day. You can get a large amount of Keurig cups at places like Costco, which in the end, results in your spending about $.40 a cup. Keurigs are great additions to a dorm room because you can buy K-cups or a reusable cup for bagged coffee. Run regular hot water through the machine if you prefer tea, hot chocolate, or some good old-fashioned oatmeal.

4. A good dishwashing wand

Chances are good that you won’t be able to avoid washing dishes at one point or another. While dishrags and sponges can start to smell due to bacteria and make your hands smell funny after using them as well, a dishwashing wand is nice because you don’t have to touch the actual part that cleans the dishes. Another positive is that once the wand head gets old, you can simply pop it off and purchase a new one. These handy devices are usually pretty inexpensive too. Your roommates will thank you for this practical innovation.

5. Cozy additions

There’s something about decorating your very own space that can do a lot to make it feel like a home. While it may seem frivolous to invest in some cozy, decorative pieces, like comfortable pillows or a soft, fleece blanket, you’ll more than likely find yourself using these things often—especially during the winter months. If you’re looking to spend the least amount possible, consider purchasing a pillow insert with a pillow cover. That way, you won’t have to replace the whole pillow if it gets worn out after time. Just buy a new cover! IKEA has some great options for this, and there are plenty of different styles and colors to choose from when it comes to the type of pillow cover you want.

6. Paper plates and plasticware

At some point, you might want to invest in some actual dishes, but there’s something really nice about being able to throw a frozen pizza in the oven, pull out your paper plates, enjoy your meal, and completely skip the whole dish washing part. Keep these on hand for those busy times, like finals weeks—or simply for when you’re sick of washing dishes!