Coming into college as a Freshman, for many, means acclimating to sharing and living in cramped living quarters (dorm room) with a random stranger. While this occurs yearly, as new freshman arrive on campuses all across the country, it helps to know what do you need for a dorm room, dorm room essentials as well as, what items are going to help maximize the space you have. 


Multi-Purpose and Space Saving Dorm Room Essentials


When you ask, "what do you need for a dorm room?", hangers are rarely the first thing to pop into your mind. They are, however, a crucial staple and one of the top must haves in college living. The space you share is not large enough to have stacks of clothes, coats and perhaps even purses lying around the beds and floors, taking up room. To better maximize your space using hangers purchase space saving models like those that hold several shirts or several pairs of pants vertically. 


Stackable Cubes and Cubbies

Stackable furniture items can both maximize small spaces, such as dorm rooms, as well as provide much needed storage for everyday items. Cubes and cubbies can store clothes, books, knick-knacks, as well as many other things that are used day-to-day . 


Storage Benches

Storage benches, which make great dorm furniture, can be found in an assortment of styles from simple solid wood construction toBycast leather storage bench padded seats,  removeable and hinged tops or basket storage. These can be great for extra seating - when there is no room for a couch or if you have a couch and still need more seating room. Storage benches can also come in handy as dorm room furniture because they allow you to stow away extra blankets, clothing, books or anything else you can fit in the handy storage compartments or they can be used as a coffee table. 



Not every college dweller is going to have need for a couch but for those who do a futon is often the best and most popular choice of dorm room furniture (outside of . Futons can be found in an assortment of compact styles and the fact that they double as an extra bed may come in handy as well. 


Must Have Appliances for the Dorm

Many different colleges will provide basic lists of what is and is not allowed in a dorm room. Be sure to check with the university before purchasing appliances such as hot plates, microwaves or other heated or high powered electronics and appliances for the dorm.


Coffee Maker or Espresso Machine

12 Cup Coffee maker programmableEven for those who are not big fans of coffee or caffeine a coffee maker can be an important staple. Late nights, cram sessions, important tests or party-night morning afters - coffee can be what helps pull you through those trying sessions.There are many options to choose from even if you don't go as technical as choosing between drip coffee makers and espresso style machines.


Mini Fridge

These tiny little refrigerators can come in handy for storing cold drinks, to have on hand while studying, and even a couple of days worth of cold meals or easy snacks. The biggest perk is that they take up very little space which makes them dorm room essentials.


Microwave/Hot Plate/Toaster...

You will definitely need to check before purchasing to ensure that they are allowed for personal use on campus, if so - some form of cooking appliance can be essential in college living. If microwaves or hot plates are not allowed ask about toasters and bagel makers. Something that will help keep you moving on those rushed mornings when breakfast would otherwise be just a thought. 


Personal Must Haves for your College Dorm Room

Your dormitory is now your home away from home and here are a few essentials that will help make your stay more homey. 


Personal Bedding Sets

Whether you bring yours from home or buy a new one that reminds you of home, your personalized bedding and bedroom sets (comforter, pillow + case, sheets...) can make your cramped space more inviting. While this may not be an essential for everyone, those who miss home will benefit from closing their eyes and curling up with a little something to remind them of home.


Pictures, Posters and More Dorm Decor

Family pictures, posters that don your walls at home, are both essentials for your college room. These can help decorate and personalize the space that surrounds you. Considering how many hours a day you may end up staring at the walls it can be important to display pictures that host fond and comforting memories. 


Non-Featured College Must Haves for Dorm Room Living

One of the first things you may notice, after going through the list of suggested dorm room essentials, is the fact that this is not a complete list of of everything you will need for dormitory living. The items you will find listed here are items that you are less likely to be able to purchase on a short trip to the grocery store or borrow from a neighbor. Outside of the fact that the majority of the above items are larger they are also the often overlooked items that can have a huge impact on ones comfort when living on campus.


Some of the easier to pick up dorm room essentials not included in the list above but do fit in the what do you need for a dorm room category are: personal toiletries, hair and skincare items, cleaners for keeping the dorm sanitary and tidy, can and bottle opener, personal medical kits, makeup, pens, paper, stapler and other educational norms, medications, pots and pans, silverware, dishes, decor (such as posters, pictures), personal phone book of contacts, prepaid calling cards (for emergencies), ID.


Money Saving Tips for Dorm Decor, Furniture and Essentials

Most of the non-personal items listed can easily be found at or discount and thrift stores. If you are the average college goer then chances are you are going to have to watch, as well as make every penny count. Thrift stores can be a savior for any struggling college student balancing tuition, food, books and other necessary life stuff.