14 Dorm Essentials You Didn’t Know You Needed
Cup ramen, lounge forts, shared bathrooms, all nighters. One of the most iconic parts of a college experience is the dorms. They're both incredible and terrible, and basically a summer camp for adults without any supervision. You make friends that last a lifetime and you have never lived in closer vicinity to all your buddies. However, dorm space is some of the most limited and least private you will likely ever experience in during your adult life, as you only have 1 room, and for most people, just a section of this single room. Clever space saving and small must-have items are critical to making your dorm room cozy and maximizing living utility.
1. A Flexible Power Strip
Since space is a commodity in a dorm room, getting items that are flexible and can fit anywhere, even in an odd nook or cranny, is essential to get the most out of the space you do have. A flexible power strip can fit in any weird nook and also can accommodate various flat plugs and their direction specific wires.
2. Power Bed Riser
Bed risers are a MUST in a dorm room, where one of the keys to getting more space is adding vertical space. There are all sorts of risers to choose from to get that under bed storage, but a power outlet bed riser is fantastic to add yet more outlets, and have a close outlet for charging your phone, your laptop, your alarm clock, etc. Now, you may be thinking that your flexible power strip is enough, but in a dorm room where there is likely only 1 or 2 outlets on your side of the room, adding any power strips or additional outlets is a smart idea.
3. Laptop Locks
This is a must when you are living with someone who is ultimately, a stranger! Even if you know and trust your roommate, you don't want to have to worry about locking your room door every time you need to just use the bathroom. Locking your laptop gives you a little more freedom with the door.
4. A Keurig Coffee Maker
Coffee is the lifeblood of college students, and you don't want to always have to go out or run to the cafeteria to grab some. Single serving coffee machines are pretty affordable and compact. Just make sure to hide or lock your cartridges because you know you will be the envy of your dorm hall!
5. A Hand Steamer
It isn't very realistic to lug an ironing board and an iron into an already cramped space, but that doesn't mean you won't have events where you need to look extra sharp. A hand steamer is a small and efficient little tool that will store easily, and do just as good, if not better, of a job getting your clothes to look crisp.
6. An eBook Reader
This is a commodity I would have killed for when I was in college. They now offer tons of textbooks as e-books, which is an absolute godsend for your back and shoulders in not having to carry around all those huge heavy hard cover textbooks. Even if they don't have all your textbooks available, an eReader is still an incredibly nifty item for reading. There is nothing that saves more space on this list than an eReader in lieu of a bunch of books.
7. Amazon Fire Stick / Google Chromecast
Either one of these USB casting devices are clutch if you are bringing a TV to your dorm. You assuredly will not have cable, but you can have something almost as close using your Hulu/Netflix/HBO subscriptions from your phone and casting them to your TV with these devices.
8. Noise Canceling Headphones
A good solid pair of noise cancelling headphones will be an investment that pays long after and beyond college. Being able to block out noisy roommates during studying is just the tip of the iceberg and well worth the investment. Travelling back and forth to your hometown will be whisper quiet with a pair of these puppies on the plane, and every hotel room or apartment you're ever in will be your own silent sanctuary.
9. A Crock Pot
You should check with your school first to ensure it’s allowed, but if it is, a crock pot you must have! You can toss a bunch of stuff into the pot, turn it on low, leave it for the day…and by the time you get back from campus, dinner is served! If your dorms have banned crock pots, consider an electric water kettle. Being able to boil water in dorm room is super convenient & clutch for all sorts of easy meals, like the ever iconic cup ramen.
10. Lap Desk
Let's face it. The best place to do anything and everything is your bed, but for studying with notes and a laptop and books, it can be kind of a pain to NOT sit at your desk. Solve this problem by grabbing a lap desk and being able to be studious AND cozy. There are even ones with built in cup holders so you don't need to worry about knocking over your glass of wi--tea. Your glass full of non alcoholic, study conducive tea.....
11. Clip Lights
Any item that allows you to do what you want, while minimally annoying or disturbing your roommate, is clutch in a dorm. This is a simple necessity that can save many the passive aggressive door slams in response to roomie frustrations. If you need to stay up later than your bed neighbor, using a clip light on the side of your desk or bed will spare the other half of your room from having to suffocate under the covers or wear an uncomfortable eye mask. As such, it will spare you the door slam and bright lights in the morning. Keeping things respectful without being asked will promote that same behavior from your roommate, and back and forth that will go, making everyone's lives more pleasant.
12. Mini Fan/Heater
If you're lucky, you won't have control over the thermostat in your dorm room (because I can say from personal experience, this can cause quite a war between roommates), so having a mini fan and heater is clutch in controlling your own temperature. Also, by having a personal fan or heater, it is a slight bit easier to keep yourself the temperature you want without it affecting your roommate.
13. Rolling Storage Cart
A portable storage cart is perfect for organizing your things, while having the ability to roll it in and out of a less accessible nook in your room. You are going to need those shelves, so why not get them on wheels so you have the ability to roll it out of the way, but still get to it when you need it? Plus, there are some very stylish little rolling carts that will add some pizzazz to your room.
14. Cordless Hand Vacuum
Just because your parents aren't there, doesn't mean it is any less gnarly to not clean and vacuum your room. If anything, your room gets far gnarlier because you are doing everything in one room; studying, eating, relaxing, sleeping, midnight snacking, Netflix marathoning, gaming, the list goes on. A little wireless hand vac will make the difference of feeling like you are living in a frat house, and feeling like you are in your home.
Grab these items and some posters and your dorm room will be all set to be as cozy and useful as possible for your educational endeavors!