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As a college senior who has been living in the dorms since my parents dropped me off 4 years ago, I can proudly say that I am an expert at dorm living.

Although the rest of my classmates are rushing to move out of the dorms to move into their apartments/homes (mainly to avoid caf food), I have found great excitement and thrill living in the residence halls. This is the only time in my life that I will be able to live in an atmosphere that the dorms provide and I plan on making the most out of it, with the right essentials of course! 

Having the right materials in your living environment will bring great pleasure and invite you to feel more at home. As I am preparing for my last year in school, I want to share my tips and secrets with you! 

Before I jump in, I want to remind you that I am not a big name store like Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, or all of the other places that students normally get their dorm equipment. I am a student with experience in living in the dorms and want to share with you some essentials that I have personally used to and want you to consider using during your time in the dorms! So…

Drum Roll Please!!!



Let the list of essentials commence!



College Dorm Room Essentials

Every college dorm room needs a set of beautiful string lights! Having great lightning in the room sets the tone and enhances the environment. To find a contrast against those draining fluorescent lights that they place in literally every dorm, I recommend string lighting. These bring a more gentle vibe to your room while providing great lighting.

To switch it up, try using the colorful Christmas lights with the reds, blues, and greens for a sleek and upbeat look or use globe balls to live outside of the box.


URPOWER 500ml Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Humidifier Room Decor Lighting with 4 Timer Settings, 7 LED Color Changing Lamps and Waterless Auto Shut-Off

I have just jumped on the essential oil bandwagon and I have no regrets. Having an oil diffuser has been one of the best decisions I have made in college.

This not only is a great alternative from using candles and wax warmers that are typically banned from the dorms, but a great tool to use for a little self-care and TLC. With the opportunity to mix and blend your favorite ArtNaturals essential oils together, oil diffusers are a safe and fun way to create harmonious vibes in your dorm room.


Though some dorms have a kitchen with a fridge for all to use, I still prefer having my own mini fridge in my room. This is not only a clean and dependable resource but convenient while allowing me to have my goods within arms reach. I recommend having a mini fridge with a freezer on top to help keep your ice cream and Dino nuggets nice and cold.


I have been using a Keurig for the past year and it has become one of my must-have items. Though some prefer the traditional coffee pots, I have learned that they can be messy and if college has taught me anything, it is that less is more. The fewer messes and appliances one can have, the more convenient and space they can have in their dorm. The Keurig can serve coffees, teas and specialty drinks like hot cider and hot chocolate!


I will never understand people who don’t have a desk lamp because having a desk lamp is an effective way of bringing lighting when the overhead lights are too much, as well as providing a study space when you are pulling an all-nighter (which I don’t recommend, but you gotta do what you gotta do). Some dorms come with a desk lamp, but for those that don’t, I recommend getting one!


Because dorms are not as spacious as we would all love them to be, I recommend investing in some good storage, whether it is some Wonder Hangers that will condense the space for hanging clothes or an organization rack for placing clothes and other products. These storage units make a difference and you will benefit from them. I would recommend viewing your dorm room first before going out to look for storage so you already know what you need and what you don’t need.


I feel like this is very obvious, but I couldn’t complete this list without reminding you that adding some wall decor is a great way to spice up and bring some life to your room. 


Most dorms don’t have an abundance of plugs, so I recommend bring some power strips and extension cords to fill in the gaps and aid you in plugging in all of your appliances. 


Whether you bring an analog clock or an alarm clock, having something in the room that helps you keep track of time is convenient and useful. I would recommend have an alarm clock because it can serve as a gentle night-light for the room.


I hope this list of dorm essentials inspired you to join me in dorm living and feel free to add some recommendations at the bottom for everyone to see! Your college experience is what you make it, so have fun and enjoy yourself. Make this a great school year and don’t forget to…


Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

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