5 College Dorm Room Must-Haves

This post is part of our 2017 Back-to-School Series. Throughout the month of August, visit the Varsity Tutors blog for back-to-school advice, tips, and tricks for all ages. 

Getting ready for college is an adventure that starts before you ever set foot on campus. With academic challenges, new social situations, and maybe even a new city to explore, the last thing you want to worry about is dorm room essentials. College dorm room must-haves can include an alarm clock, ample storage, and a handy first aid kit. And these materials can make adjusting to dorm life much easier.

Looking to feel prepared when dorm living begins? Here are five college dorm room must-haves:

College dorm room must-have #1: Alarm clock

While this might seem like an obvious item to mention, today’s college students often forego a physical alarm clock, instead opting for an alarm on their cell phones. However, cell phones are not indestructible, and in case something happens to yours, it helps to be prepared. If you’re a particularly heavy sleeper, try setting your alarm to repeat, and move it across the room before you go to bed at night so there’s no way you can sleep through the racket. Ring, ring! What’s that? The sound of you being on time for your 8:00 a.m. biology lecture.

[RELATED: How to Create Your First College Schedule]

College dorm room must-have #2: Power strips and surge protectors

Older dorm rooms sometimes undergo multiple renovations over time. Often, this means outlets can be in corners behind doors or furniture. If you’re hosting a study party or movie night, you won’t regret having easy access to those out-of-reach spots. Having a surge protector means you can charge your electronics with ease, even in your lofted bed or behind your roommate’s futon.

College dorm room must-have #3: Storage seating

Dorm rooms can be tight when it comes to space, so it’s important to utilize every nook and cranny. Furniture stores carry many useful seating pieces that are hollow and can double as a space to store anything from textbooks to scarves and gloves when they’re out of season. Bonus tip—find furniture pieces that are similarly shaped so you can stack them or tuck them out of sight under your bed or a desk when you aren’t using the extra seating.

[RELATED: A Summer Checklist for Incoming College Freshmen]

College dorm room must-have #4: First aid kit  

Dorm living is an adventure, and it comes with its ups and downs. University clinics and healthcare services might not be available 24/7, so it can help to have some emergency medical supplies in your dorm room. When you’re feeling down, having a customized first aid kit can hold you over until you can get an appointment with a health professional. Consider keeping these items in your dorm room:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication

  • Antihistamines

  • Cough drops

  • Band-aids

You never know when you might need them!

College dorm room must-have #5: Shower caddy and bath towels

The bathroom is the last place you want to be caught unprepared. Extra bath towels will always come in handy, especially for that day you get caught in the rain on the way home from class or take an impromptu trip to the beach or lake with friends. Make the daily trek from your dorm room to a shared bathroom a little easier by bringing a waterproof shower caddy to organize your shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. When you aren’t using it, a shower caddy is compact enough to tuck away in your closet.

Dorm living doesn’t have to be synonymous with living without. These are a few dorm room essentials that will make your life easier as a dorm resident. Your best college self starts with a safe and comfortable living space, so make sure to follow this list to set yourself up for academic success!

[RELATED: Things to Know About Living in a College Dorm]


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