The Little-Known Dorm Room Essentials That Everyone Needs

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As June draws to an end, stores begin to rearrange their aisles in order to make space for the endless items that are supposed “must-haves” for the new class of dorm-living college freshmen. Browsing through the sea of shower-caddys, bean bag chairs, and xl twin sheets is daunting, especially when you’re unsure of what items will actually be worth buying. While there are a million articles out there about the common necessities for making your dorm experience great (or at least manageable), I am here to tell you 5 items that you might not think of as you begin to prepare for move-in day.

  1. A Bathrobe


While some people are comfortable walking to the showers from their room in only a towel, a bathrobe is perfect for those who would rather not worry about any…. uhhh… accidents. It’s kinda dangerous to walk around holding your towel up, and it is such a hassle to completely change your clothes in the shower stall, so a comfortable and functional bathrobe is SUPER important to have in the dorms. You’ll want to make sure that you choose a robe that you’ll be confident in while walking through the hallway since you never know who you’ll run into! You can find plush bathrobes here on Amazon for under $20!

  1. A Mirror with Lights

Getting ready in the mornings is SO much easier when you have a handy circle mirror with lights set on your desk. My freshman year roommate woke up earlier than me and went to bed before me, so each of us having a mirror like this made sure that we did not disturb each other when she was putting on her makeup at 6:30 am, or when I was putting on moisturizer at 11:00 pm. The amount of light is perfect for illuminating your face without waking your sleeping roommate. (Click on the image above to shop this exact mirror on Amazon).

  1. A Large Calendar


The first week of classes can be really overwhelming. With the chaos of meeting new people, living away from home, and navigating an unfamiliar school set-up, receiving your entire semester’s worth of course work for each of your classes can be daunting. That’s where the calendar comes in! When you get each syllabus, sit down in front of a large calendar and write down each assignment on the day that it is due. Cross each assignment off as you complete it. It helps SO much to be able to visualize the work you have to have done each week. I hung my calendar up in a spot where I had to look at it each time I got into or out of bed, so I was forced to look at what I had going on and was reminded of my assignments often. I bought my academic (July-June) calendar at Staples.

  1. A Lockable File Cabinet or Safe


While you can always hope for the best, you never know what kind of people are going to be living in your hall, on your floor, in your building, or (if you choose to be placed with a random roommate) in your room. It’s great for peace of mind to have some sort of lockable file cabinet, safe, or drawer to put your purse in when you’re not in the room. I was so not on board with this at first, but my mom convinced me with the story of her across-the-hall neighbors stealing cash from her purse while she was at work because  her roommate left the room unlocked to shower. While it’s smart to lock your door when you can, sometimes it’s easy to pop out for a moment and think that everything in your room will be okay. Most of the time, this is probably true, but being able to lock up your valuables (like purses and laptops) ensures that you won’t have your most expensive belongings taken. I had a file cabinet from Staples, and it was a great thing to have when my roommate and I left our door unlocked or open when we were in and out of the room during the day. It also doubled as a great place to put my printer and all the extra paper I had for it.

  1. Slippers

In addition to slipping some shoes on to run to the bathroom, slippers are a must have for one of the worst aspects of dorm life: midnight fire alarms. If you make it through your dorm-living experience without being woken up in the middle of the night to the screeching of alarms, you are one of the luckiest people to walk the planet. It is an extremely disorienting way to wake up, and you are going to want to be able to slip on some shoes, throw on a jacket, grab your keys, and get out of the building with the rest of the zombie-fied late-teens stumbling down the stairwells at 3 am. Having a comfy (and potentially warm) pair of slippers at the ready makes the process a whole lot smoother. You can get quality pairs on Amazon (click on the image above to find this exact pair).

Hopefully this short list of essentials will help you as you navigate through your dorm shopping experience! As always, let us know if you have any questions or if any of our suggestions make their way onto your shopping list!

Also, please follow us on Pinterest by clicking the icon in the header or searching whimsandwanderings, and sign up for our email list in the side-bar! Both of these will ensure that you’re the first to know about our new posts!

-Giulia 🙂

(Learn more about me here)


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