Dorm Essentials Your School Won’t Tell You About

Getting ready to go away to college is as stressful as it is exciting. Your school will provide a room, four concrete walls, a half comfortable bed, and communal bathrooms. The rest is up to you. While your school should give you a list of essentials, it’s probably been 20+ years since the person that wrote the list has been a freshman. So forget that Encyclopedia Britannica, we’ve put together a list of dorm essentials that you won’t find on any RA’s list.

Note: Because school policies vary from university to university, we’ve left electronics out of our list.

Cactus/Bonsai plant

If you’re used to being surrounded by nature and head to an urban campus, it can be a little depressing being in the concrete jungle. A desk plant adds a sense of life to your dorm, needs very little water, and gives your room a touch of class.

Lock Box/ Safe

You should definitely go to school with an open mind. Meet as many people as you can. But no matter what, don’t let your guard down. Keep your stuff safe and in a good hiding spot– important documents, passports, cash or…uhh…weekend supplies should be stowed away somewhere safe.

Basic Tool Set

Whether it’s your desk, bed, or window—screws will come loose. It’s about time you learn how to swing a hammer anyways.

Air Freshener

If a chick is about to stop by and you need to get the dirty sock smell out of your sheets, or your RA springs a surprise visit, you’ll need to give your room a blast of fresh scent.

Organized Dorm Room


When you have any work to do and don’t feel like leaving your dorm, it can be fun to have some people from down the hall over. Forget about bridge and rummy, we suggest checking out Cards Against Humanity! It’s raunchy, wrong, and can get just downright nasty at times—but damnit, its fun! And at the low, low price of $0, it’s so right.

Earplugs and Eyemask

Your room mate may not be as courteous as you’d like—This means he/she may play  Xbox, while listening to Flo Rida (ugh), WHILE writing a midterm paper six hours before its due. And all you wanted was to get a good night’s sleep before your Bio test. Block out all the distractions with this pair of essentials and there’s less of a chance of accidently letting that hammer slip out of your hands right onto your room mates Xbox.

Clothes Hangers

I’m not talking about some regular old wire hanger—I’m talking about a state of the art, space saving, multiple hook havin’ hanger. You’ll have very little closet space (at best), so you’ll want to use it wisely by using clothes holders that can be lined vertically rather than horizontally. Check out the Hanger Cascader from Taylor Gifts.


I know what you’re going to say—your school already told you to bring posters.. Well, has your school mentioned you can take ANY image online and turn it into a poster the size of your wall? FOR FREE? Get down with the rasterbator and deck your dorm with customized posters. Take advantage of your schools computer labs and do all your printing there (hey, you’re paying for it).

Is there anything you think we forgot? Leave a comment and tell us what you’re bringing to school and why we NEED to include it in our list!

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