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15 Essentials to Turn Your Dorm Room into a Home

Before you travel off to college, make sure you have everything you need to make your dorm room feel like home. These 15 items will give you a good start in making the most of a small space (especially if you have a roommate) and turning an empty room into your personal reprieve.

1. Mirror

Mirrors make a small space feel much bigger while also adding light. Be sure to get one large enough so that you can see your whole outfit, and put it in a place where it captures natural light.

2. Plants

Plants are calming and give off fresh air. If you’re looking for something easy to care for, choose a spider plant or peace lily.

3. Coffee Maker

Having a coffee maker in your dorm room may sound like a mess, but if you get a single-cup brewing system, making coffee is quick and easy. And so is getting to that 8 AM class.

4. Noise-Reducing Headphones

In a dorm, you’re living one wall away from your neighbor. Noise-reducing headphones are essential if you want to study in peace, listen to music as loud as you want, or watch a movie without being disturbed.

5. Down Comforter and Pillows

Down bedding is essential for dorm rooms because it’s breathable. Down and feathers are natural fibers that will keep you warm in the winter and will wick moisture away from your skin in the warmer months. There’s nothing like snuggling up with a down body pillow while studying or watching movies.

6. E-Reader

The days of schlepping textbooks from class to class are over. Purchase an e-reader and have all your books in one sleek device. You’ll be glad you did.

7. Laptop

If you have a desktop computer at home, it may be a good idea to invest in a laptop. Take notes in class or write that paper as the inspiration hits you. College kids are rarely in the same place for a long time, so the more portable your computer is, the better.

8. Dry Erase/Cork Boards

Dry erase and cork boards are wonderful places for people to leave you a note if you’re not in. They’re also handy for remembering details of a project or dates for get-togethers.

9. Christmas Lights

These small twinkling lights add warmth and comfort to any space. Go for classic white, colored, or get creative with tiny red peppers or flamingos.

10. Posters/Pictures/Wall Decals/Murals/Art

This is your chance to make your dorm room a true reflection of your personality. Just make sure your decorations aren’t distracting when you’re trying to study.

11. Adjustable Lamp

When you’re up late studying (or watching YouTube videos), don’t disturb your sleeping roommate with by leaving on the overhead light. Get a lamp with a bendable neck so you can give yourself more or less light depending on your needs.

12. First Aid Kit

Your mother will thank you. She might even pay for it.

13. Storage Boxes

Plastic storage boxes are wonderful space-savers, especially when you can use them under your bed. Put non-seasonal clothing or whatever else you’re not using in there.

14. Mini Fridge

If you live in a dorm room, you probably don’t have easy access to a kitchen. Save money by storing snacks in your room instead of eating out.

15. Microwave

Choose a compact model that saves room and is still useful. The fridge/microwave combination can save a lot of money and time, and can make your room feel more like a home.

Living in a small space can be challenging, but these compact essentials can help make your dorm room a comfortable space where you enjoy hanging out. We’d love to hear your suggestions for useful space-savers. What are some of your college essentials?