I wrote this post over a month ago and somehow it never got published! But when Nicole texted me and we got to talking about dorm room essentials, I remembered it was waiting in the queue somewhere so without further ado…
I was looking at my dorm room post from the beginning of freshman year and when I glanced at the photos, I had a fairly quick realization that half of the things I brought were extremely unnecessary. In fact, I gave them up pretty quickly – and they just took up wasted space. Since most dorm rooms are pretty small, I thought it would be useful for all those off to college in the Fall to see a post on what I brought and what I actually used. Not to mention this is a fun experiment for me, considering it’ll help me see how much I overpacked and what I can cut back on for next year!
I’m going to break it down by photos of my room so you can get a visual and then read what was and wasn’t useful! I’m hoping this post will help you cross a few items off your shopping list (because, while I love Bed Bath & Beyond, during the college season, going there became a huge chore).
Bedding – Obviously, bedding is a need. I would recommend a comforter instead of a duvet just to keep things easy. I had a duvet, and it worked fine, but sometimes if the comforter inside would shift around it was an inconvenience (yes, I know this is an extremely minuscule problem but it is something to be aware of!). Make sure you buy everything BB&B recommends to go underneath – the bed your college provides will mostly likely be super uncomfortable by itself. The foam topper is worth every penny, I promise. (I had the three inch one and I still think to this day it was one of the best things I bought up to school)
Pillows – I would recommend only a few accent pillows in addition to the one (or two) you use to sleep with. Let’s not forget – while pillows are great, chances are, you’ll have a twin XL bed and there isn’t much surface area, especially if your bed doubles as seating. I also had a husband pillow which I liked but never used while sleeping, just for sitting as a backrest.
Wall Decorations – As many as you can get! The rooms look so sad and boring without them, and it adds more color and personality.
My desk had so many things so I’m just going to break this down by discussing the things you really don’t need:
Books for pleasure really don’t need to take up space in your dorm room – if anything, they will start collecting dust. Chances are, if you have time to read for pleasure, you should be more involved or have more work. This is definitely hypocritical, because I did always have time for the occasional Netflix episode, but I can almost guarantee your form of relaxation won’t necessarily be reading – especially after reading you have to do for class. To this day, I still have yet to read either of the books in this picture (but I guess that is what the summer is for!).
Too many notepads – if you are blogger, cute stationery is probably your kryptonite. I can honestly say that I used it as an excuse to continue to buy more in the months leading up to college – every cute pad I found I just “needed” for my dorm room. Don’t do what I did, I promise you don’t need as much as you think! Same goes for an abundance of pens and other desk accessories – no need to go crazy.
Things to definitely bring (that are somewhat less discussed): tissues (you’ll run out quicker than you think you will), a pencil sharpener (you probably don’t need a big one like I had, but definitely pack one – you need #2 pencils for tests!), extra charging stations, a mini fan (even if your room has air conditioning), and lots of sticky notes.
There are so many miscellaneous items – I couldn’t begin to make a dent in this category (but of course, I’m going to try). If you are into coffee, a Keurig will serve you well. Beyond that, always make sure to have some snacks on hand, a few water bottles (and a reusable one as well!), and paper towels.
Some things you may not think to bring… Air freshener (seriously, buy this – and go for a pretty standard scent you won’t get sick of), plastic utensils (anytime you bring food back to your room and forget to bring back a fork from the dining hall you will be so glad you had this), extra hand soap (we had to provide our own for the bathroom and it was so inconvenient if we ran out – it meant going to a different bathroom just to have soap), and basic flip flops (I’d recommend a pair from Old Navy) you don’t care about to always wear around the dorm so you don’t have to go barefoot!
If you are headed into your freshman year and have any specific questions and want my thoughts – please feel free to reach out! I’d be more than happy to help. I know this post is on the later side (some people are already heading back to school) but hopefully helpful nonetheless!