Dorm Room Survival Essentials

Monday, July 15, 2019

After two years living in a dorm room, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the key essentials of things you absolutely need to make a year of living in a small room go smoothly. At Clemson, it's required to live on campus your freshman year and if you're in a sorority, it's pretty common to live on the hall your second year. I loved both years and while I'm excited to have a bit more space (check out my apartment bedroom inspiration + apartment living room inspiration), I'll miss living in a cute little room!

I've rounded up the 10 items that are absolutely key for, as the title states, dorm room survival that I used and loved while living in a dorm room!

sophomore year move out day- my last day living in a dorm!

I used a laundry bag my freshman year and after it ripped sophomore year, I got an actual basket, which was so much better of a move! I liked having a more structured basket as I felt like the bag would kind of flop over onto the floor and take up more space. I have this one which is actually from the little boy section of Target but this one with wheels sounds so handy!

Without a mattress topper, that university provided mattress isn't going to be too comfy! My bed at school was always just as comfy as my bed at home (if not comfier) and it's all thanks to a mattress topper. We happened to have an extra mattress topper at my house so I used that but this is the one I bought for my house next year and it also comes in Twin XL.

Definitely more of an extra but it has so many uses that I had to include it! I absolutely love my Alexa and use it all the time from setting my alarm in the morning to playing music to setting timers for my laundry. Since it acts a clock/alarm/speaker, it saves space as you aren't having all of those items in your room.

Another must for a hall style bathroom! It makes it so much easier to have everything you need for the shower/bathroom in one spot so you don't forget anything and have to run back into your room. We could keep our shower stuff in the bathroom on the sorority hall but it was nice to keep my shower caddy in there so everything was in one spot.

I had my car on campus for both my freshman and sophomore years but just because it's on campus doesn't mean it's necessarily in a convenient location for quick errands. I always keep extra toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap, and makeup wipes on hand as I feel like those are the items you don't realize you're running low on until they're gone! Also take it from me as I had to spend like $10 on Dove Soap freshman year at the on campus convenience store as I realized I had none left and that's not exactly ideal haha!

Dorm rooms aren't exactly known for having lots of storage, making maximizing every square inch so so important. I raised my bed about halfway each year so I put these storage bins underneath (I did 3 stacked up freshman year and then 2 stacks of 3 sophomore year) to store all my t-shirts and workout clothes. I also had 3 of the smaller size to store snacks and K-cups!

Let's say this is an aspect of dorm living that I won't miss next year in my apartment but is an essential. I had a hall bathroom both in my freshman dorm and on my sorority hall, which meant sharing a shower with lots of other people so shower shoes are a must! They're also handy for brushing your teeth in the morning or running to the basement to grab your laundry!

My friends love to pick on me about how much I love my vacuum but dorm rooms can get so messy and dirty so quickly. My vacuum is cordless yet skinny so I kept it under my bed but it has the full "power" of a regular vacuum. Whether you have carpet or tile with a rug on top, definitely bring a vacuum.

The key to making your dorm feel less prison and more homey? A headboard! They make your room look so much more pulled together and also make it more comfortable when you're sitting in bed watching Netflix (or doing homework from time to time). Mine was from Room 422 and I definitely recommend it as you simply attach it to your wall (or the bed frame) with Command Strips!

Going off of the bathroom essentials for college, a robe or a towel wrap is a must if your bathroom is hall style. It makes walk and forth from your room to the bathroom so much easier and more comfortable as even though you may live in an all-girls building, that doesn't mean there will never be boys over!

What items helped you survive your time in a dorm room? Let me know in the comments!


  1. such a great post I never lived in a dorm but seems fun!

  2. SHOWER SHOES! Freaking nasty shower floors haha.

  3. Ahh this post takes me back to my dorm-living days! Shower shoes are most definitely a must!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  4. Yes to all of these! It's crazy to think something like the Echo Dot didn't even exist when I was in college!


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