College Dorm Furnishing Guide

Tara Dickinson
4 minute read

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Top 10 Items College Students Need In Dorms

It’s just a college fact. Most dorm rooms are underwhelming, to say the least. You’ll be lucky to have a bed, closet, and desk. The rest is up to you. Taking time for a little planning and sweat equity can make ALL the difference in how your new living space will feel. The following college dorm furnishing guide has combed the internet’s resources to find the most essential things freshmen need to make their academic lives comfortable and efficient.


Dorm beds are basically uncomfortable and unforgiving. The best way to improve this situation is with some quality bedding accessories.

  • Mattress topper.
  • Quality sheets.
  • Comforter.
  • Pillows.
  • Throw blanket (and/ or a weighted blanket).
  • BONUS: Eye mask.
  • BONUS: Earplugs.

Of course, you can always get a new or gently used mattress to place on top of your dorm’s current provisions.



With dorm room space being the epitome of tiny house living, real estate is at a premium in your room. So keep things to a minimum.

  • Can opener.
  • Cooking utensils: spatula, large spoon, tongs.
  • Knives.
  • Dish soap & scrubby sponge.
  • One pot & one pan.
  • One set of plates, bowls, cups, & utensils.
  • Tupperware.


  • Mini fridge- a must!
  • Microwave- another must, placed on top of your fridge.
  • Coffee pot or tea kettle.


These might seem like no-brainers, but this is just a reminder!

  • Laptop computer.
  • Desk computer if your major is tech related or such.
  • Bluetooth speaker.


Many college-aged students might not think about this but it’s wise to protect your valuables, from documents to personal items, to anything worth value. And if your school is in a drought-stricken area extra protection might be a wise idea.

  • Security box.
  • Fire safe box.


  • A lap desk, because honestly, you’ll probably end up doing a lot of your work on your bed and it truly helps to have a decent lap desk.


  • The best storage bins are ones that can fit under your bed.


  • Behind the door is a great place or on your main wall to add the illusion of a larger space.


  • No explanation needed!


  • This is such a great investment and can make a huge difference in your air quality through each season.


A few extra room furnishings and accessories that didn’t make the top ten list but are still pretty essential.

  • Alarm clock.
  • Bulletin board.
  • Desk lamp.
  • Few pots of fresh herbs or small plants.
  • Hangers.
  • Laundry basket.
  • Mini sewing kit.
  • Mini iron

  • Check out this “College Student Moving Guide: From Home To Dorm, To First Apartment: Tips For Success” HERE for some quality additional resources.
  • This “Small Spaces Style Guide” HERE is also a useful article with some great decor tips.


Just a bit of additional advice to impart as shared by second-year college students: get out and get to know your neighbors and community ASAP. Look through forums to find local entertainment. Join school clubs, groups, or sports meetups to connect with your tribe. Try not to be shy; make an effort to introduce yourself to your neighbors and fellow classmates. Feeling connected results in better grades and higher achievement. Plus a happier you. So enjoy your university life to the max. Good luck!





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