Back to School Week: Dorm Essentials

Welcome to BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK here on Elle Sees! This week I'll be covering any and everything school-related. If you have a question or would like to see more of something back to school-related, let me know in the comments, and I'll be sure to address it on Friday. Thanks and enjoy! First up, decorating the dorm! And later, shower essentials.

Before you enter your tiny cinder block of a room, read this post for the essentials you REALLY need and will ACTUALLY use. I'm leaving off obvious electronics (phone, hair dryer, flat iron), clothes and makeup. Shower essentials are in another post! You'll find that over the years you'll pack fewer and fewer things since dragging all your stuff upstairs (I was on the 4th floor. No elevator!) isn't easy. Here's my list:


  • Mattress pad: These are a must! It grosses me out knowing others have slept on that bed for years. 
  • Sheets and comforter: I love jersey or beech nut sheets. They're so comfy! I like this and this set, you do your own style! PS--The dorms say that you need extra long sheets. This isn't true! Use regular ole twin sheets. Don't believe me? Then buy the stretchy jersey ones. No problem.
  • Huggable Hangers: Dorm closets are super tiny and I swear by these! They double your space and clothes NEVER fall off.
  • Trash can: no mesh (in case you get sick...ew)
  • Laundry bag or hamper. I love this laundry bag that looks like a t-shirt that hangs in your closet. Genius!
  • Box fan: the only way I made it through college (super light sleeper here!) was via a box fan. It drowned out the noise. I use one to this day since I live right in the middle of Atlanta and right by the interstate.
  • Message Board/Calendar: This can be a bulletin board or dry-erase board that goes on your door, for people to leave messages if you're not there. I also had one in my room for reminders and to post pics of friends/family. I used my mini fridge door as a dry-erase message center! 
  • 3M makes excellent reusable hooks and mounts for posters, twinkly lights, anything that needs to be hung up in your room. BTW: If you use nails, cover the holes with toothpaste! It will help you pass inspection and avoid maintenance fees.
  • Lapboard: makes for great studying/computer work if you don't want to sit at your desk.
  • Powerstrip or extension cord
  • Headphones: to rock out in peace or drown out others and live in peace
  • Boyfriend pillow: Makes leaning against the wall in your bed easier.
  • Febreeze: It gets rid of funky odors and refreshes everything. Ahhh.
  • Storage bins, baskets or crates: can store food, extra clothes, etc. and some can be slid under the bed. There are additionally some bed risers out there that raise your bed to allow for even more storage.
  • Alarm clock: I hate waking up via my phone--once I forgot to charge my phone or I left it on vibrate, etc. I use this clock which plays the radio or my Ipod. PLUS, it's dual purpose as it's a mini stereo!
  • TV and DVD player: A computer can work in place of a DVD player. I need my movies and entertainment!
  • Bedside caddy: Space is so limited, and this nifty contraption held my glasses, water bottle, phone, remote, Ipod, tissues, books, magazines, etc.
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Tissues, wet wipes, first aid kit, hammer & nails (if you want to hang posters, etc this way)
  • Electronics: Ipod, camera, computer

  • Mattress topper: memory foam pad or a down mattress makes your bed even comfier
  • My Little Steamer:gets rid of pesky wrinkles fast and freshens clothes without a trip to the laundry mat!
  • Candles: These sometimes aren't allowed (I didn't listen to that rule) but sprays work just as well. Check with your roomie for allergies!
  • 4-way mirror: I have this mirror and use it every single day. It's just like a dressing room mirror from stores in the mall but way cheaper. Love this and it hangs over the door! There are much cheaper options but I love this 4-way mirror.
  • Lamp/light
  • Chair/futon (is there really room?). I had one roommate who brought her own desk chair.
  • Decorations: curtains, twinkly lights, rugs, peel and remove decals, pictures, and posters
  • Air purifiers/humidifiers
  • Water pitcher to purify the tap and save $ on bottled water
  • Broom/vacuum: Our dorm had these already. Check first to see if you can borrow one.
  • Extra blanket: If you're cold-natured or just want extra to cuddle with.
  • Safe: One roomie of mine brought her valuable heirloom jewelry and brought a safe. I wouldn't suggest bringing anything too valuable, personally, but it's an option.


  1. That picture is great. I kinda want to do that to my room right now. I used to blog at FabBlab, but this is my new blog: www.seren-dip-a-tea.blogspot.com. Please follow :D

  2. Great post, Elle! Most dorms have extra long mattresses, so you have to buy extra long sheets. Make sure that everyone buys the correct ones.

    PS Anyone know why dorm beds are a different size than standard home beds?

  3. great post, I am done with college but this is bringing back the memories : )

  4. Those are such a great tips...sweetie:)
    Thanks and have a sunny Monday

  5. I was all about the body pillow too - it turned my bed into a couch!

    Happy Monday!


  6. Oh!! I remember this list :) It's been a while, but I loved prepping for school. It's like I get to press the replay button every year!

  7. Love the post! I will definitely keep it in the back of my mind and use it when I go off to college!


  8. These are great tips! I already use a mattress pad, jersey sheets (can't live without jersey sheets...no idea why, haha), those hangers (you can get them in a 50 pack at Costco for $14.99), fan (need it to fall asleep!), white board, etc. etc. I never thought of some of this stuff though, so thank you for posting! It never occurred to me to fill up holes from nails with toothpaste or to bring my own mini iron to get rid of wrinkles.

    - Halie

  9. Although one thing I've found to be very help is a hot water heater - so nice if you want to make a quick cup of tea, some hot chocolate, or even cup-a-soup while you're working (or just whenever).

  10. Huggable hangers are a godsend, couldn't do without these. Great post!



I respond to comments via email, so make sure I can respond!
For a faster response, please use Twitter or email: elleseesyou@gmail.com

More ways to keep up with me: Bloglovin, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram , Youtube or email: elleseesyou@gmail.com

You made my day by visiting! See ya tomorrow :)


All products mentioned are purchased by me unless stated.
All pics, thoughts, etc, are mine unless otherwise noted. Publishing or redistributing any content from this blog is strictly prohibited. Please seek permission first. Thank you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...