If you’re just starting your first year of college, congratulations, and if you’re returning to campus for another year, welcome back! Whether you’re new in town or a seasoned vet, the beginning of the school year is always stressful. It’s a rush of setting up furniture, going on multiple trips to Target, navigating where your classes will be and so much more. Your dorm room (or apartment) is bursting with potential, so let’s get busy. While stylish door room décor is a must, here’s everything you need to organize your new space to perfection.
First things first, you need to make sure your bed is as comfy as possible after long days of back-to-back classes and studying. The Mellanni Sheet Set boasts close to 250,000 reviews on Amazon and is the No. 1 best seller in the sheet & pillowcase section. They’re soft, silky smooth and a solid addition to your first (or second) dorm room.
The mDesign storage unit works as both a dresser and a side table, which is perfect for dorm rooms, since they only include the bare minimum furniture pieces. The removable fabric bins have handles for convenient opening and closing, and the wood top gives you space to keep your phone, lamp, clock, coasters and anything else you want right next to your bed.
A mini fridge and microwave are essentials when living in a small space, especially if you’re sharing it with another person. You’ll need a dependable stock of popcorn, energy drinks, Gatorade, Ramen noodles, mac and cheese and Pop-Tarts for when nearby campus cafes and stores are closed at night. Check all your boxes with this BLACK+DECKER bundle that will (hopefully) last all four years.
Get ready for many hot, hot nights ahead of you. Some older dorms don’t have air conditioning so you need to get creative about staying cool – and a box fan is the easiest! The Hurricane 20-inch model has a quiet but powerful motor with a slim frame, plus a power cord compartment that makes it easy to stow.
Stuck with the top bunk and fretting about where to store your phone at night? The Loghot bedside organizer puts everything within reach when you’re inches from the ceiling. Sling it over the metal bar on the side of your bunk and take advantage of the large main pocket, nets on both sides, roomy outside pockets and metal hooks. You can also stick it on the back of a chair or side of a desk.
The Limelights durable desk lamp is the best of both worlds (cue the Hannah Montana soundtrack, please). It has a flexible neck, charging outlet and space for your trusty pens and highlighters. I had the pink version of this in college and it lasted me all four years.
A dorm room isn’t complete without twinkle lights! This 66-foot string comes with a remote control that can be used to turn them on and off, change brightness and adjust to one of eight settings: waves, sequential, slogs, chasing/flash, slow fade, twinkle/flash, and steady on. They’re warm, atmospheric and ultra Instagram-worthy.
Two words: communal bathrooms. Be ready for them. This shower caddy with sturdy handles will hold everything you need to bring with you for morning and nighttime routines. The breathable mesh ensures proper ventilation and features seven roomy pockets. It even has a hook to attach your keys for safekeeping.
Kick up the cozy factor with a shag rug. The non-slip underside means you won’t be sliding all over the place when rushing to make your 8 a.m. class (pro tip: get those out of the way as SOON as possible). Each one is made from plush microfiber fabric, and you can choose from four different sizes and a wide range of colors. It’ll make movie nights with your pals much more comfortable.
Dorm room closets are usually pretty small, so a hangable shoe rock is a great way to save space. The Gorilla Grip organizer can fit up to 12 pairs of shoes and hold up to 40 pounds of weight. No hardware is necessary to set this up – all you need to do is put the included hooks over the door and you’re good to go.
Geometry is the name of the game with these handy storage cubes. The four-pack of interlocking wire cubes ensures a neat and tidy display that’s easy to put together and take apart. Each cube holds up to 10 pounds, and you can stack vertically, side-by-side or horizontally. We recommend using them as snack cubbies or clothing storage in your closet. Some reviewers say they’re a little wobbly but that problem can be remedied with zip ties.
An ottoman acts as both a place to sit and a convenient storage space. The CoCo Living ottoman is foldable, lightweight and simple to move around the room. This model comes in three different sizes and a variety of colors to match whatever décor you settle on.
Grab a few command hooks and go to town with this extra large wire basket that can hold anything your heart desires, from toiletries to school supplies to snacks. I’ve got three of these in my apartment now and I wish that I had known about them when I was a college student. They’re inexpensive, durable and can be stuck on the wall basically anywhere.
Laundry will mount up fast now that you have to pay for it, so a pop-up hamper is a cheap way to store your dirty clothes. The mesh material helps defend against moisture and odor, and the flexible frame can be folded flat whenever you need.
Velvet hangers add a touch of luxury to your closet. These kinds of hangers are incredibly useful because the smooth edges prevent garments from being creased and each one is strong enough to support heavier fabrics. The sets come in a few striking color combinations and you can choose from a 24-pack, 30-pack, 50-pack or 100-pack.
Keep your class materials organized with an expanding file folder/document organizer in bright pastel colors. You can stow worksheets, essays, exams and notes in five secure, expandable pockets that are always within reach. Your purchase includes tab stickers to label each pocket accordingly. The organizer has over 10,000 reviews on Amazon, with 80% of those being five stars.
Wondering how you’re going to store big, heavy winter coats and sweaters for the coming months? If you’ve got room under your bed, take advantage of it and use under-bed bags. Featuring four sturdy handles, each bag is made from breathable, transparent fabric that keeps all items inside fresh. They can be folded flat when not in use.
Go green when eating late-night Ramen noodles with a portable stainless steel flatware set. The eight-piece kit includes a fork, knife, spoon, set of chopsticks, cleaning brush, bent straw, straight straw and a slim carry case. Each utensil is lightweight, easy to clean and helps reduce your plastic consumption.