11 Items You Need For Your Dorm (Or Apartment)

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11 Critical Items You Need For Your Dorm (Or Apartment)
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A few weeks ago I packed all my stuff from my 16m2 apartment and I moved my stuff into another room of about the same size. This feels like I’m going to college all over again. 

It reminded me of all the things that I wanted to buy when I first moved into my college dorm, what I actually needed, and what I didn’t touch at all. 

In this post, I will help you by outlining 11 critical and essential items for your college dorm or apartment. Especially if space is limited, these are the items for you!

These are the items that I forgot to move and wished someone would have told me to get them and move them along with me.

Here are 11 critical items for your college dorm and apartment to make it feel cozy, organized, and clean!

1. Amazon Prime Membership

An Amazon Prime membership is the best thing, ever. Especially if you’re studying it is the ultimate way to get things if you don’t have a car and live somewhere everything is far away. 

I ordered so many things with Amazon Prime. Almost all of the things below I got through Amazon Prime. From items for my dorm, to snacks, and toiletries when no one could take me to the store. 

An Amazon Prime student membership is only $6.49 per month for students, with a 6-month free trial for new members! If you are not a new member, you can still get a discounted student membership. 

2. Proper Bedding

I will start with the most important part of the room: the bed. You are going to do a lot of sleeping, so it’s important to have a good bed with proper bedding. 

Depending on what dorm room or apartment you’re moving into, you will already have a bed (or not). When you’re not having a bed, I would recommend just getting a simple frame and a good mattress that you can lie on. 

If you’re not the lucky one and there are already beds in your dorms. I feel you. When I’ve studied a semester in California, I’ve also stayed in a dorm with the mattress and the bed frame already there. 

The beds that are in dorms can be old and disgusting, depending on the specifics of the college and the dorm itself. 

My roomie always said about the beds: ‘you don’t want to know what happened on there’. 

If you’re not into germs, you should probably invest in a mattress protector. Just in case. I love this mattress protector. It’s waterproof and it comes with a warranty – that’s what we want right?!

You also need a warm duvet and nice fluffy pillows! Besides that, you could opt for fun bed sheets

3. Electric Fan

Dorms rarely have a good air conditioning – if you have any at all. The air conditioning is mostly centralized, making it hotter when it’s already hot and colder when it’s already cold. 

For the cold we already have our nice warm duvet, now we need something for the heat. 

I would say go for an electric fan! It was my best investment ever – I have to admit I studied in California so yes I needed that. 

Honestly, I would not have survived my semester there without an electric fan!

When I’m back in the Netherlands, I also need it but only a few times per year. 

4. Ear Plugs

Since I’ve lived in dorms, ear plugs go with my everywhere. College dorms can be noisy, depending on where the party is that night. Every night of the week there can be some unexpected party or gathering pop up, it might be next to your room. 

If you wake up because of hard noises, invest in a pair of ear plugs. I personally use the same earplugs that I use when going out (yes it’s important to protect your hearing). 

Besides those, I always have a pack of disposable earplugs as well – just in case. 

Ear plugs also come in handy when exams are around the corner! When you’re studying in the library, people discussing or typing could distract you. When you’re making your exams, bring an extra pair in case you are distracted by the twitching or scratching. 

11 Critical Items You Need For Your Dorm (Or Apartment)
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5. Laundry Basket

Doing laundry is much more convenient in a basket than anything else. I used a plastic bag for a long time, until my roomie decided that enough was enough and gifted my one for my birthday. 

I don’t know why I didn’t get to that earlier. 

I highly recommend you to think ahead and buy a collapsible laundry basket. The more often you are planning to do your laundry, the smaller the size of the one you’ll need. 

Let me tell you that I didn’t have much laundry left at the end of my semester, as the laundry machine ate all my socks. I swear I had to buy 20 new pairs within 4 months. In California! I didn’t even wear socks more than 20 times. 

So yeah, a laundry bag for socks or underwear would be great to prevent your small items to be lost (like socks and underwear).

6. Collapsible Drying Rack

Another critical item for your apartment or dorm is this collapsible drying rack. 

It’s great to wash your laundry, but what if you have nowhere to hang it? The first weeks I would hang my laundry all over the room, after that we decided enough was enough and bought this drying rack. 

The great thing is that a collapsible drying rack allows you to dry your clothes quickly when you have a fresh wash, and you can put it away when you’re not using it. 

7. Shower Caddies

The first weeks of living in my down, I would bring my toiletries back and forth to the bathroom. That’s the worst idea ever, let me tell you! I kept forgetting things and need to go in and out of the shower continuously. I even ended up dropping my shampoo and the entire bathroom never smelled so good. 

While it’s nice to have your bathroom smell good, it can become quite expensive if that happens every week. Therefore I recommend a shower caddy – 100%. 

It will hold everything for you; shampoo, conditioner, soap, razors, and more. It makes showering and keeping everything in one place much easier!

8. Desk Organizer

The issue with dorms is that you have so little space. I am a natural chaotic person, meaning that my desk is always a total mess. When I invested in one of these desk organizers, life got better. 

It keeps all your school supplies in one place and your desk looks tidy. I never need to turn my room upside down looking for scissors or a pen!

9. Storage Space

Yes, dorms have limited space. That’s something you’re prepared for when you come there. Something you’re not prepared when you come there, is the limited storage space.

I brought 2 suitcases of clothing (good thing I’m now a minimalist, jeeezz 2 suitcases is way too much). BUT I only had one drawer to place everything. 

Hell no, that was not going to work for me. 

What I did, is hang everything in this storage box for hanging clothes. It helped me keep my clothes neat while creating a lot of space. 

In addition to that, I bought these foldable storage cubes for my electronics, socks, and more. 

10. Extension Cord

It seems like they’re always putting the electric plugs in the most inconvenient places. Which is why I bought an extension cord. 

This extension cord is great, you can charge up to 6 electronic devices and the surge protector prevents electronic devices from power surges. 

When you’re living in your own apartment, an extension cord with an on/off switch is a great way to cut your electric bill in half!

11. Slippers

Slippers are an essential for sure, I love them! 

It is so much easier to get out of bed when you know your feet don’t have to touch the ice cold floor. 

Warm feet is all that a person needs. 

Besides, when you know your feet don’t have to touch the cold floor you’ll get out of bed quicker. When you get out of bed quicker, you will get more done and be more productive. 

So, slippers make you get more done and be more productive. Who doesn’t want that? Get them now!


This is my list of top essential and critical items for your college dorm or apartment. It is not an exhaustive list of everything you need to bring. I did not touch the obvious items like cleaning supplies, clothes, and more. 

I simply wanted to remind you not to forget to bring these items to your college dorm. 

Do you have some dorm essentials that could be added to this list?

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