Dorm Room Essentials: Don't know where to start? This list has you covered! #college

Dorm rooms get a bad reputation. Squeezing two or three people in a tiny 8 foot by 8 foot room to live for 9 months can be depressing. At the same time, every college Freshman gets excited about the way they are going to decorate their dream room. Here is my guide to your dorm room essentials to get you started!

roomStart With the Basics

Your bedding can quickly set a mood for the rest of your room, as it is often the first thing that you see when you enter. Personally, I like a lot of color but my wardrobe lacks color. So I decided to play around with that and have my comforter black, and let my pillows and the rest of the details in my room pop with color in comparison.

beddingLet’s face it, dorm room lighting sucks. If you can, getting your own lights will definitely brighten up the room and make it feel more like your own space and less like a borrowed room. Start with string lights and work from there. Lots of stores offer a wide variety of different kinds of string lights (such as my butterfly lights and big bulb lights) that will give you a step up and more personal approach from the classic Christmas-y lights that everybody else has.

From there, consider getting a floor lamp and a desk lamp as well.


jewleryOrganizing doesn’t have to be boring and hidden! While you may need some big storage bins or extra drawers that you hide under your bed, you can get some other storage options that you won’t want to hide!

One of my favorite pieces in my room this year is my jewelry cabinet on my dresser! First of all I love that it is white because it stands out and looks clean against the wood grained school furniture. I also love that it gives me a place to store and display my jewelry! While I don’t normally wear a lot of accessories, I like being able to have some handy for special occasions. Last year I didn’t think I would need any sort of jewelry case, and I found myself usingdesktop Command hooks on my walls to hang up my necklaces. This cute cabinet saves space and accents the room at the same time!

Another good way to organize is to use desk organizers. Right now I use one simple white desk organizer that holds all my highlighters, index cards, post-it notes, and other school supplies.

RELATED: Listen to this episode of my podcast, The Quarter Life Crisis Club, on moving out on your own!


picturesThis is my favorite part! What’s the point in having a room if you aren’t going to personalize it? I am a huge believer in pictures.

I have a Polaroid camera and I adore taking photos and hanging them on a string of twine on my wall above my bed. So many people compliment this look when they come into my room!

I also have a bunch of pictures tacked up above and on the wall next to my desk. I love being able to see colorful notes from my friends and pictures of good times when I’m stressed.

Don’t Know Where to Start?

Whether you’re looking for ways to spice up your room, planning your future dream dorm, or creating a care package for your favorite college student, I made a list on Shopswell with some of my favorite Dorm Decor items to get you started! Check it out:


deskpicIsn’t that list above great? I made it with this super cool site called Shopswell! It’s almost like Pinterest, but for shopping.

Shopswell makes it easy to discover great products from a ton of different sites, all in the same place, as well as sharing lists with friends and family. I know I’ll be using this for my Christmas list this year! They even have this super cool feature called price tracking, where you can select a product and a price and it will alert you when the price changes or when it reaches a specific price!

Right now Shopswell is having a really cool giveaway! Every month they are giving away $10,000 as a part of their Shop.Share.Win. Program! Interested in winning? Check out here for more info on how to play! Want to know where you stand? Check out the current leader board here.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Dorm Room Essentials
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7 thoughts on “Dorm Room Essentials

  • October 14, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Hey Dani! I absolutely love your blog! You inspired me to start my own and I can’t wait to keep writing. I really want to have a great year and live up to my full potential, and I am in need of help from bloggers like you! Do you have any favorite sites besides your own?

  • October 14, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    It’s been a long time since I’ve had to shop for dorm essentials, but I remember it well. Sure living in a dorm is not ideal, but decorating things for yourself is so much fun!

  • October 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Oh your room is so cute! My college room was no where near as nicely decorated as yours 🙂

  • December 1, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Lovely ideas! My girl lives in a dorm with a fellow colleague from university and they definitely need to work better in making their dorm feels like home! I will share this post with them. I love the storage bins idea. The dorm room is very small and there is lack of any storage space! I will go take few of these storage bins right away! Thank you for sharing!

  • February 4, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    hi! i feel like ive seen this dorm pinned before? at gsu? sorry if this is absurdly strange, im just planning on attending in the fall and found it odd that it came up on my feed again. maybe its not and im misremembering but your room looks great regardless!

    • February 4, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Hey Micayla!
      Nope, this isn’t at GSU! This is in my dorm room in a university in Southern California 🙂


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