For students going away for school, staying in a dorm room, it can be really easy to feel overwhelmed with choices, thinking they need or have to have everything when they see in back-to-school sales displays and flyers.
That’s why it’s important to have a list and really think about what essential items to purchase and bring along. These dorm room tips will help you figure out what you need for a dorm room and what other things are also nice to have.
What are dorm room essentials?
When thinking about what essential items a student must have in their dorm room, keep in mind that while each student has different needs and decorating tastes, the basics are universal:
- Desk – most often supplied in the room
- Comfortable chair – one may want to replace the provided chair with an ergonomic version, since study sessions, especially around exam period, may last 5-6 hours or more.
- Task lamp – if one is provided, add a full-spectrum light bulb that mimics natural daylight. This will help give students energy, feel more alert, and prevent eye-strain.
- Storage – Over-the-door hooks, under-bed bins, and desk organizers will all help students store their belongings.
Dorm room on a budget
Duvets versus comforters.
A duvet is the white fluffy thing inside of the decorative cover, where as a comforter is an all-in-one piece of bedding.
The big difference is that with duvets, you can change out the covers to wash and switch up the style seasonally.
A good quality duvet will likely last a student for the entire length of their school years and afterward as well.
I like IKEA for duvet covers as they often have ones in 100% cotton, which is very breathable, for an inexpensive price and in lots of fun colours and patterns. For sheets, there are many colourful varieties available that are in size XL twin size – which is most often what is needed for dorm room beds.
Good-quality noise-cancelling headphones will help students tune out outside noises in order to study in peace and quiet.
Charging cables and cords are necessities – a docking station where students can both charge their cell phones and listen to their music when their alarms go off in the morning is a nice touch, too.
A laptop is an essential for students to take notes on, use to write reports, and watch their favourite streaming TV shows.
Emotional Comfort for students
IKEA Canada recently conducted a study to learn more about students going to college or university. Of the students polled:
- 92% enjoy comfort in their spaces
- 54% feel inspired by music when studying
Having a little piece of home to remind students of the things they’re grateful for, the people that helped them throughout their lives so far.
Maybe photos of their family and friends, their
A portable Bluetooth speaker can help students feel both inspired and relaxed. If students don’t find music helpful when studying, white-noise machines may be a good option.
Back to school time for college and university students doesn’t have to be stressful, at least when it comes to their dorm rooms. With a bit of organization, planning ahead, and thinking about making a room comfortable (physically and emotionally) for students will help them start their school year off well! I hope these dorm room tips will help things go more smoothly for back-to-school.
Other back-to-school posts
- How to Organize your Home for Back to School
- Your Back to School Checklist
To DoList for Going Back to School
- Top 5 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Back to School
Pin for later: