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Dorm Essentials | Freshman Year | September 2012

Dorm Essentials: Back-to-School

By Taylor Cotter |

So you're all moved in, classes are starting, and you've started to make your little dorm room feel like home. However, even if you have your microwave and laptop lock, there are a number of dorm items you might not have thought to grab on your first trip. These unique dorm essentials are not necessary for all students, but can certainly make some lives easier. From fancy luxuries to organizational necessities, these tested items will make your freshman dorm experience much easier and more manageable than you could have imagined.


iPhone Microphone Eco-Friendly Notebooks Expanding File Colored Pens
iPhone Microphone
If you like to have a backup for your in-class notes, try recording them on your iPhone! However, make sure to use an amplifying microphone so you catch everything.
Pictured: RapCap 
Eco-Friendly Notebooks
Whether you'll fill these up with notes or disregard them after a few days of classes, it's better to stay eco-friendly with your notebooks!
Pictured: Ecosystem Architect
Expanding Files
The easiest way to organize and keep track of syllabi, handouts and other papers from your courses. At the end of the semester, tuck it away in case you need this information later.
Pictured: Smead Ultracolor Expanding Files
Colored Pens
Might as well start off organized, right? Color coding is the best-kept secret of the hyper-organized. Use colored pens to keep track of what is important in your notes.
Pictured:  Paper Mate InkJoy 300 RT Retractable Medium Point Ballpoint Pens

External Hard Drive Alarm Clock Speakers USB Charging Station iPod Charger Case
External Hard Drive
Everyone has had it happen: your computer inexplicably crashes and you lose everything. Don't let yourself be that student: keep all your files backed up on an external harddrive.
Pictured: Western Digital My Passport
iPod Speakers/Alarm Clock
Don't rely on just your cell phone to keep you from missing class. Having a hardcore alarm clock (this one shakes your bed!) will ensure you never sleep in.
Pictured: iLuv Vibe Plus Bed Shaker Dual Alarm Clock Dock for iPhone and iPod
USB Charging Station
iPod, iPhone, Kindle - all electronics charge on a USB. Instead of running out of ports on your laptop, have an extra place to recharge.
Pictured: Belkin Conserve Valet
Cell Phone Battery Pack
Whether you have a smartphone or regular phone, having some extra juice on-the-go is a necessity.
Pictured:  mophie juice pack air

Spaghetti Pot Lunch Containers Cereal Bowl Lap Tray
Spaghetti Pot
Quick meals: pasta, ramen, rice. If you're making these, you'll certainly need a pot and strainer. What if those could be combined into one?
Pictured: Bialetti Trends 5-Quart Pasta Pot, Blue
Lunch Containers
If you have a class that runs through lunch or dinner, you'll definitely want to bring your own meal. Having decent containers makes this much easier than toting leftover boxes!
Pictured: EasyLunchbox Compartmentalized BPA-Free Plastic Food Storage Containers
Portable Cereal Bowl
Same goes for those early morning classes. If you only have a few minutes in the dining hall, have a portable cereal and milk bowl handy so you can grab breakfast on the go!
Pictured: DormCo Cereal on the Go
Dorm Meal Tray
Sure, you'll probably eat most of your meals at your desk. However, when your desk is covered in books and papers, you might have to move to the floor or bed. A tray will make it easy and clean to eat anywhere in your room!
Pictured: DormCo Handy Dorm Eating Lap Tray

Flip Flops Flat Iron Case Travel Toothbrush Towel Wrap
Flip Flops
Cheap, replaceable, and effective. Don't get caught in a shared bathroom without a pair of rubber flipflops!
Pictured: Old Navy Women's New Classic Flip-Flops
Flat Iron Case
The last thing a residence hall needs is a flat-iron induced fire! Keep your straightener tucked away with a flat-iron cover.
Pictured: DormCo Flat Iron Case - Polka Dot
Travel Toothbrush
Travelling from your dorm room, to the bathroom and back again is a lot for a little toothbrush to take! Make sure yours is securely covered to avoid any less-than-favorable run-ins.
Pictured: Violight Slim Sonic Toothbrush 
Women's 100% Cotton Light Pink Bath Towel Wrap
Running between the bathroom and your dorm room can be a hassel, especially carrying all your things. This bath towel wrap will ensure you have both hands free.
Pictured: Posy Lane Bath Towel Wraps


Wall Art Scentsy Candle Tapestry Curtain
Adhesive Wall Art
In a dorm, you usually can't do permanent damage to the walls. Adhesive wall stickers are the next best thing! There are hundreds of ways to decorate your walls however you like.
Pictured: DormCo Blue Branches - Peel N Stick
Fake Candles
Real candles are almost never allowed in dorm rooms. These are the next best thing to having some natural candlelight!
Pictured: Scentsy Toscana Collection

If wall art isn't doing it for you, try a patterned tapestry. And, if it gets extra cold, you can use it as a blanket!
Pictured: Urban Outfitters Tie-Dyed Bird Tapestry
Most dorm rooms come with plain white shades to keep out sun. To add some colors to your windows, try some bright curtains. Even if you keep the shade on, it will make your room a little more like home.
Pictured:  ModCloth Flora and Fauna and Fabulous Curtain in Turquoise


iPod Speakers Memo Globe Magnetic Poetry Electronic Games
Whether you're hanging around with a few friends, studying, or having a small party, you'll want to do better than just your laptop speakers. Portable small speakers are best and easiest to move.
Pictured: Chill Pill Mobile Speakers
WhiteBoard (or WhiteGlobe)
A fun way to share notes and messages with your roommates. If you don't have the wall space, this little globe works perfectly!
Pictured: memosphere desktop memo board

Magnetic Poetry
Everyone's favorite way to write magnetic messages, poems, or crude remarks. These magnets are usually fun for all roommates - and who can't use more magnets?
Pictured: Magnetic Poetry College Magnetic Poetry Kit
Electronic Games
Board games are awesome to have around the dorms, but count on missing and broken pieces. Electronic games like CatchPhrase are just as fun, and you can keep track of them more easily.
Pictured:  Hasbro Electronic Catch Phrase

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