dorm room ideas for organization

It’s that time of year where college students everywhere are thinking of returning to the college dorm room or moving into a college dorm for the first time. Today, we’re going to address a few essentials for your dorm room and how to best organize your things.

The Bathroom:

If you are lucky enough to go to a private college, you may even have your own bathroom in your dorm room that you only have to share with a roommate. For many, going to college means sharing a huge bathroom down the hall. If this is your situation, you want to purchase a few essentials for the daily trip to the bathroom.

1. Buy a shower caddy with a handle. I am referring to the type of plastic container with holes to drain water and that usually has a handle attached. This type of container is easy to carry all of your shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razors, etc. If you purchase one of these, I would recommend one that is plastic that can go right into the shower with you. It should also have holes to drain the water.

2.Shower shoes are another item I would recommend for a large, shared shower. You can just use flip flops. These will protect your feet from anything yucky and any shared shower germs you may encounter.

3.A mesh shower bag is another essential if you have to commute down the hall to shower. I like the beach bag variety that has a mesh type material and a shoulder strap. You’ll use this to carry your towels, washcloths, and your clothes.

The Dorm Room:

Every college dorm usually has a bed, mattress, and nightstand, but you’ll be needing a little more to make it feel like home. First, let’s address some food preparation items. If you will be sharing a college dorm with a roommate, you may want to inquire if they have already purchase these larger, more expensive items. That should cut down on your expenses.

Food Preparation Essentials:

1. A mini refrigerator is a must. You likely are using some type of campus cafeteria for your meals, but sometimes, you’re going to miss those mealtimes. Breakfast was always a tough one for me. A mini refrigerator will help in those times. We kept our college dorm refrigerator stocked with breakfast foods mainly.

2.A microwave is also helpful if you miss those campus cafeteria meals. It just makes food prep so much easier. 

3.Microwave safe dishes are needed if you own a microwave. You’ll need something to eat and drink from. Also, you should always keep a few dishes and silverware in your room. Don’t forget dish soap for clean up.

4.A coffee pot is great if you require coffee each morning like I do. Remember to buy a few coffee mugs, too.

5.Ice trays are also helpful, as most mini refrigerators do not come equipped to make ice. You can pick up a few ice trays for very little money. 

Bedroom Essentials:

1. An alarm clock is a must have for any dorm. Do not rely on your cell phone alarm to get you to class on time. Look for an alarm clock with a battery backup in case of a power failure.

2. A computer/laptop and printer are needed in most college dorms.Sure, you can get by using the ones at the campus library, but there may be a long line if you need to use one. If you have procrastinated on a big project, that can make things even more stressful.

Having a computer and printer in your room saves you that added stress. As an added tip, always keep an extra ink cartridge and extra printer paper on hand to eliminate the stress of running out just before a project is due. Check to see if your dorm room has a computer desk and chair, also. 

3.A lamp on the bedside table is a must have for any bedroom. If your college dorm doesn’t have one, look at the large discount stores for the best deals.

4.A place for your books and papers is essential to any academic environment. You need to be able to see and store your things neatly each day. A small book shelf should work nicely. You’ll also want some type of backpack or bag to carry everything to and from class.

5. Under bed storage containers are great for small spaces. You will likely have to share a closet with your roommate, so any type of extra storage is a plus. Under bed storage containers are great for holding shoes and seasonal clothes. 

6.Stackable storage drawers are also great for small closets. If you share a closet, you can use these drawers to better utilize the vertical space and use every square inch of your closet. You can store your folded clothes, socks, and undergarments neatly in these drawers.

7.Look for a full length mirror that can be hung over the door. This is helpful for getting ready each day and ensuring you are looking your best before heading out.

8.Countertop vertical storage containers are great for small spaces. I like the make up carriers that hold everything inside. An attached handle is also a plus. I like to store all of my cosmetic essentials and personal items in these containers. They can also be great for storing jewelry.

9. A laundry basket with handles is another dorm room essential. You are likely going to have to haul your laundry to and from the machines to wash it, so anything with handles help make this job easier. Don’t forget to buy detergent to get the job done.

10. Sheets, pillows, and bedding are a must have for your dorm room comfort. Choose a machine washable fabric when selecting your comforter. Also, buy two sets of sheets. When one is in the wash, you’ll have a clean set available. 

11.An iron and ironing board are great items to have to keep your clothes looking neat. You can purchase a small table top ironing board if you lack space. 

12.Most dorms do not have a TV in the room, but they usually have electrical outlets to accommodate them. My college roommate and I never had a TV in our room, and we still managed to get by. Most everyone has a cell phone now you can view, instead. You can also just use an iPad if you need a larger screen than your cell phone provides.

13.Speaking of cell phones, you’re going to want a plan with unlimited data and a hotspot if your dorm room does not have free wifi. You can use the hotspot to use your computer and iPad. 

14.Home decor items and personal pictures make your space feel like home. If you get homesick, which you likely will from time to time, family photos provide the comforts of home. 

I hope you have found this list helpful. Going to college and moving into a dorm is an exciting time! Having a plan for organization makes the move much more comfortable. 

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My How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen list can be found here.

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My How to Deep Clean Your Living Room list can be found here.

My How to Deep Clean Your Bedroom list can be found here.

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New to and don’t know where to start? I recommend going in this order:

Step 1: Check out this post on the 1st step you should take to get organized. If you don’t have a calendar, you can grab my free weekly printable calendar page here. It is in my shopify store, but it is totally free, so you won’t be prompted to put in any payment information. It is a free download and will be delivered straight to your email.

Also, you can get the complete digital printable copy of the Year Long Thorough Declutter Series Calendar and Checklists here. The printable digital download is delivered to your email. It includes 25 pages of printable calendar pages and checklists to help you declutter every room in your home. You can sign up here.

Step 2: Create a daily Housekeeping Schedule. You can use this series to start to set up your own schedule. You can also use this simplified weekly schedule.If you often ask: What is the fastest way to clean a dirty house? Or, if you struggle to get organized and have tried and failed time and again, you can likely find out which of these 11 reasons cause you to fail to get organized.

Step 3:   How do you remove clutter? How Do You Declutter Your Home?.…Sign up for the Declutter Series and get your entire home decluttered in just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.”Declutter Your Home” checklists are provided in each email.

Step 4: What is the fastest way to clean a dirty house? Use a timer and use the Deep Cleaning Checklists above. They will help you get your home sparkling after you’ve decluttered. 

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Check out the most popular posts on 

14 Things That Make Your Home Look Cluttered

How to Do A 1 Day Declutter

How to Create a Daily Housekeeping Schedule

How to Clean House When You Are Completely Overwhelmed By Clutter

What is Preventing You From Getting Organized?

Also, check out a great post on decluttering over here from Joshua Becker has some great tips on decluttering and minimalism.

For further reading, check out the fly lady here. She has some great cleaning and kitchen decluttering ideas plus excellent organization tips to get you started.