dorm room ideas

Back to school time is coming fast, and for a lot of us that means moving into dorms!! My first year I brought all the wrong things, so here are some tips and a lil packing list to help you guys figure out what you need and what you don’t.

tip #1
You don’t need as much as you think you need. Throw out those bed bath and beyond packing lists because they’re only trying to take all your money. If you don’t use it when you’re at home, you won’t use it at school.

tip #2
Think through a typical school day – what do you do? What do you need?

tip #3
Pack in things that will be staying in your dorm as much as possible – laundry baskets, trunks, those plastic drawers, etc. It’s way easier than carrying down 500 boxes to the recycling bin. 

tip #4
Don’t shove too much into one bin, especially if there’s no elevator. Keep it light!

tip #5
See if there are things you can wait and buy there – snacks, school supplies, etc to save room in your car. But drive an extra half an hour instead of going to the Target right by campus that’s inevitably packed and sold out of everything.

tip #6
Pack cleaning supplies last so you can clean everything (especially your bed!!) before you start unpacking. 

tip #7
Bring some snacks and a bottle of water for moving day, and dress comfy. It will inevitably be 100 degrees and you + your fam will get hangry fast.

what to bring:


  • A comfy mattress pad!! Dorm mattresses are brutal. Mine was around $25 from bed bath and beyond and was just as comfy as the expensive tempuredic ones
  • An extra set of (cheap) twin xl sheets for laundry day 
  • An easy to clean duvet/quilt (twin is fine)
  • Double check on bedding sizes! Twin xl is standard, but it may be different at your school.
  • Extra blankets for movies nights/when friends stay over


  • A sturdy shower caddy! I got one for $5 and had to replace it by fall break
  • A robe for the walk to and from the bathroom
  • Shower shoes!!!!! Dorm bathrooms are nasty
  • Towels (3) and bath cloths (however often you use them)
  • Whatever soaps/shampoos/etc you use
  • Stock up on pads/tampons/hand soap before your parents leave so you don’t have to walk to the store when you need it


  • Get a good desk lamp!!
  • Don’t buy notebooks until after the first day of class! Some may be better suited for laptop notes, and for some you may not take notes at all. 
  • A bulletin board is a lifesaver!!
  • A small white board (not hung up on the wall) is nice for making notes/working on problems without wasting paper
  • Find a good planner!!
  • And a wall calendar 
  • Have those random things on hand that you never think about until you need them: tape (masking, duct!!!!, scotch), tape measure, etc
  • Bring lots of lil drawer organizer/pen cups to organize
  • Pack all of your favorite pens/journals/sticky notes, but leave a few at home for when you’re studying on break


  • Research your school’s weather and pack accordingly, ofc
  • Pack lots that’s easy to layer (old buildings have temperamental heating)
  • Comfy shoes are so important!! You’ll be walking everywhere 
  • Leave most winter clothing at home to pick up on break, but bring a coat and sweater in case there’s some early cold weather
    • Same goes for spring semester! Packing shorts in January seems weird, but you’ll be glad
  • Pack an outfit or two for nice events/interviews
  • Bring all the clothes that make you feel great and confident, and leave the rest at home
  • Some cozy clothes for lazy days/camping out at the library
  • Rain boots and a rain coat! I never used them before, but rainy days are 10x worse when you have to walk to class
  • Try not to over pack – you’ll be getting new clothes (especially free t shirts) and dorm storage is limited


  • Bring a floor lamp! Dorm lighting is so depressing, you’ll want one in addition to your desk lamp. 
  • Duct tape!! Seriously you’ll use it all the time
  • A sleeping bag is great to have on hand; you’ll use it more than you think (weekend trips, for friends who stay over, etc)
  • A trash can!
  • Some cleaning supplies: clorox wipes, a broom, etc
  • HDMI cord for watching pirated movies on your tv
  • Medicine – pain killers, cold/stomach/allergy medicine, cough drops, etc
  • A small duffle bag, plus a toiletry case for weekend trips
  • Your insurance card!!! + other important papers in case of emergency
  • Tupperware for sneaking food out of the dining hall

what not to bring: 

here are a few things commonly listed on packing lists that you’ll never use.

  • A bed skirt – so many suggested it, but there’s no need
  • A fan – most dorms have a/c units, and if it turns out to be too hot it’s easier to go out and buy one for $10 than to store one you don’t use
  • Printer – you’ll most likely get free printing money to use at the library
  • A laundry drying rack – you have bed posts for a reason
  • Travel sized toiletries – just bring the full size. You live there, after all
  • Bed risers – you’ll most likely have an adjustable bed already
  • Step ladder – I cannot think of a reason you would need this (other than move in day) when a chair would not suffice
  • Iron/ironing board – I promise ironing will not cross your mind, and if you really need to just throw it in the dryer with a wet bath cloth. The extra space will be worth the fifty cents.
  • Pots/pans – you’ll rarely be cooking if you have a meal plan, and if you are most schools allow you to rent them for the night

This is far from an exhaustive list, but it should help you get an idea of what you need and what you don’t! Be sure to check out your school’s housing website to find the details of your dorm before you leave. Good luck and happy packing!


Like if you want to work/study in here!

Tbh, when I looked at her room and then looked back at my room, ugh “I think I need to clean my room.”

I mean am I the only one?

(source: @marzena.marideko via Instagram)

*I do not own any of these pictures. All rights go to respective owners/creators.*

10/05 I took some days off because of some unfortunate circumstances this weekend. I needed that break. And last couple of days I spent time with my best friends. I feel much better now and I’m ready to study my 🍑 off for finals!