Things You Need for a Dorm Room

Things You Need for a Dorm Room

What do you *really* need for a dorm room?

1. Linens. 2. Pillow. 3. That’s it. Seriously, besides your clothes and toiletry items, that’s all that you really *need* for your dorm room this Fall.

Now there are some things that you could bring along that would make your room a bit more comfy. In fact, several online merchants have put together entire sections of their websites to show you what would be ideal for your dorm room.

Check out Target’s Back to College Checklist to get ideas on what to bring to the dorms.

Back in 2006 studies were showing that Freshmen spent on average around $350 just for non-electronic decor for their rooms. I loved moving off to college, and I’m sure I spent at least that much in stuff. It was really exciting to be moving into my own place (even though I shared it with someone I barely knew), and it was fun to deck it out with cool things.

Here are some of the items I had in my dorm room over the years (I wasn’t very flashy).

  • Mini Fridge – I’m not a coffee drinker, so the mini fridge was a necessity to keep my Mountain Dew’s chilled while I was away at class. Ha! You can pick one of these up on craigslist pretty easily, or you can just buy one new for $75. Definitely not a necessity. But I found it to be worth it over the four or five years I used it.
  • TV – You won’t have much time for TV at college. In fact, I’d encourage not having one so that you’ll actually get out of your room and meet people (which is mostly why you should go to college anyway). Again, go used or cheap here. Maybe even consider splitting the cost of this with your roomate, along with the fridge. You certainly don’t need a $4,000 plasma in your dorm. Although, you might have a lot of friends if you did. 🙂
  • Couch – My sophomore year, my roomie and I bunked our beds, which made room for an old, nasty couch that someone’s grandma likely donated to us.
  • Big Fan – A fan is a borderline necessity. You can’t control the temperature in many dorms, so you’ll need a fan to move some air around if and when it gets too ‘hot up in hur.’
  • Rugs – If your dorm floor is tile, a rug is almost a must. Go cheap by asking a friend (or not) in the carpet business to give you a scraped piece. Dorm rooms are small, so you’ll only need a 5 x 5 piece at most.

What I enjoyed most about my dorm room was changing it up and making different configurations to maximize the space. Yes, I’m nerdy like that. Check out this list of hacks for your dorm room.

If I had to do it all over again though, I’d focus less on the stuff and just get a rock-solid laptop. I would at least wait till I got there to figure out what I really needed and wanted (because the cool guy down the hall had one).

If you’re a college grad, what advice do you have for college students as they head back to campus to decorate their dorms?

Photo by borman818

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Last Edited: July 26, 2017 @ 5:42 pmThe content of is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka “PT”, is a CPA, financial writer, podcaster, FinCon Founder, husband, and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Listen to the new podcast, Masters of Money!