Anyone who has or is currently moving into a dorm knows the struggle of making a small space work! There’s barely any room to sleep and work in a dorm, let alone to store a copious amount of things that you don’t need or ever use. That’s why it’s extra important to be picky and efficient when determining what you need and don’t need for your dorm.
These 22 items are all things that will completely transform your life if you’re moving into a small space. From must-have kitchen appliances that will save you during all-nighters to chic yet practical storage solutions that will make the dorm life easier, all of these products are must-haves that you need to add to your move-in checklist. And, the best part is that they’re all available on Amazon for unbeatable prices and prime delivery. What else could you ask for?
Read on to discover what you need for your dorm, and make sure to read the Amazon reviews to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. And, it goes without saying, but if you haven’t already signed up for a Prime Membership, then you need to before heading off to college!
22 An Accordion Folder (For Personal Documents)
When you’re first moving out on your own, it can be challenging to keep track of important documents, such as your birth certificate, health insurance forms, and passport information.
Having one place to keep all of your important information in will minimize the chance that you may misplace something.
And the last thing you’d want is to lose critical paperwork when you’re not necessarily close to home!
An accordion folder is a cheap and effective way to organize personal documents and keep them stowed away. Its small, compact size means its easy to store somewhere out of sight when not in use, or to take it with you on the go, like if you’re travelling somewhere that requires you to have important documents on hand.
Find one from Amazon here.
21 A Cup Warmer (To Save Trips To The Microwave)
Chances are you don’t have a microwave in your dorm room. And, even if you have one in the common area, it will still feel like hassle to get up and go every time your drink needs to be heated up- and with the amount of all-nighters that are ahead of you, expect it to be frequent.
That’s why a cup warmer isn’t a bad idea for any student who loves their drink warm and toasty. Simply keep your beverage chilling on the pad while you enjoy it so it stays at a constant temperature. We guarantee you this will make you a lot less cranky when it comes to waking up early and staying up late to finish homework.
And, for only $7.99 on Amazon, you really can’t go wrong. Purchase it here.
20 A Diffuser (To Combat Smell)
Candles are likely not allowed in your dorm, and air freshener can only do so much. That’s why a diffuser is a must-have in order to keep any small space feeling fresh... especially when you likely won’t be doing laundry as much as you should be.
Amazon carries a great selection of diffusers for under $40 in various colors and styles.
Some of them even feature color-changing LED lights that can add some serious ambiance to your dorm at night. Likewise, you can find tons of scents on Amazon, so your dorm can always smell like a Bath & Bodyworks candle without the risk of fire.
Find it here.
19 A Book Safe (To Keep Valuables Safe)
Unfortunately, theft isn’t uncommon in dorm rooms, especially given the amount t of people going in and out of the building. That’s why having a way to protect your valuable is crucial.
A traditional safe is often bulky and expensive, which isn’t practically when you’re moving into a small dorm on a student’s budget. But that’s what makes this book safe an awesome option! Not only is it budget friendly on Amazon for only $13.81, it will also seamlessly blend in with the rest of your décor. It’s big enough to store all of your essentials, like valuable documents or jewellery.
Stay safe and stay stylish! Purchase this book safe here.
18 A Microwave Pasta Cooker (To Feed Yourself)
Cooking any sort of ‘real meal’ in a dorm is going to be a challenge. But there are tons of quirky kitchen gadgets out there than can help making Adult-ing (aka. feeding yourself) a little bit more manageable.
This microwave past cooker allows you to cook pasta noodles in the microwave hassle-free- no stove necessary!
All you have to do is mix in the sauce afterward and you’ve got a home-cooked meal. Well, sort of.
This will seriously be a lifesaver on nights where you’re craving some real food but the cafeteria is closed and you’re too broke to order in. Problem solved! Get it here for $14.99
17 A Bunch of Board Games (To Have Fun)
If you’re moving into a dorm, then expect to always have people over. And, if you’re a social butterfly who’s always going to be hosting get-togethers, then you better invest in some board games.
Having a decent selection of board games will ensure you always have something to do with friends. Hosting a snacks and board games night is also an easy way to invite people over and make new friends- which you’ll be doing a lot of in college!
We highly recommend having games like Cards Against Humanity, Settlers of Catan, Catchphrase, and Monopoly on hand for those fun moments.
Find boardgames on Amazon here.
16 A Laptop Tray (To Make Your Bed A Desk)
When you’re living in a dorm, space is limited. Your bed suddenly becomes your couch, dining table, and desk.
If you know you’ll be using your laptop while lounging on your bed a lot, then a laptop tray will definitely be a worthwhile investment!
It will make it all the more comfortable to use your computer while not sitting in front of a table, which will only make inevitable all-nighters all the easier.
Plus, laptop trays are convenient even when not surfing the net. Just think of all the times you’ll be eating or writing an assignment, and how much easier a trendy tray could make that! Buy it from Amazon here.
15 Fake Plants (For A Touch Of Nature)
It can be tough making your dorm feel home-y and inviting. But plants are an excellent way to start! Picking up a few fake plants to bring a touch of nature to your dorm will immediately make it feel more refreshing and welcoming.
We suggest opting for fake plants over real ones because they’ll be all the easier to take care of (and, when it’s your first semester in college, you’ll easily forget to water your plants- trust us). Not only will this instantly up the style factor of your space, but we guarantee it will make you feel more comfortable in your new, temporary home.
You can find fake succulents on Amazon here.
14 A Pack Of Mason Jars (For Various Things)
You can get a pack of 12 mason jars for seriously cheap on Amazon, and you’d be surprised how handy they can be around a dorm or home!
You can find tons of ways to use a mason jar! Store your pencils and other school supplies on top of your desk in one of the jars for a stylish Hipster-vibe.
You can also store other things from makeup brushes to your toothbrush, too.
Likewise, use some of the mason jars as drinking glasses. With air-tights seals, they’re awesome for putting overnight oats in or a smoothie for your breakfast in the morning, or even a cup of coffee. Let’s just say that you don’t even know how useful a set of mason jars could be until you have them! Purchase them here.
13 A DIY Chalk Wall (For Memories)
Decorating the walls of your dorm can be difficult when you’re not allowed to put nails or tape on the wall, without fear of paying for damages. That’s why investing in wall stickers is a great way to personalize your dorm without harming the walls.
We personally recommend investing in a sticky chalk walk. Simply stick the decal to the wall as though it was wallpaper, and you instantly have a DIY chalk wall. Invite your fellow dorm-mates to come over and sign their names or leave personal messages for you.
Not only will the chalk wall act as a great decoration piece, but it will also help create memories and friendships! Buy one here.
12 A Pair Of Shower Shoes (For Your Sanity)
You’re kidding yourself if you think you’ll want to walk around the dorm bathrooms barefoot. Given all the cringe-worthy things that can happen to a dorm, you’ll soon become disgusted with the thought of your bare feet touching the floor. Yet, at the same time, you don’t want to be bothered to always put on your shoes when you have to quickly run to the washroom.
The solution? Purchase a pair of designated shower shoes.
Opt for ones that are plastic and completely water-proof because chances are you’ll be wearing them in the shower (literally). They should be something easy enough to slip on quickly to run out of your room, but cute enough that you won’t mind your dorm-mates catching you in them.
Buy a pair for yourself here.
11 Foldable Chairs (For Extra Seating)
Even though your dorm is tiny, you’re still going to want to have friends over to hang out, and that requires extra seating! You don’t want to take up precious space in your dorm by investing something like a comfy chair or bean bag that will take up serious floor space.
Rather, opting for chairs that are foldable is a more space-efficient solution.
You can get cheap, plastic ones for under $10 on Amazon that you can quickly store in your closet when not in use. If you want something a bit comfier, then considering a foldable camping chair, which will be just as easy to fold and put away.
Buy a 4-pack of foldable chairs here.
10 A Thick Blanket (To Be Cozy)
You’re going to be doing everything in your dorm, from studying late at night to binge watching Netflix to crying over boy and school drama. So, you’re going to want to make your dorm extra comfortable and comforting. And what’s more comfy than a thick throw blanket?
We recommend investing in a comfy blanket that you’ll be elated to curl up in at night (or when things get rough- no judgement). Get something that matches the décor of your room and that you can simply drape over the side of your best when you’re not using it. Hey, you may even want to invest in multiples if you know you’ll be hosting movie nights at your dorm a lot.
Invest in a cozy blanket here.
9 A Bagless Vacuum (To Deal With Messes)
To keep your dorm extra clean, a broom and dustpan simply aren’t going to cut it (especially if you have any rugs or carpeting in your room). That’s why investing in a small, bagless vacuum is a must for any dorm.
Bagless vacuums are compact and practically weightless, which makes them easy to store and transport.
At the same time, they’re more efficient at picking up dirt and grime than a traditional broom, and also require half the effort. We bet your hall mates will be begging to borrow your vacuum once they realize how easy it is!
With that being said, there’s also no reason a small vacuum needs to be expensive. You can find one on Amazon for $29.99 here.
8 A Rotating Power Extension Cord (For Charging)
Extension cords are a must-have in any small space where outlets are probably difficult to access due to furniture and sparse in number.
A power strip of any kind is important in a tiny area to ensure you have enough outlets for everything- the last thing you want is to have your computer and phone due at the same time, but only be able to charge one. It’s best to invest in an extension cord that swivels as it will prevent your cords from getting tangled together as you move the cable to different areas in the room.
Purchase a few and install them throughout your dorm so lack of outlets will never be a problem. Buy one here.
7 Noise Cancelling Headphones (To Block Out Sound)
There’s no easy way to put this: dorms are loud. Sometimes you’re going to enjoy how busy the dorm life can get, since there will always be someone’s room for your to hang out in or a party to crash. But, other times (like when you’re cramming for an exam), noise is going to be the last thing you need.
A quality pair of headphones will ensure you don’t lose your sanity when your dormmates are getting rowdy.
Whether you’re completing an assignment or just trying to watch your latest Netflix obsession, you’ll be beyond thankful for the peace and quiet noise-cancelling headphones can offer you.
You can find a pair here.
6 A Compact Fan (To Keep Cool)
Given how small dorms are and how they usually only feature one, small window, air circulation is a big issue! It can get hot very quickly in a small space, which can affect your mood and studying. We suggest investing in a compact fan in order to beat the heat and not take up a lot of space.
In comparison to a traditional standing fan, a mini fan won’t take up a lot of room on your floor or in your closet when not in use. But, it will offer some seriously-needed cool air that will make sure you don’t lose your sanity when your dorm room gets unbearably hot.
Find one on Amazon here.
5 A Handheld Steamer (To Fight Wrinkles)
You might think that an iron and ironing board will do the trick when it comes to tackling wrinkly clothing. But a steamer is a much more time and space friendly investment! They’re often quicker to use as they take less time to heat than a traditional iron.
Likewise, they also take up less space than it does to store an iron and board, which it's critical when you’re moving into a small space like a dorm.
Plus, steamers are much more travel-friendly due to their compact, lightweight design, so they’re even good to have if you plan on traveling. All in all, you're likely to get way more use out of a steamer than going the traditional iron route.
Buy it here.
4 Bed Risers (To Increase Storage)
Consider whether your dorm’s bed is able to accommodate bed risers and, if it can, then seize this opportunity to create more storage. Bed risers will elevate your bed so it’s possible to store even more underneath. This is especially great if you need to store bulky items like suitcases or winter coats.
Some bed risers even feature outlets, so it can double as a way to charge your phone right beside your bed- and it would be an understatement to say that outlets are sparse in a dorm room. Between the opportunity for extra storage and the cool look elevating your bed has, bed risers are a definite must-have for any dorm.
Find them here.
3 A Mini Kettle (For Coffee and Mr. Noodles)
We don’t suggest investing in a ton of kitchen gadgets for the simple reason that a dorm doesn’t have a lot of storage space. But, if there’s one kitchen-related product you should get, it’s a mini kettle.
This might seem like a boring investment, but you’ll be happy when you’re staying up late to finish an assignment and you’re feeling hungry.
You can simply brew some tea or whip up some coffee, and top it off with a hefty serving of Mr. Noodles.
A mini kettle can make literally any meal or beverage the classic college student needs, and it takes up practically no space (well, if you get a mini versus regular size, that is). Purchase one on Amazon here.
2 A Bedside Caddy (For In-Bed Storage)
It’s highly likely that your dorm isn’t big enough to allow even a bedside table. That’s why you need to get creative with your bedside storage!
A soft caddy is a great way to easily have a place to store all your beside essentials, everything from your phone to books to late-night snacks. Simply drape it over the side of your bed and let it hang for your convenience.
If you want something that looks even chicer, you can opt for a floating beside shelf, which also attaches to your dorm bed for easy bedside choices. Now you’ll have no need to ever leave your bed again! Get yourself one here.
1 Foldable Storage Bins (To Combat Clutter)
Storage is going to be a problem in any dorm, so having a chic storage solution is crucial. Foldable storage bins offer a way to easily organize clutter while keeping everything stylish. Add bins to the top or bottom of your dorm’s closet, and use them to store everything from extra clothing to school supplies.
Purchase collapsible bins specifically meant to go under your bed to store things you don’t need on a regular basis, like off-season clothes or extra supplies.
The best thing is these sorts of bins are foldable, so they’re easy to collapse and store to save for use in the future if you don’t need them at that moment.
Invest in some here.