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Top 10 Essential Products for a Dorm Room

With the right items you can transform chaos into calm

By Professional Organizer, Kim Salisbury

Here it is friends!  My long anticipated Top 10 Essential Products for a Dorm Room is finally here.  This curated list of essentials was born out of much research and discussion with experts. And most importantly, opinions of students who have actually lived in the dorms. Hope this helps as you get your kid ready for dorm life. Don’t have a kid heading out the door? Don’t worry, you can save this for later! 

sleepyhead mattress topper

1. Sleepyhead Mattress Topper

Overwhelmingly the number one dorm essential according to all the experts is a comfortable mattress topper. Your choice of gel or copper, the Sleepyhead mattress topper can’t be topped! (See what I did there?)

2. Blue/Clear Bags

I almost didn’t put these bags in my top 10 because I figured everyone knew about them. But apparently not everyone does! These bags will change your  whole moving experience. Pack them full, no need for storing suitcases. Fold them small and tuck them away in the closet until needed again. Did you know you can ship these as well? I promise you, get these bags. You will thank me later.

birdie personal alarm

3. Birdie Personal Alarm

This siren self defense personal alarm is something we should all carry. In fact, I ordered one for myself too. The loud siren and flashing light will deter danger and help to keep them safe. Send your kid to school with peace of mind.

Zafit Bedside Caddy

4. Zafit Bedside Caddy

I’ve been told that this is better than a nightstand in the dorms. Slides right into the mattress, takes up much less space than a bedside table, keeping  everything they need at arms reach. They may never get out of bed again!

5. Card Holder for Your Phone

 This one is small but mighty. You know these kids roll with only their phones in their hands. This sticks right to the back of the phone to hold their room key and credit card. Simple and easy, but a real game changer.

printer or fridge cart

6. Elfa Printer/Fridge Cart 

Most dorms come with a fridge and microwave. If they don’t, you will probably be adding them into the room. The usable space under the fridge is always overlooked. This is where the Elfa cart from The Container Store comes in. Three drawers to hold all the ramen you can eat, plastic/paper plates, bowls, utensils, extra drinks… And don’t forget the snacks! This cart is an absolute must have!

7. Laundry Bag

This bag hangs on any hook, is sturdy enough to hold even the heaviest load of clothes. It doubles as a backpack, with a pocket in front for your laundry detergent. What’s not to like about this cool bag?

8. Over Door Hook Rack

Most over the door hook racks only have 3-4 hooks. This one has fourteen! Think of the possibilities. I even ordered two! One for the main door and one for the closet door.

brigii vacuum

9. Small Vacuum 

Every single kid I spoke to who had just finished their first year said they wish they’d had a small handheld vacuum. The kids that did have one, people were always borrowing it. Kids are messy, a small vacuum makes clean up easy.

towel wrap for dorm rooms

10. Towel Wrap

This one’s mainly for the girls, but dude’s have been known to rock a towel wrap up and down the hallways. Simple, strong velcro keeps it in place, and it makes co-ed bathrooms easier. j


Here is Part 2 of this series: Top 10 Dorm Room Essentials

And here’s a very helpful Checklist to Help You Digitally Declutter

For more reading here’s Tips for Better Basement Organization 
And 10 Shortcuts to Home Organizing