Dorm Room Essentials

Happy Monday, friends, and welcome back to a new week! I think we had record-breaking heat for the last few days… or at least it certainly felt like it. We stayed holed-up inside and rejoiced in the brilliance of air-conditioning. How about you? What were you up to this weekend?

I’ve also started the mental countdown of my son returning to college, and thankfully, it’s not the same sense of dread I had for his first year! (You can read about my saying good-bye HERE.) Plans and protocols are changing every day, but as of now, his school is planning a return to campus next month. And I’m still not sure how I feel about that.

This second year might be a little easier to leave him behind, but now with the pandemic, there’s a whole new set of worries. He’ll make good choices for himself and the safety of others, but there’s no question school won’t look the same for any of our kids, and it breaks my heart for them.

For now, I’ll focus on getting him prepared and making his new room feel like home. After a year of dorm life, he knows exactly what he needs, so I rounded it up for those of you who might be sending your little birds off to fly. Even if your teens aren’t college-bound yet, chances are they’ll love most of these finds!

one // Memory Foam Topper // Those dorm rooms beds are notoriously thin and uncomfortable, but this gel topper adds several inches of comfort. It arrives shrink-wrapped, so it’s easy to transport.

two // Clip-On Fan // Not only does this fan attach to just about anywhere, creating much-needed airflow for the space, but it provides a little white noise to help drown out snoring roommates and rowdy neighbors. We got a plug-in version so he didn’t have to worry about keeping it charged.

three // First Aid Kit // He scoffed and rolled his eyes at this Dorm Doc Kit (‘Seriously, Mom?!’), but as soon as he needed a bandaid or ibuprofen, he was thanking me! In fact, he wanted to make sure he got a fresh pack for this year since they used almost everything in it!

four // Adhesive Hooks // Most dorms don’t allow nails in the wall, but these hooks stick to everything! Use for anything from their bath towels to hat and jackets, decor, lighting, and more! They are super-duper sturdy.

five // Bed Sheet Set // One of the most popular items on Hi Sugarplum, ever! Of course these super-soft bedsheets made their way to Mr. College Guy’s dorm (after all, he has them at home, too). They are affordable, wash well, and come in Twin XL size to fit dorm beds!

six // Hanging Closet Organizer // It’s hard to know how much closet/storage space there will be in a dorm, so this hanging organizer was great to act as more drawers, as shoe and hat storage, and just for keeping things off the floor!

seven // Desk Lamp // This sleek lamp pulls double duty! It has two outlets and three USB ports, with three brightness levels and a dimmer option. It fit nicely on his smaller desk, and allowed him to study late at night without bothering his roommate.

eight // Pop Up Laundry Hamper // This mesh hamper is completely flat when empty, but pops up to hold quite a bit. It also includes a spot to store detergent and sturdy handles for easy transport to the laundry room (or home!!). I actually grew to love the sight of this hamper in my laundry room, because it meant he was visiting!

nine // Filtered Water Pitcher // The tap water isn’t always a good choice, and this filtered water pitcher fit nicely in his mini-fridge! They kept it stocked and refilled their water bottles every day.

ten // Black Out Curtains // Not that I wanted to encourage all-day sleeping, but these black-out drapes helped so much with irregular sleep schedules, plus they help keep the room insulated from heat and cold. They are already the perfect length for many dorm windows! I also ordered this tension rod to hang them.

eleven // Stacking Storage Drawers // These drawers worked perfectly for his shared bathroom… each guy had one drawer that they kept all of their toiletries in, and they lived compactly under the sink. They stack easily and can work as any kind of storage, not just in the bathroom!

twelve // Plush Washable Rug // Adding a rug really warmed up the space and made it feel less like a cement box! Visiting friends were able to sit on the floor, too, instead of just his bed. This one has good grip on the bottom with tons of colors available.

thirteen // Power Strip Outlet Station // His room had a single, oddly-placed outlet, so this power strip was clutch! It reached from across the room, and enabled him to charge all his electronics and devices on one compact strip.

fourteen // Bedding Set // Mr. College Guy appreciated the simple patterns and colors on this bedding set. It comes in Twin XL to fit dorm beds, plus it’s machine washable, too.

fifteen // Over Door Hook Rack // Taking advantage of vertical space is key in a dorm! This over the door hook creates space for jackets, hoodies, hats, belts, towels etc. in a place that would normally be unused! He had one on his closet door and another on the back of the bathroom door.

sixteen // Faux Plant // This little faux plant solicited another eye roll, but he later agreed he liked the pop of green ‘life’ in what could sometimes be a cold room. He’s got them in his room at home now, and plans on taking them back with him.

seventeen // Collapsible Ikea Bags // Don’t even question me… just buy these bags!! They hold so much, collapse to flat when not in use, and are so durable! They were game-changers on move days, and saved us a ton of trips by storing so many things. We use them at home for off-season storage now, too.

eighteen // Water Bottle // Where he goes, this water bottle goes. He loves his Nalgene, it’s indestructible and lightweight. He adds all kinds of stickers to his, too!

nineteen // Smart Phone Pocket // His school ID and room key were kept safe and sound in one spot with this handy little stick-on pocket for his phone!

twenty // LED Lights // Both my kids have these lights in their rooms at home, and love the ‘mood’ they create! They stick to the wall and operate from a small remote. Trust me, every teen wants these!



He also loves to add posters and tapestries to the wall (with thumbtacks), and has found tons of cool ones on Amazon. It’s crazy to think this might be his last year of communal living… next year I may be offering tips for moving in your first apartment! #gulp #holdme

I hope this post is helpful for those of you sending off your sweet babes… or making your babes at home feel more comfortable. Just know that is okay to be devastated and gutted by their departure. But also know that you’ll be okay, and there is so much joy ahead!

Also, don’t feel pressure to get everything before moving in. We made a last-minute Target run after we got him unpacked and saw the space. And of course there’s always Amazon Prime…which is fun for them because it means mail!


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