Dorm Essentials - Furniture

Monday, June 23, 2014

My room on move-in day, 2013!

A key to making a dorm feel more homey and less like a cell block is furniture! All of this will depend on the style of your dorm. Traditional dorms might be more difficult to fit various furniture items into, but suite-styles (like mine) might make it easier. These are some of the "furniture" items that I found that were very necessary throughout my year based on the style of dorm I had. Results may vary, of course.

1. Lamp

This is very, very necessary. I had a desk lamp, but you could easily have a standing lamp if you so desired. There are some times when you're going to need to do work while your roommate is sleeping. You can't keep the overhead light on, so what are you going to do? That's where the desk lamp comes in. I also use it when it's bright in the room from the windows being open, but too dark in my corner where my desk is. 

2. Desk organizers

Unless you have drawers in your desk at school (I don't), desk organizers are a life saver. I used a metal bin, an organizing rack, as well as two separate mugs (that's right, two) to hold my pens/pencils/highlighters. It really is a life saver to have everything out in front of you. I keep my moleskins, post it notes, and miscellaneous items on my desk to keep me from having to dig in the storage bins underneath it.

3. Magazine rack

Perhaps less necessary for some, but having a rack to organize my magazines was a life saver. Instead of having them strewn about through my room, they were all in one place and it really doesn't take up much room at all. I stored mine in the small space between my bed and desk and it worked perfectly. Plus, I kept my purse there as well to keep it from taking up room on my desk or dresser. 

4. Shoe organizer

I have one at home and one at school. At home, mine was one that required no tools for assembly and it sits on the floor next to my bed. At school, I used a hanging shoe organizer in my closet. Both are viable options, depending on where you have more room. At home, my shoe organizer shares its use with a book holder as well and a besides table. At school, I stored my flat shoes, hats, and belts. Definitely a lifesaver if you have a lot of flat shoes that you don't want roaming around your room or on the bottom of your closet.

5. Drying rack

If your school has laundry facilities, a drying rack should be a must. I don't put my jeans or underwear in the dryer mostly because I'm afraid of shrinking and stiffness (for jeans) and the dryer putting holes in my underwear. Drying racks become extremely necessary when that's the case. Also, sometimes one spin in the dryer just isn't enough, but you don't have enough time to put it through again.

6. Laundry basket and carrier

I suppose this goes along with the drying rack, but if your dorm has laundry facilities, you're going to need both of these. A laundry basket so your dirty clothes don't end up all over your floor and a laundry carrier so you can transport it to and from the laundry facilities with ease.

7. Nightstand

I didn't have a nightstand my first year because I couldn't find one that I liked enough. And boy do I regret it. Again, this depends on how much space you have in your dorm, but I definitely had more than enough room for it. It's just nice to have to keep your phone on, whatever book you're reading, your iPad, whatever it may be. 

8. Shower organizer

Depending on the style of dorm you're living in, you may or may not need this. I had my own bathroom at school and I also have a lot of hair/body products. To keep my things separate from my roommate (who really only used shampoo and a bar of soap so that wasn't really an issue) I stored all of mine on a metal shower organizer that hung over the shower head.

9. Twin XL sheets and duvet (throw pillows optional)

I don't know why I didn't make this number one, but you need to have twin XL sheets at school, as well as a comforter, an extra blanket or two, and throw pillows are optional of course. 

10. Bins/totes

These are literal lifesavers. They're great for moving in, for storing miscellaneous items, for acting as makeshift bedsides tables/record holders. If you don't have at least one plastic bin under your bed at school…how do you survive? Teach me your ways.

What furniture item did you absolutely have to have in your dorm? 

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