Karen Fratti
Updated July 28, 2017 12:12 pm
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Moving into a dorm room is absolutely terrifying. You’re probably getting a roommate you don’t even know, and you will have to live in the tiniest space with them. Which is why once you have the essentials, like those extra-long twin bed sheets, you should start to think outside the box about what you’ll really need. There are some very good smart and surprising things you’ll need in a college dorm that will make your life easier (and make you the best roommate ever).

There’s not a lot of room, but you can still stock your dorm room with useful things.

You shouldn’t have to live like you’re camping just because you’re in a tiny, often nasty, dorm room. Stocking up on some things to make your life easier doesn’t make you finicky. It makes you smart.

Here are just a few thing every college dorm room needs.

1Avantree Multipurpose Foldable Laptop Bed Table, $35[/listheader]


A lap desk isn’t just for breakfast in bed. Even if you have a work surface, having an extra table to put over your lap in your tiny bed will let you stay up late typing, set up a burrito meal in a clean way, and serve as an extra surface for pre-partying guests. When you’re not using it, it folds up flat and can be stored away.


If you drink coffee, having a simple one cup machine will save you. If you have room for a little more hardware, getting an electric kettle for water means you can have tea at all hours or even get yourself a French press for coffee! Fancy, right?

3URPOWER Portable Handheld Fabric Steamer, $20


You don’t need an ironing board every single day. But having a portable steamer means you don’t look like a wrinkled mess when you don’t want to. You will make so many friends with this on a Saturday night.

4Lasko Wind Curve Fan with Fresh Air Ionizer, $52


Not only does a good air purifier often stand in for a fan, it will make your room not smell like feet or whatever else you don’t want it to smell like. It can also serve as a mini noise machine to lure you into sleep (or block out weird noises from the bunks next door).

5Expower Tri-Fold Lighted Travel Makeup Mirror, $15


Yes, you likely have a full-length mirror hanging somewhere. But when you need to do your eyeliner in a jam or can’t stand asking your roommate to get the heck out of your way, having a mini-compact mirror for eyebrow plucking in bed is so useful.

6Sleeping Mask Blindfold, With Carrying Pouch & Ear Plugs-Shocking-Pink, $7


Even if you can sleep anywhere, you have no idea what your roommate will do to keep you from going to bed. Just get yourself some earplugs and an eye mask so you don’t miss your beauty sleep.

7LEPOWER Clip on Light, $17


Clip on bed lights are AH-mazing. Especially if your roommate needs absolute darkness to sleep and you need to cram for tomorrow’s exam.

8AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 2-Pack, $11.50


Extra outlets are necessary. You don’t want to have to fight about whose charger gets plugged in. Plus, the outlets in a dorm room are always in the wrong spot. Always have an extra on hand, and make sure they’re surge protectors, because who trusts old dorm electricity?

9Trademark Home Dictionary Diversion Book Safe with Key Lock, $13


A little portable safe can go a long way. Just in case you want to keep your cash, late-night snacks, or stash away from a roommate or that RA who creeps you out.

10Your will to live.

Living in a dorm can be so much fun and also totally miserable. Just remember to have a good attitude and always be prepared. Anything can happen in those teeny tiny rooms.