A dorm room shopping guide for incoming freshmen


Photo by Neha Dheen

Senior Divya Philipose shops on the Target website for storage bins and lights. She will be attending the University of Maryland in the fall.

It seems like just yesterday that seniors were scrambling to finish their college applications and opening their decision letters. Now they are ready to find roommates and go dorm shopping for the place they will call home for the next four years. The pressure to make the room absolutely perfect is on, but with a couple practical and aesthetic must-haves, the dorm room shopping process will become much easier. 

Dorm rooms are tiny, and with another person’s belongings, the space can become cramped and suffocating. Every dorm room must have practical storage items in order to maximize space. Underbed bins and bed risers are great for storage without creating too much clutter. Take advantage of the doors in the room as well. Over-the-door shoe racks and storage racks allow college students to optimize their storage space. Senior Nadia Meyerovich shares that  Ikea and Target have organizers for bedside tables and drawers and other items that people may not think of. 

With all the work that college students do, they are bound to get hungry. While at home, students can simply ask their parents to make them a snack or make a quick pantry stop, but it’s not as easy in college. Therefore, a mini-fridge is a must. Other food related items to look into are magic bullets, blend jets (smoothies on the go!), air-fryers and mini Nespressos. “I know it’s difficult in college to manage school and work and cookies, so having frozen foods accessible that have a short preparation time would be really efficient,” senior Roshni Arun said. 

Living with another person in a college dorm can also get unsanitary. It is important to get hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes. “Shower shoes are going to be a must and bed sheets will need to be cleaned at least once a week,” Meyerovich said. 

Thanks to the internet, inspiration to beautify dorm rooms is right at one’s fingerprints. YouTube has thousands of college move in and dorm room shopping videos to get ideas from. Senior Allie Gritz said, “My roommate and I send each other videos on TikTok and pictures from Pinterest to get inspiration.”

Posters, plants, fairy lights and tapestries are all ways to both cover up the unflattering walls and make the dorm more welcoming.Rugs can be utilized as wellto cover up the gross college floors. Mirrors are not only aesthetically pleasing but make rooms appear more spacious. Meyervoich said, “I’ll probably make a color scheme with my roommate so that everything matches.”

Plants are a must. They are so important they get a whole paragraph dedicated to them. For busy college students, a simple Golden Pothos or succulent collection can liven up any room. Others include Peace Lilies and Snake plants. Though live plants are intimidating as they can be difficult to maintain, the plants mentioned above are low-maintenance and do not require too much light. They are also more affordable than their fake counterparts. 

Finally, this room will be what college students call their home for the next four years. Leaving the house where students were raised is undeniably a difficult task. However, bringing sentimental items from home can make this emotional experience a little bit easier, whether it be a polaroid wall or posters of movies and singers. Senior Jakob Esterowitz said that he will be bringing posters and his beloved Katana from home into his new home: his dorm room.