Dorm Needs

by blackspanielgallery

Dorm needs is an issue that comes up as students prepare to leave home for college. Having the right dorm room items is important, but cannot often be foreseen.

Dorm needs, and fun items for dorm room decorating, should be considered before leaving for college. Make a dorm room checklist early so you can add items as you think of them. But, it is important to know the dorm room rules, and keep your items consistent with what is allowed.

Some items should be available from the first day. Other items will require that you find out the details of what is allowed before making a purchase. Some items can be brought with you, others may have to be purchased in the city in which the college is located, and still others may be best bought online and delivered to your dorm. It may be a practical matter since large, heavy items may not fit on an airplane, or even in your vehicle if you are driving to college. And, the large, heavy items might be too much to handle alone.

Plastic Soap Holder

A Simple Dorm Room Essential

Sharing is nice, but certain items are not to be shared.  Toiletries are good examples of things that should be kept for personal use.  Having a nice, small caddy or case that can hold your essential toiletries, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, mouth wash, razor, and soap, is important.


Yes, do not share your soap.  It is a good way to spread fungi.  But, how can soap be stores?  I learned a long time ago about plastic soap holders that are the right size and shape for one bar of soap.  You can place the soap inside the plastic holder and not worry about the fact that the bar of soap is wet.  Your hands can be rinsed and dried, and the soap can be stored without problems.  This is a cheap solution to a problem of storing a wet bar of soap.

Dorm Room Décor

Decorating the Dorm Room Walls

There is a good chance you will not be allowed to put nails into the walls.  And, some tape that can adhere so well as to remove paint.  So, how can you decorate the room?  There are three possibilities.


 First, I just watched a televised report on decorating the dorm room.  It covered the first of these three items, Wishi Tape.  Wishi Tape is new, and is a decorative masking tape.  You can get several designs at a time.  These were recommended for taping pictures to a dorm room wall.  What you get is a decorative border around the picture, but it has the function of holding the picture in place without using nails. 


Wall decals are also available.  You can use them to express yourself more completely than you can with just Wishi Tape.  No, wall decals are not used to hold pictures onto the wall, but are available in beautiful images.  They are art in themselves.  You might even provide a glimpse into your major with a decal that is from your field of study, or you might opt for an inspirational message to keep you going when things are not going so well.  Just make certain your wall decals allow your roommate space for expression as well.  Do not take over all of the available wall space, unless it is agreed to by any other person sharing the room.


Picture hooks now are available in a form that does not use nails.  Suction holds the hooks in place.  But, do not just use a suction cup and expect it to hold a picture for a lengthy period of time.  Use hooks designed for the weight of the picture you are hanging.


Calendar and Bulletin Board

Dorm Room Desk Coverings and Wall Hangings

You will need a calendar to keep track of your schedule.  Making certain preparations for tests must be planned.  Allocate your time, and keep a calendar to help you stay on track.  It might also include such important things as noting when to have the balance increased on a food card, or social events you plan to attend.


A bulletin board can help you with a collection of menus from local eating establishments, along with phone numbers for those that deliver.  And notices to roommates such as the time the rooms will be inspected can be important.  There need be but one bulletin board per room, so share with others.  In a dorm room, smaller is better.  Below is a very small, but adequate for a dorm room, bulletin board.  Push pins are good, and different colors can be assigned to different roommates.

Dorm Room Clothing Needs

Keep Track of Your Clothes

First, if you must share a closet, keep your things separated.  But things tend to move as other articles are squeezed into a too small closet.  You are likely to own similar items as your roommates.  School logo shirts, or pants of the same color can easily become mixed up.  To identify your clothing use colored hangers.  Pick a single color, and let everyone else know that if an item is on that color hanger it is yours.  And use only that one color for your hangers.


Dirty laundry just stacked in a pile is a problem.  It makes the room unsightly for all, can be a health issue, and can easily spill into someone else’s pile.  A simple bag for your dirty laundry will help solve the potential problems.

Dorm Room Clothing Organizer

Know Your Stuff
Adult Plastic Hangers - Packs of 10 - Spicy Lime Colored

10 packs Spicy Lime hangers with flat tops - 10 hangers total. Strap Hooks on underside of top rail. Spicy Lime in color.

View on Amazon

Nylon Laundry Bag - Royal Blue, 30” x 40” - Sturdy rip and tear resistant nylon material with dra...

Whether you're a college student who has to transport your laundry to the dorm washer or take it home to mom; or you live in an apartment and want to drop your laundry off at th...

View on Amazon

Dorm Study Lamp

LED Light

A dorm room should provide you with a desk, but a directed light for studying when others in the room are asleep is courteous.  LEDs give bright light, and can be directed right onto your book of paper.  

Dorm Room Food and Deink

Hot and Cold Food and Beverages

Heating food might not be allowed, or be restricted to a microwave.  If you are allowed to have a hot plate, or an electrical single burner, they can help with heating food.  But, they take time to cool down, and because of that people can be burned by touching them even after they are off.  This might be hazardous to roommates who enter the room after you have gone to class leaving a hot item to cool gradually.


Microwaves are safer, and may or may not be allowed.  Just remember liquids like coffee can explode when being taken out of a microwave. 


Buying coffee at a coffee shop and keeping it warm may be your best option, but this requires thermal mugs if you plan to sip the coffee during a late night study session.


Preserving cold food is possible with a dorm room refrigerator.  You can buy a small refrigerator.  It probably will not have a freezer compartment, but can keep things refrigerated.  One with allocated space should do for an entire dorm room, so check with your roommates and do not duplicate the efforts of another.  Work out an amiable solution to who has what space, and what is considered for common usage.

Living Off-Campus

The No Dorm Option

Living off-campus has advantages and disadvantages.  You probably will have kitchen privileges, but may need transportation to and from campus.  Another drawback is you probably will have to eat out, not on a meal card in the cafeteria serving the dorms.  But each person could have a private room, an area of retreat.

This article contains links to affiliate programs from some or all of Amazon, Viglink, and Ebay through Viglink, and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting. 

The introduction image is allowed by an affiliate program.

Updated: 08/03/2017, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 07/25/2017

I had not heard of Wishi Tape before. We have a morning television show that includes news, and interest features. I saw the dorm necessities and it included colored hangers and Wishi Tape. amazon has quite a variety, some with There are a few more popular, using that reasoning, but might have had too many or too few spools.
The soap holder came from when I took my son camping with the boy scouts. The small refrigerator idea came from having to make do after Hurricane Katrina hot where I then lived. I actually bought a slightly larger one for about $100, and brought it home about 60 miles in a van.
I can see a whole Wishi Tape art concept developing. It has a certain promise of really taking off.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/25/2017

blackspanielgallery, Those are good points about hangers color-coded to the clothes' owners and about hot plates being more worrisome than microwaves. Do you know which wishi tape sells the most? It's the little touches of cumulative color, like with the magnets and the tape, that make a dorm room livable.

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