Important list

College Dorm Room Essentials List- A Guide

Alright, so it’s the beginning of the Semester. Here you are, back in January, or for some unknown reason you are reading this post in August, and you are ready to start the semester off with a bang! Everything looks like it is going great. So you start to unpack. You find an old bag of chips in your suit case and you are prepared to throw it away, but then…the horror!! You forgot to bring a trash can!

Okay, I get it, that is a stupid example alright? But you get the spirit of it right? It is not easy remembering, or even knowing, what exactly you will need for your dorm room to make your life easier and more comfortable. Dorms, as expensive as they are Dorm Roomto live in, come with very little, even less than what a small hotel room would come with. At least with those you get a TV or refrigerator!

So today I’d like to talk about some things you may want to consider getting for your dorm room. This College dorm room essentials list should not replace any list of what your University may give you as suggestions on what to get, though my experience was that they gave a list of what I’d need for classes, not for my dorm room. Also, if for whatever reason what I put on this list is prohibited in your college, for heaven’s sake DO NOT GET IT!! I wash my hands from any of that if it happens, so you have been warned!

1. Laptop Desk Tray

My goodness when I left for college I knew nothing. I was the first person in my family to actually go to college, and so I had a lot of help from the people I was living with at the time, who didn’t go to college either, but where better people altogether and much more helpful. They bought me one of these, and at first I did not even know what it was!

I quickly found out, though, that these things were amazing in my first semester in college, when I shared a dorm room with someone else. I could actually use my computer in the comfort of my bed and it was simply amazing! Sure, you don’t have to have something like this, but it is simply better on your computer than to have it sitting on something cloth that could potentially cause it to over heat.

I did not have the particular one that I put on this list, but when my wife started college in 2014 (the year I actually graduated from college), I suggested something like this to her, and got her one like this one as a gift since we would be separated for a while. Once she got it and started using it, I quickly found that this one was far superior due to all the different things it can do (you know, like hold that all so important coffee!).

This desk tray allows you to adjust the laptop, holds your phone and whatever else you can fit in the little drawer, and it can hold a bowl of raman and a cup of coffee all at one time! That is a must for any college student who wants to live a little more comfortably in the dorm!

2. Keurig Machine

Okay, please first look and see if the college you go to allows these! I’m not sure what every other college is doing now, but when I went we were allowed to have one of these, but not a coffee pot. I’m pretty sure your university sadly will not allow coffee pots, so that is why I opted for one of these terrible things instead.

Now if you are like me, coffee is an essential part of life. In fact, if you can believe it, I never drank coffee once until I started college, and then all that changed! There is just no way I could function without coffee, not just in the morning, but throughout the whole day. And though I hate these things, hate them with a passion, I would still rather have one over not having coffee, even if they barely make enough to halfway fill my coffee mug!

The simple fact is, though, these things are life savers in college. They are quick, easy to clean, and allowed in your dorm room! I can’t stress how important it is to have one of these if you plan on staying up late to study or do papers in the middle of the night. They are also quite, so that you do not have to worry about waking your roommate if you have one.

Just, please, if you are going to drink coffee, drink it right, strong, dark, and black is the only way to go!

3. Good Gaming Headset

I’m sure not all of you are gamers, although it’s weird to meet people who don’t game, but that is okay weirdos! Seriously though, I still suggest these even to none gamers for several reasons, all of which can pertain to the college student.

First and foremost, gaming headsets are somehow made better than regular ones. I have found that they last much longer, and have better quality than nearly any of the non-gaming headsets. That means that you won’t have to constantly be buying new headsets or earbuds (I HATE earbuds. They never last me longer than a month).

This also means that you have a good headset to be able to Skype or facetime people you care about. If you ever get homesick, you know how important these applications are, and having a good headset is also important because you don’t want to be getting mad at the computer and breaking it, or messing it up! Believe me when I say, you don’t want to be buying another laptop because your warranty doesn’t cover anger!

The only drawback from this is the fact that you can’t use them if you are walking and want to listen to music, I mean, unless you walk around with your laptop open of course, then I suppose you could, but, yeah that’s just weird! Don’t be doing that because that is dangerous.

4. Desk Lamp

Alright, if you haven’t already, I suggest checking out my post on budgeting. In it I talk about getting a Kindle E-Reader to put all your books on to read. If you don’t want to do that, you might want to consider getting a desk lamp. The reason being, your roommate is not going to be completely in sync with your class schedule and your sleep schedule. If you want to stay in your dorm room late at night and read, or do any work, you are going to want to invest in a desk lamp.

The lamp I put on here is pretty solid, and it is easy to use. It is also easy on the eyes, which is good if you are sitting at a desk that it is also sitting on, and so that it does not affect your roommate as much.

If you don’t have a roommate, I guess this would not apply to you, but you can still get a desk lamp. I mean, look at it. Pretty stylish right?

5. Reading Pillow

This is another one of those things that I thought was so stupid when someone bought me one for college. I thought, why in the world would I need something like that? They are practically useless and no better than actual pillows. Boy was I wrong!

These pillows are very good for someone who wants to stay in bed, yet do something productive like work on a ten-page paper that they have been holding off on for two weeks and now is about to be do! Heck this pillow goes good with the laptop desk, so you can sit comfortably and have you coffee and laptop all in your bed!

Believe me when I say that these pillows are somehow more comfortable than regular ones. I don’t know how. I don’t know the science on it, but for both my wife and me, we choose reading pillows over regular ones when we just want to sit up in bed. These pillows will make your time in college a lot more comfortable. I actually had mine the whole four years I was in college, and had it for several years after that. The only reason I no longer have it is because I lost it in the process of moving somewhere new.

6. Sentimental Things

These types of things are valuable in so far as they mean something to you, as an individual. It can be anything really, and it does not have to be something of value to others.

For me, I had several things, including a voodoo doll, a picture drawn at camp shaped into an eye, and a picture of my nephew and me which I kept on my desk. Each one meant something to me, and reminded me of who I am or where I came from. Don’t forget to do that. It is important because it is a little something about yourself, so you never forget who you are while in college. Sometimes college can do that to people, and they get lost in the crowd, and change. Don’t let that happen. It’s simply not worth finding the degree, if you lose who you are as a person in the process.

I’ll leave a video here that goes over this whole subject, as I am not a fan of being this super serious and emotional!

So there is my serious rant for the day! Back to normal mode!


Hey you have made it this far, wonderful! I know that there seems to not be a lot of things on this list, but I did that for good reason. There simply is a limited amount of space in a dorm room, and a limited amount of space in a vehicle that is getting you to that dorm room.

This is a small list of the essentials I felt I needed in college. There may be more, there may be less for you. You make that decision, and you plan accordingly! I was fortunate to have a single dorm room after my first semester because I was able to scare my roommate so bad that word got around to the right people, and I never had to deal with another roommate (nothing illegal, I promise!). So you see, my situation was already different from other ones just based off that alone! So you decide what will work for you!

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  1. Students sometimes don’t really know the things they will be needing whisk they get to college and its how a thing for the parent to do and do I am taking this post with so much interest. My girl is always complaining about neck pain and I have figured out its reading pillow she will need to help with the pain. I believe she will appreciate it a lot when she gets one. Thanks for sharing. 

    1. You are welcome!  Reading pillows work wonders when you are constantly having to sit in bed and read or use the computer.  I hope she enjoys it!

  2. Hey, Your College dorm essential list is awesome for everyone. Your collection is awesome for a small size room. Main thing I like from your article is Reading Pillow & Laptop Desk Tray. We are pretty sure our university sadly will not allow coffee pots, so that is why I opted for one of these terrible things instead. Very cool collection.

    1. Thank you very much!  I think the reading pillow and the Laptop Desk go hand in hand with each other.  I’m glad you were able to enjoy this!

  3. This comes much in handy, to be honest. I’m actually going off to college next year, and I already have a good idea on what Ima actually bring to my dorm, but you’ve given me more idea. I for sure need a desk, like you’ve mentioned, or else no work gets done. I’d have something to play music, and keep myself entertained. Of course, I’ll have to focus on school, but I also nee my daily essentials. I’ll keep your website in mind!

    1. Awesome!  I’m glad you enjoyed it!  Don’t even give up while in college either!  It will seem tough at first, but it does get better, I promise!

  4. Good post. You presented the essential things that the student’s room should hold. But some of them also go into your bedroom: a laptop table, a pillow for reading and a lamp, for example. That if you want to work in bed, comfortable and have efficiency. Thanks for the post. PS I was a student 40 years ago lol

    1. Heck yeah, then you know some of the struggle it can be!  You are right though, most of these things are great to have around the house (except for those terrible Keurig machines of course!).  My wife still uses her laptop desk and reading pillow.

  5. This is a great post that I truly find to be well worthy. Thank you so much for sharing this post here. Left to me, the college dorm room essentials you have listed here can surely help us get better equipment for the college students going back to school. The laptop desk and the lamp are two things that gets me very interested into this post

    1. Heck yeah!  That seems to be the consensus among the readers right  now!  They basically go together I believe!  I love the laptop desk and the fact it can hold my coffee!

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