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40 Dorm Hacks Every College Student Must Know

Dorm life is intimidating and exciting all at once. Here are the best dorm hacks to make your college life easier.

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A black desk in a college dorm with various writing utensils and objects on it.

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Dorm rooms are intimidating and exciting all at once. There’s an endless possibility for decoration and good practice for a future apartment! We all know about the struggles of dorm life so how can that process be easier?
Dorm hacks have been a huge help for college students around the world, and this list of items can only help you become a better adult. All of these products are useful in one way or another. Good luck at adulting.


Dorm Hacks For Storage

1. DuomiW Bedside Caddy or Bedside Pocket

If you haven’t heard, bedside caddies are the best product for small spaces. If your dorm is too small for a bedside table, this caddy will help with organization. This DuomiW caddy has 8 pockets of varying sizes, so they can hold just about anything.

There is a mesh pocket for a bottle, a smaller pocket for your phone, and various sizes for books or a tablet. If you don’t need that many pockets, there is a much simpler one for essential items only. Definitely one of the better dorms hacks on this list!

2. STERILITE Storage Bins 

STERILITE 19638606 Large Clip Box, Clear with Blue Aquarium Latches 2 pieces (Large)

Price: $21.89

Storage bins are a must-have, and you likely already have this on your list. Double-check with your college to see if they allow risers, so you can purchase an appropriately sized bin to keep under your bed. These bins are slim, so you won’t have to worry about them taking too much space.


3.  iDesign Plastic Shower Caddy 

iDesign Orbz Plastic Bathroom Shower Tote, Small Divided College Dorm Caddy for Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, Cosmetics, Beauty Products, 11.75" x 6" x 12", Mint Green

Price: $15.40

Shower caddies are essential, especially with communal bathrooms. Choosing the right caddy will depend on your dorm’s bathroom, so try to gather as much information as you can. Look for hooks or shelves that make a shower caddy useful. This one is a hard plastic that could be set on the shower floor if necessary. 


4.  Attmu Mesh Shower Caddy 

Attmu Mesh Shower Caddy for College Dorm Room Essentials, Hanging Portable Tote Bag Toiletry for Bathroom Accessories

Price: $8.49

Depending on whether or not your dorm shower has hooks, this mesh caddy may be better. If you have a lot of products, opt for this one. This caddy is perfect for hanging on doors or showerheads, and works best for a large communal bathroom. 


5.  Marbrasse Pen Organizer 

5 Pcs Desk Organizer- Pen Organizer Storage for Office, School, Home Supplies, Translucent White Pen Storage Holder, Set of 3, 2 Cups 14 Compartments (White)

Price: $13.99

If you are an artist, you probably already have something like this, but this is perfect for anyone. Available in various sizes, pen organizers are so much more useful than we give them credit for. Yes, they hold pens, but they can also hold makeup brushes, utensils, or other office supplies. Get creative with this clutter killer!


6.  KEEPJOY Laundry Bag 

KEEPJOY Hanging Laundry Hamper Bag with Free Adjustable Stainless Steel Door 2 PCs Suction Cup Hooks, Best Choice for Holding Dirty Clothes and Saving Space, Grey

Price: $13.96

Laundry bags are another necessity, and can be chosen depending on your lifestyle. I like this one because it can be hung almost anywhere and doesn’t get in the way. There are backpack ones that are more convenient to some, or others with wheels, but those can be bulky if space is limited. 


7.  Sterilite Plastic Baskets 

Sterilite 16248006 Medium Ultra Basket, White Basket w/ Titanium Inserts, 6-Pack

Price: $25.99

For some general organization, this six-pack of baskets can organize anything. If you aren’t picky, this would be perfect for you. In fact, if you are looking for a cheap option for this whole list, this set would be perfect to hold any clutter.


8.  Honey-Can-Do 3 Drawer Chest 

Honey-Can-Do 3 Drawer Chest, Espresso

Price: $38.79

Another simple organizer that can be used is a bedside drawer. This offers more privacy since they are enclosed bins, so all of your personal items can be hidden. This particular one does not have wheels, but there are many others that do.


9.  Mantello Makeup Organizer or Three Drawer Organizer

This adorable makeup organizer is perfect for a small room, especially if you can’t have a separate vanity. This organizer won’t take up too much space and can still be set up in an appealing way.

If this is too wide for your desk, try an even smaller three-drawer organizer that will be the envy of other MUA. If you wear minimal makeup or need a spot for other small items, the latter may be better. It’s too cute not to have.

10.  Whitmor Honeycomb Drawer Organizer 

Whitmor Honeycomb Drawer Organizer

Price: $15.99

We have all heard of the better way to organize drawers with this separation organizer. If you haven’t invested in it yet, this is a perfect time. Just imagine one morning, you wake up late and need to rush to class.

Having a coordinated drawer will help you to rush out the door with minimal fuss. Go for a regular square one if the honeycomb is too wide for your drawers, or rectangular ones if your drawer is wider.  


Dorm Room Decor Hacks

11.  Mydethun Moon Lamp (with colors) 

Mydethun Moon Lamp Moon Light Night Light for Kids Gift for Women USB Charging and Touch Control Brightness 3D Printed Warm and Cool White Lunar Lamp(3.5In moon lamp with stand)

Price: $16.99

You may have seen this on your social media platforms, and if you haven’t invested in one already, what are you waiting for? This moon lamp is not just a conversation starter, but a perfectly dimmed lamp for late-night studying or reading. 


12. Candle Warmers 

CANDLE WARMERS ETC, Midas 2-in-1 Fragrance Warmer for Warming Scented Candles or Wax Melts and Tarts with to Freshen Room

Price: $17.81

Let’s hope that you won’t need to constantly keep a candle on to mask the smell of your roommate, but rather, use this candle warmer to remind you of home. This two-in-one warmer can melt candles or scented wax melts and comes in handy if your college doesn’t allow open flames. 


13.  Command Strips 

Command Small Timeless Hook, Brushed Nickel, 1-Hook, 2-Strips, Decorate Damage-Free

Price: $7.56, but varies

Command strips will save your life in college. They are simple products that will go a long way for your dorm, either for decorative or practical purposes.

There are so many kinds of command strips that you will be able to find a perfect piece for whatever you want to hang on the wall. Opting for these strips is definitely much better than paying a fine after hammering a nail in your wall!


14.  Sevenstars Tapestries 

Sevenstars Mountain Tapestry Forest Tree Tapestry Sunset Tapestry Nature Landscape Tapestry Wall Hanging for Room(51.2 x 59.1 inches)

Price: $13.51

After you’ve bought those command strips, consider using them for this tapestry. There are so many options and sizes that you can absolutely find the perfect one for your style.These can also be used as a throw as an option in the winter.


15.  The Open Canvas Gold Wall Decal 

Gold Wall Decal Dots (200 Decals) | Easy to Peel Easy to Stick + Safe on Painted Walls | Removable Metallic Vinyl Polka Dot Decor | Round Sticker Large Paper Sheet Set for Nursery Room (Metallic Gold)

Price: $8.25

Maybe you don’t actually want to hang anything on the wall, but you still want to decorate. Decals are great because they can be removed at the end of the year with no damage to the wall. Like tapestries, there are so many options and sizes that the possibilities are endless. Definitely take the time to match it to your full dorm aesthetic! 


16.  Rabbitgoo Window Decal 

rabbitgoo Window Privacy Film, Rainbow Window Clings, 3D Decorative Window Vinyl, Stained Glass Window Decals, Static Cling Window Sticker Non-Adhesive, 17.5 x 78.7 inches

Price: $8.98

This window decal is great if your dorm window faces another or you want to block out some sun. Not only will this stained-glass decal create beautiful patterns throughout your room, but it can help cool your room by blocking the sun. It is removable without hassle, so another dorm hack that will prevent you from paying any fines.


17.  IPENNY Plush Cushion 

Crown Soft Plush Cushion Comfort Green Seat Pad Office Cozy Warm Seat Pillow Armchair Seat Support Relieves Back Coccyx Sciatica and Tailbone Pain Relief Chair Cushions for Home Office Sofa Wheelchair

Price: $20

Another WFH staple: a seat cushion for your desk. Still useful in your dorm for studying at your desk or as an extra seat for visitors. This cute crown cushion also comes in a patterned pillow, a rose, and a cat paw. There are so many cushions out there that will both match your aesthetic and provide support.


18.  Lavender Luvies Stress Ball 

Lavender Scented Stress Ball for Anxiety and Stress Relief - Purple 3 Pack

Price: $25.95

Stress balls are essential, and I will stand by that statement. They are more effective than you think, especially during finals week. This stress ball is lavender scented to help you relax and destress. 


19.  Dunwell Dry Erase Wall Calendar 

Dunwell 24x36 Dry Erase Calendar - (Black) Undated Large Dry Erase Calendar for Wall, Reversible Reusable Monthly and Weekly Dry Erase Calendar, Wipe Off Calendar Poster Shipped Rolled Not Folded

Price: $15.95

If you are the kind of organizer who wants a tangible and non-electronic way to organize, this is a great calendar for you. This laminated and undated calendar that can be placed on the wall with no damage and reused throughout the year. If you are a busy person, this will make a great visual aid for yourself and your friends.


20.  Beautyworks Backlit Desk Mirror 

Beautyworks Backlit Makeup Vanity Mirror 36 LED Lights Touch-Screen Light Control, Tri-Fold 1/2/3X Magnification, Portable High-Definition Clarity Cosmetic Light Up Magnifying Mirror (Arctic White)

Price: $29.97

This backlit desk mirror is perfect for makeup aficionados or for those who would rather get dolled up in their bedroom with better lighting. Definitely opt for this if you have a huge communal bathroom and the mirrors are constantly gross.


21.  Cards Against Humanity 

Cards Against Humanity

I love Cards Against Humanity! It’s easy to carry around, and it’s a quick way to break the ice with new people.

It’s also something that never gets boring, as the combinations you can come up with are endless and hilarious.


Space Saving Dorm Hacks

22. Tuffen Bed Risers with Outlet

Tuffen Bed Riser with Outlet and USB Ports, 5 Inch Furniture Riser Lifts with Puncture Proof Insert, Heavy Duty 1500 lbs Capacity for Dorm Bed Table Couch Desk (Set of 4)

Price: $28.99

You definitely need to ask your college about bed risers, but if they approve of them, they’re a great way to make your bed space functional. Opt for this one with outlets in the risers. Whether you need a closer outlet or are having a study session, more outlets are better than one.


23. Seville Ottoman 

Seville Classics Foldable Storage Ottoman Footrest Toy Box Coffee Table Chest Trunk Seat Stool, 1-Pack, Midnight Blue

Price: $27.40

If you are lucky enough to have the space, ottoman storage is convenient as both storage and an extra seat. Having an ottoman is one of the great dorm hacks because you can keep it as snack storage or for games when friends visit. You can also make this an accent piece in your room!


24.  LapGear Lap Desk

LapGear Home Office Lap Desk with Device Ledge, Mouse Pad, and Phone Holder - White Marble - Fits Up To 15.6 Inch Laptops - style No. 91501

Price: $29.99

Lap desks are a thing of the Work From Home time period, but are totally useful for dorms as well. Whether you want to work on your bed or outside during nice weather, a lap desk is useful in many situations. There are several variations— this one has a mousepad and a phone holder— but there are others with cupholders or adjustable stands.


25.  PENGKE Desk Shelves 

PENGKE Office Storage Rack,Desktop Organizer,Home Decor Adjustable Wood Display Shelf Rack,True Natural Stand Shelf,Office Supplies Desk Organizer,Light Brown

Price: $11.99

My favorite dorm hacks are desk-related, so any desk organization products immediately hit my wishlist. This desk shelf is great to keep your desk clutter-free and decorated. It’s also a great way to show your personality, whether you collect figurines, are a plant parent, or just want to keep your favorite books on display.


26.  Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 

Kindle - Now with a Built-in Front Light - Black

Price: $109.99

As a paperback lover, this seems like the worst thing to recommend, but it may be the best dorm hack I can share. Not only do you have an unlimited access to books, but this is perfect for buying those huge textbooks.

Instead of wasting money on old textbooks that you may use a couple of times and forget in your dorm, you can have it right in your bag no matter where you are.

I recommend checking with your professor to ask about specific editions, or if a print copy is absolutely necessary. Trust me, it will help in so many ways, especially for tougher majors.


27.  SPACEKEEPER 3 Tier Cart 

SPACEKEEPER Slim Storage Cart, 3 Tier Bathroom Organizers Rolling Utility Cart Slide Out Storage Shelves Mobile Shelving Unit Organizer for Office, Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom, Laundry Room, White

Price: $22.09

This three-tier cart is a great replacement for a bedside drawer or as an extra storage compartment. It is simple and effective, perfect for moving any items around or organizing everything from personal items to books for class.


28.  DOIOWN S-Type Closet Hanger

DOIOWN S-Type Stainless Steel Clothes Pants Hangers Closet Storage Organizer for Pants Jeans Scarf Hanging (14.17 x 14.96ins, Set of 3) (3-Pieces)

Price: $17.89

The S-type hanger is best for those who don’t like to fold their pants, and need a hanger that holds multiple clothing items. I believe this is superior to the other hanger, but at that point, it is a preference and also dependent on your closet.


Money Saving Dorm Hacks

29. POWRUI USB Wall Charger Outlet 

USB Wall Charger, Surge Protector, POWRUI 6-Outlet Extender with 2 USB Charging Ports (2.4A Total) and Night Light, 3-Sided Power Strip with Adapter Spaced Outlets - White,ETL Listed

Price: $19.97

If you ultimately can’t have the risers, this wall outlet is just as good. While still a traditional wall outlet, it has four additional ports and two USB ports. It even has a smart sensor night light with automatic dimming and adjustable brightness, so you can find it in the dark. 


30. BESTEK Round Extendable Outlet 

BESTEK 6-Outlet Round Power Strip with 4 USB Ports Desktop Charging Station, 6 Ft Long Extension Power Cords, 220 Joules, Ultra-Compact for Dorm Room, Bedside, Cruise Ship,White

Price: $25.99

We are all about options, so if that one seemed too much for you, how about a round outlet? These power strips have six outlets and four USB ports, so they’re great for study sessions and gatherings at minimal outlet areas. The cord is also six feet long, so it can be helpful in any classroom or coffee shop.


31. QI-EU Charging Station 

QI-EU Wireless Charger,3 in 1 Wireless Charging Station for iPhone 11/11pro/Se/X/XS/XR/Xs Max/8/8 Plus Apple Watch AirPods 2/Pro, Wireless Charging Pad for Samsung Galaxy S20/S10

Price: $19.99

Wireless charging stations are a blessing in disguise. This will be especially useful for those with many classes and activities during the day. This dorm hack allows you to be a bit lazy; after a long day, you can just drop your phone and watch on this charging pad and not miss a beat in the morning. It’s also great for gatherings when everyone somehow forgot their charger. No more risking your own charger!


32.  PARTU Air Purifier 

PARTU HEPA Air Purifier - Smoke Air Purifiers for Home with Fragrance Sponge - 100% Ozone Free, Lock Set, Eliminates Smoke, Dust, Pollen, Pet Dander, (Available for California)

Price: $49.99

Air purifiers are great for stuffy rooms. This small air purifier is perfect for your dorm, particularly if it’s small and overstuffed, and can make your space a much cleaner living area. This doubles as an oil diffuser if you would like to use it as such, but it is not necessary. 


33.  AmuseNd Cool Mist Humidifier 

USB Cool Mist Humidifier with Night Light, Mini Size Cactus Humidifier for Bedroom Home Office Car with Timed auto Shutdown(Transparent)

Price: $14.89

This cute little humidifier is too adorable not to purchase. While small, it is powerful and will help prevent dry skin in the worst months. This is necessary for dorms that lack windows and ventilation, and perfect for individual use, because of its size. 


34.  BGment Blackout Curtain 

BGment Blackout Curtains for Bedroom - Grommet Thermal Insulated Room Darkening Curtains for Living Room, Set of 2 Panels (42 x 63 Inch, Navy Blue)

Price: $19.89

Or if you are like me and can’t sleep in any daylight, try these blackout curtains. These are amazing and will literally block out all of the light from your window. These are perfect after pulling all-nighters. Definitely ask for the measurements of your window so you can get a perfect size.


35.  VOBAGA Mug Warmer 

VOBAGA Coffee Mug Warmer, Electric Coffee Warmer for Desk with Auto Shut Off, 3 Temperature Setting Smart Cup Warmer for Warming & Heating Coffee, Beverage, Milk, Tea and Hot Chocolate(No Cup)

Price: $23.97

If you are like me and concentrate on work so hard you forget about your coffee, this mug warmer will keep your cup warm enough for an additional four hours.

While a bit pricier than others out there, this one will let you adjust the temperature and has a shut-off feature in case you forget to turn it off. This is perfect for the hardworking, but forgetful, students.


36.  FUNME Desk Fan 

FUNME 6 Inch USB Desk Fan Metal Portable Mini Table Fan with 2 Speeds, Quiet,360 Rotation,Desktop Fan for Home Office And Outdoor(Bronze)

Price: $17.99

Desk fans go a long way in poorly ventilated dorm rooms. If you get hot easily, this tiny but powerful fan will help a lot. It has two speeds and is connected by a USB, so you can plug it into your laptop. It’s also very quiet, so you won’t have to worry about waking up your roommate.


37.  Dirt Devil Vacuum Cleaner 

Dirt Devil Versa Clean Bagless Stick Vacuum Cleaner and Hand Vac, 16ft. Power Cord, SD20010, Red

Price: $21.46

Vacuums are a must-have for maintaining a tidy space. Simple cleaning gets harder as the semester progresses, so having a handheld floor vacuum. This will help you prevent your dorm from becoming a pigsty.


38.  Brita Pitcher 

Brita Standard Metro Water Filter Pitcher, Turquoise, Small 5 Cup, 1 Count

Price: $19.99

If you don’t know already, dorm water tastes pretty weird. Instead of wasting money on gallons of water and adding to the plastic pollution issue, invest in a Brita filter. Hopefully, you have your own fridge, but if you don’t, label your filter with your room number and convince others to get one for their room. Trust me, it will help maintain some order.


39.  Brita Bottle 

Brita Plastic Water Filter Bottle, 26 oz, Blush

Price: $19.99

Or if you are wary of sharing, get a personal reusable Brita bottle. It is just like any other water bottle, but it filters your water when poured inside. You have to replace the filter every three months, but it is definitely worth it. It’s definitely eco-friendly, and easy to refill, clean, and use. There is a bigger size if you prefer that instead!


40.  Johnson & Johnson First Aid Kit 

Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose First Aid Kit, Portable Compact First Aid Set for Minor Cuts, Scrapes, Sprains & Burns, Ideal for Home, Car, Travel and Outdoor Emergencies, 140 Pieces

Price: $11.97

This first aid kit is something everyone should have in case of emergencies, but to make this a hack, build your own kit! There are various containers that you can use for your own kit.

I recommend building your own because you know yourself best, meaning you can make sure that you have everything you need for a personal emergency.

Always keep various aspirin and bandages for minor issues, but make sure you keep things specific to you, like allergy medicine.


I hope this list of dorm hacks was helpful. A lot of college dorms are different, but luckily there are various options for all of these products— and all of them will help ease you into your new dorm. Don’t stress; let these dorm hacks help you! Share with your friends!

That’s a wrap. This article was all about dorm hacks. Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments and share with your friends!
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