Prepping the perfect dorm room setup is not easy, and there are a whole heap of things to think about if you are either on your way to college for the first time or preparing to return after the break.

To help you out, here are a few of the best purchases you can make as a dorm-dwelling student that will make your life at college much easier and more enjoyable.

Headphones or speakers?

This is a classic conundrum for students; do you splash out on designer speaker systems and make your dorm room a real party hotspot, or do you invest in high quality headphones instead?

It all comes down to what you want to get up to; a speaker system can be good for listening to music and enjoying superior audio quality when watching TV shows and movies with friends, but it lacks the portability of headphones. Plus with good headphones you can block out extraneous noise from the rest of the dorm, which could be useful when studying, or when you simply do not want to disturb other people while still experiencing all-consuming aural bliss.

Desk organiser

Every college dorm room will have a desk, and this is a space that can become cluttered and unusable in literally seconds as soon as you start dumping your textbooks, stationery, smartphone, laptop, notebooks and other bits of college detritus on it.

This is where a desk organiser comes into its own, letting you compartmentalise your essential study aids and also keep them within easy reach, all while keeping valuable space on the desktop clear. It also makes your studying more efficient, as you will not need to waste minutes looking for an item that has got lost under mounds of paperwork.


The one essential which you could always use more of in a dorm room setting, hangers for your clothes will not only allow you to cram more items into whatever closet space you have available, but will also double up as a convenient way to minimise the amount of ironing you need to do. Why spend hours smoothing out creases from your clothes when you could just hang them up and let them drop out courtesy of gravity?

Door-mounted shoe organiser

Having a convenient way to store your clothes is one thing, but optimising your dorm room to accommodate your footwear is quite another. Luckily there are products built to do just this, and a door-mounted shoe organiser will be ideal whether you are obsessed with sneakers or serious about stilettos.

If shoes are not your bag, there are lots of other over-the-door accessories that are well suited to dorm rooms, such as pegs for coats and jackets.


While some of the aspects of dorm room maintenance will be taken care of for you, if you have a toolkit to hand then you can tighten loose screws and do other basic DIY without needing to call on someone else to assist.

Getting to grips with simple tasks like this is not just good for your college experience, but also sets you up to handle the challenges you will undoubtedly face once you move out of the dorm further down the line.

Alarm clock

Sure, most people rely on the alarm on their phone to get them up in the morning these days, but if you have trouble taking heed of the insistent beeping your handset of choice makes, then a dedicated alarm clock could be a reliably retro choice.

Getting a unit that also has an integrated radio and even smart speaker functionality could let you make the most of this type of gadget.