College dorm room
State Point Media

Whether living on or off-campus, students heading to college are in need of all of life’s essentials that parents once provided.

It’s easy to turn a dorm room into home with some basic and stylish accessories. Follow these tips to make shopping for and setting up student living quarters smooth and successful:

Prepare Ahead

Once a student receives a housing assignment, he or she should connect with future roommates. Lots of decisions need to be made. Decide ahead of time what to share, and if students want to coordinate décor.

Look for a retailer that can help you stay organized and on budget. For example, Bed Bath & Beyond offers college shopping checklists with separate lists for dorms and apartments. You can create a custom checklist online. You can also refer to their “Find My College,” page to determine whether your dorm has rules and regulations prohibiting certain decorations and supplies.

Use a gift registry to give family and friends ideas for gifts.

Be Comfortable

Dorm room mattresses typically offer little support. Build a better bed by adding a layer of comfort with a memory foam topper or fiber bed. With all that foot traffic in dorm rooms, it’s also a good idea to guard your mattress against bed bugs with a mattress protector. Upgrade a drab room and add color by layering on a stylish comforter set.

Think Small

“Students will likely have less space than to which they’re accustomed,” points out Jessica Joyce, a spokesperson for Bed Bath & Beyond. “To create more room, use storage and organizational items under the bed, over the door and in closets.”

Over-the-door is a great place for a mirror, storage for shoes or caps, an extra closet rod or hamper.

Some simple and stylish organizational tools can help, such as the Cube Grid and Rolling Carts with Drawers. Increase wardrobe potential with a double hanging rod and Slim Grips Hangers, which allow students to hang more clothing per unit of space.

And multi-functional bed risers with an AC outlet and USB charger can maximize under bed space, while providing a grounded charging station.

Be Stylish

Make a dorm room home by adding personality. Use accent rugs to warm up concrete floors. Reminders of home are a nice touch. decorate walls with dry rrase message board decals, or 18 inch Bicycle wheel collages adorned with photos of family and friends.

Make it Easy

Ease your moving day load by picking up certain items near school. Use a free service, such as Bed Bath & Beyond’s “Shop Here, Pick Up There,” program. Students and parents can shop for essentials at a store near home and have everything ready to pick up at a store near campus. This is especially helpful for students arriving by plane or train.

For more ideas and tips visit the “Shop for College” tab at

With the right gear and solutions, setting up a functional, comfortable and stylish dorm room or off-campus apartment can be easy.

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