Dorm Room Decor and Essentials For College

Dorm room decor and essentials for college have been on my mind a lot lately.
Well, college this fall and what it will look like have been on my mind…
I’m channeling all my anxiety over this situation into getting my daughter ready for some sort of school this fall.


Door room decor and essentials for college.



Dorm rooms have come a long way from the plastic milk crates and wipe off memo boards that I remember.  


I first posted this dorm room round up of door room decor and essentials for college six years ago! 


Before I even had kids in college, the original round up was done with the help of our former babysitter.

Now, fast forward to 2020 and we’ll now have two daughters in college.

Needless to say, I’ve updated this post dramatically!

One daughter will be a Junior and is pretty much all set in her apartment already.

Thank goodness…

The other one will be a Freshman this fall.

Hopefully, on campus.

Six years ago who could have imagined this type of chaos at the start of a school year.



This year looks a bit different…

Getting a kids off to school, especially Freshmen is fraught with all types of emotions, no surprise there.

However, this year everything seems even more heightened.

One way I deal with anxiety is preparation.

I know I’m not alone here.


I’ve mostly focused on things you might not think of …as I think sheets and towels and so forth are pretty obvious.

However, if you like a list to work off of, and really, who doesn’t? I highly recommend this one!


OK, so let’s get into it.

Dorm Room Decor Essentials

Starting with a fan!

Most dorm rooms don’t have air conditioning and move in, regardless of where the school is, is often hot and airless.

We went with this one after a lot of research.

BIG TIP: pack this item LAST, as you’ll want it in the dorm room FIRST~trust me.

Best advice ever, from a friend of mine who did this a few times already…


Another great tip, bring along a tool kit.

Preferably one with a hammer, a tape measure, scissors and alan wrenches…this one has it all.

You might want to bring your own, but you should really get a set to leave with your student.

You’ll also want to make sure your kid has a set of shower shoes!

The rest of items in the round up above and below are pretty self explanatory.


Below are a few more key items.



Over The Door 11 Hook Organizer Rack



White 2-Tier Adjustable Shoe Rack



white brick temporary wall paper dorm room decor essentialBrick Peel and Stick Wallpaper





Of course this year we’ll need to also make sure we include masks, gloves, hand sanitizers and lots of cleaning supplies.

Experienced parents, let me know in the comments, if there’s something critical I need to add here! Thanks.

PS: See also –  under fifty dollar home accents, for ideas on how to zhush up any dorm room or apartment.






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Leave a Comment


  1. Katy Byrne wrote:

    This is one of my favorite topics to design for. If I were going back to college, I would definitely get the Zhush monogrammed shams

    Published on 7.23.14 · Reply
  2. You always have so good taste! Really enjoy your board! The mirror it's amazing 😉

    Published on 7.23.14 · Reply
  3. Now that's a cork board we would have loved to have in our college days! So great to see you today and catch up and we hope your sitters heed your sage decorating advice. Their rooms will be the best in the dorm!
    C + C

    Published on 7.23.14 · Reply
  4. what an elegant dorm room with that pillow. In love with mine!

    Published on 7.24.14 · Reply
  5. pve design wrote:

    Way to "Zhush" up a dorm room. Makes me wishing I were heading off to college, again! (Not) You'll laugh but at the end of my son's Freshman year, I tossed nearly all the linens in a dumpster that was outside the dorm. I was scared to bring it home. Boys.
    Girls are so different.

    Published on 7.25.14 · Reply
  6. Christa wrote:

    Casper twin xl bed topper, carried at Target- makes a HUGE difference.

    Published on 7.21.20 · Reply
    • Sue De Chiara wrote:

      Good to know! Thanks so much for the tip!

      Published on 7.21.20 · Reply