The transition of leaving home and heading off to college is one of the most bittersweet experiences in a person’s life. You’re celebrating the joys of hard work and accomplishments in high school but also feeling sadness about closing such a big chapter in your life. Going away to college is also a young person’s quintessential first experience with an adult lifestyle, and that’s a huge change. But don’t worry! There are some things you can do to make it easier. Prepare for the change by making sure you have the dorm essentials you need to make the transition smoother.

Are you a first-year college student getting ready for college for the first time? Or maybe you’re a more advanced college student heading back to campus? Either way, this list of must-have dorm essentials has something to make your time on campus easier. These ideas include furnishings that make your space more comfortable and organized. They’ll also shine a spotlight on trendy decorative pieces you can use to express your personal style.

Dorm Must-Haves for Your Off-to-College Checklist

A dorm prep checklist typically includes a number of personal items you need to be comfortable and to manage your appearance. First off, make sure you put the hair styling tools you regularly use on your checklist. Also, add grooming supplies like clippers, soaps, shampoo, and a small container or basket to keep everything handy. Plan to keep your dorm tidy by including things like a wastebasket and a convenient hamper.

Save Room With a Lofted Bed

While dorm rooms typically come with some basic furniture, you may find yourself in need of a bed if the furniture isn’t included. Plus, if you’re moving to a dorm-style efficiency apartment off-campus, loft beds offer a sweet solution for furnishing a small apartment. You get double the sleeping space without giving up floor space. You can choose a twin-over-twin bed to leave the maximum amount of room for foot traffic in the bedroom. Or, you can choose a twin-over-full bed if you or your roommate needs a bit more room to stretch out at night.

Pack Some Cozy Bedding

A good night’s sleep takes more than just a bed. You also need soft sheets and a duvet or comforter to really get comfy. So, you’ll want to add bedding to your college dorm essentials list. While you should always confirm the size of your bed ahead of time, dorm beds are typically twin XL size. Sheet sets are available in a variety of colors and are made from breathable materials to suit your style while keeping you comfortable. Want to celebrate your new school? Look for a duvet that showcases one of your school’s colors. Or, keep it classic and make your dorm feel more familiar by choosing a duvet or comforter that looks and feels like home.

Bring Comfort to Your Dorm Room With a Futon

Want to make your dorm room more comfortable without taking up a lot of space? Check the floor plan of your dorm to see if you have room for a futon. Futons are great to add to your college dorm move-in checklist. A futon doubles as a sofa and bed, so one can serve as a multifunctional piece of furniture if you are decorating a small apartment. A futon creates extra seating in your room for visiting friends to study or relax after class. A versatile futon ensures you’ll have a place for them to sit. Additionally, you can pick up bedding for your futon in case you want to use it for sleeping.

Best College Dorm Decorations for 2022

No college packing list is complete without including some dorm decor items. The decor items you choose help make your dorm feel like home. Decor also helps you express your creativity and style. Choose a few eye-catching wall hangings or a decorative clock and shelves. Need a bit of extra room to store your things? Wall shelves with small baskets or containers provide a simple and visually appealing way to store small items. Consider faux plants to add a pop of color to the room, or choose some plush throw pillows to complement the color of your quilt or duvet.

College Dorm Must-Haves for Organizing 

College students are busy with classes, studying, and maintaining a social life. Clothing ends up getting tossed around and wrinkled when rushing to class. However, you can make it easy to keep your things in order with a bit of extra planning. Organize your clothes with hanging organizers and closet hooks. Hanging organizers provide a place to put just about anything, and closet hooks make it easy to drape the clothes you need over a hook. This also keeps your garments from getting wrinkled and worn.

It can be hard to stay on top of all your classes and homework if you don’t have an organized way to manage your books and notes. An easy solution is to add a bookshelf or set of storage cubes to your list of college essentials. A bookshelf is ideal when you want grab-and-go convenience and a place to neatly organize your books. Storage cubes are a simple solution for organizing books and personal items when you want the option to store a few things out of sight.

Bring your back-to-college checklist to Ashley to find all the furnishings, decorative items, and organizing aids you need. One of our designers would love to chat with you about the things you need to fix up your dorm. We can also help you get your space set up for studying and make sure it’s comfortable for visiting when your college friends stop by. Or, you can browse at your leisure to find the perfect pieces for your “home away from home.” With stylish, quality furnishings, decor, and organizers, it’s easy to put together the things you need for a comfortable, eye-catching dorm room.