Buy This, Not That: College Dorm Edition

Welcome to back to school! I know this may be super early for some of you, but I move back to USC in just a short week and a half. It’s the time of year where anxious and excited college freshman are swarming Targets across the nation to stock up on “must-have” dorm supplies. Little do these freshman know that they probably won’t use a good majority of the products they buy at the beginning of the year!

Buy This, Not That College Dorm Edition |

Back to school shopping, especially for a dorm, can be extremely expensive. This post is going to provide you with money-saving, budget-friendly options to a lot of products on those “Ultimate College Packing List” Pinterest posts! From storage to coffee makers, this post has you covered.

* This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure.


What to buy for college! Buy This, Not That College Dorm Edition |
Shoe Organizer – Amazon | Shoe Rack – Amazon

A shoe organizer is much more versatile for storing other items than just shoes! Store snacks, toiletries, shoes, jewelry, etc. for space-saving storage and easy access. Plus, the clear pockets allow you to see exactly what’s in each pouch! I had two of these in my dorm freshman year, and I couldn’t live without them!

The bottom of your closet becomes this giant black hole, and even though you think you’ll be organized and keep that from happening, the black hole will still appear. So, avoid the bulky shoe rack and go for the portable, versatile shoe organizer!


What to buy for college! Buy This, Not That College Dorm Edition |
Mini Steamer – Bed, Bath & Beyond | Travel Iron – Amazon

A big misconception for incoming college freshman is the need for a mini iron and an ironing board. Let me tell you that you do not, will not, and won’t want the hassle of an iron. Nope. Instead, opt for a mini steamer. It takes up way less room and it’s so much easier to use. It effortlessly removes wrinkles and is super fast! Needless to say, I will never own an iron after owning a steamer.


What to buy for college! Buy This, Not That College Dorm Edition |
Kitchen Selectives Coffee Maker – Amazon | Keurig – Amazon

Coffee is a must-have for any college student, but you don’t have to break the bank with that expensive Keurig and those k-cups. Opt for a single-serve coffee maker, like the one above, that works just the same as a Keurig. Instead of buying wasteful k-cups, the Kitchen Selectives coffee maker allows you to use your own ground coffee! That’s going to save you a lot of $$$$ in the long run!


Buy This, Not That College Dorm Edition |
Vacuum Cleaner – Amazon | Broom – Target

Do not buy a broom. Do not buy a broom. Do not buy a broom. A vacuum cleaner will pick up so much more dirt, dust, and hair than a broom ever will. It’s super easy to whip out the vacuum, spend two minutes vacuuming the dorm, and you’re done. It’ll save you so much time and energy than sweeping. Plus your dorm will be way cleaner! I have the same vacuum cleaner, and it’s the best $20 I’ve ever spent in my life.

Have you lived in a dorm before? If so, what are some things that you suggest buying? If you’re a freshman, did you find this post helpful? And what other college posts do you want to see?

~abigail gray

Check out some of my back-to-school posts:

 Looking for a quick, easy DIY to do this weekend? These DIY canvases are perfect for any dorm or bedroom! // DIY canvas wall art  Here's what you actually need to pack for your college dorm! Ultimate college packing list.  Looking for a way to spice up your dorm room or home? This DIY clothespin picture display is inexpensive and easy! Check out the post to find out how to make it! // DIY dorm decor, DIY picture display, DIY clothespin wreath  Struggling in a college class or just looking to improve your note taking? Check out this post for tips & tricks to keep those notes organized and resourceful!