Dorm Raiders: Affordable Dorm Room Essentials

dorm room

Image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN /

By Briana Luca, Student at Iona College

Every summer, there are thousands of kids around the country who are biting their nails, making to-do lists and gearing up for their first year of college.

When you move out of your parents’ house and into a dorm room, there is so much that changes. You are living a new life that is completely different from anything you have ever experienced before.

Heading to life in the dorms can be pretty scary, but you will make it through. Here’s a guide to buying everything you need for your freshman year living situation without having to break the bank!

Tip 1: Stylish & Affordable Bedding

Every great dorm room needs to begin with great and stylish bedding. And why not? It’s the first thing you notice when walking into what would otherwise be a dreary and drab room.

To stay within budget but still maintain sense of great style, we recommend selecting a bundled option that includes everything you need at a wallet-friendly bundled rate.

Walmart has several budget savvy and fashionable “complete bed ensemble” options at $34.88 available for online purchase. We love the Leah Revisable bedding set.

Tip 2: Avoid the Urge to Splurge on Toiletries

When shopping for those bath items that every student needs to check off  their list, this is the best category where you can save. After all, who cares where you got your shower caddy as long as it does the job?

Consider shopping generic or store brands to save. Target’s Room Essentials or Xhilaration lines offers everything you need from low-cost towel sets to a cute $14.98 Room Essentials Body Wrap and Washpack Set.

Tip 3: Multi-purpose Organization Pieces

When dealing with limited space, it’s essential to pick storage options that can serve multi-use purposes.

For instance, the Sit & Store Folding Ottoman at $19.99 gets rave reviews from buyers for its ability to clean up the clutter while looking great at the same time.

Also favored by budget-minded students are these storage carts by Student Lounge that store away clutter and clothes while doubling as a night stand thanks to its sturdy countertop. You can find it at Kohls.

Tip 4: Reimagined Decoration

While you may be living in the dorms, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style or your desire to do good for the environment.

This Tote & Wastebasket Combo at $9.99 is a unique conversation piece, not only for its crayon-inspired design but also for the fact these items are made of 100 percent recycled newspaper.

Tip 5: Tech Essentials

These next items are great for all budget-minded yet tech savvy students.

We love Target’s $49.99 iHome Bedside Dual Alarm Clock, which serves as a complete, multi-tasking station for today’s busy digital lifestyle. Not only does it feature a dual alarm so you are certain to not miss class, the Bluetooth-enabled clock allows you to stream music wirelessly from various devices, including iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android and Blackberry.

And with all the tech items you’ll be bringing to the dorm, these bed lifts from Bed Bath & Beyond ($24.99 for a set of four) feature a USB charger that keeps your devices charged while boosting the height of your bed by 8 inches, providing increased storage space below.

RELATED: Check out UChic Founder Christie Garton’s segment about affordable dorm room essentials on News 4 New York

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!