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Back to College: Essentials for a Great Looking & Functional Dorm Room

Posted by Ashley on

t’s hard to believe classes will be back in session shortly. Whether you are a college freshman who is about to experience living on your own or a returning upperclassman with rental housing, it’s important to invest in proper storage and organizing essentials to make college life easier. With move-in day right around the corner, now is the perfect time to stock up on dorm basics. Check out a few suggestions below on how to turn your new housing into home-sweet-home.


Many dorms and apartments have shared bathrooms for everyone in the dwelling, but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice a neat and orderly wash room. Luckily, our suction shower caddies are removable after every use. Utilize a suction shower basket to store shampoo bottles, shower gel and soap, or use a large locking suction cup to hang loofahs and washcloths to avoid them falling on that dirty shower floor.

Taming the unruly cords and bulky hair appliances can finally be put to rest. With Spectrum’s wide selection of hair care and beauty organizers, all of your hair care products, styling tools and beauty essentials can be stored in a neat and fashionable way. Choose from over-the-cabinet, over-the-tank and countertop hair care caddies with single or multiple slots for hair dryers, curling irons, and hairbrushes. 




Get the most out of a small cramped space by hanging clothes, outerwear, and towels on convenient over-the-door hooks and racks. Using space over your door maximizes storage potential and eliminates damage to walls. In-closet organizers such as over-the-rod hooks and shelf dividers help organize ties, belts, purses, scarves, and clothing while making room for additional items.



Boring white walls paired with bland university furniture is desperately calling for a makeover. When you walk through your door, you want a welcoming atmosphere, especially if you moved far away or out of state. The good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune to make a drastic impact.

  • Add Personal Touches: Decorate your space with colorful picture frames and photo boards filled with snapshots of family and friends. This will instantly make you feel at home and help ward off homesickness.
  • Decorate Your Walls: Dress up your new residence with removable wall decals, artistic prints, tapestries and posters. These special décor pieces show off your style and make interesting conversation starters.
  • Paint: Ask if you can paint your walls. Some places will allow you to as long as you paint the walls back to their original color before you move out. It’s amazing what a fresh new coat of paint will do to a room at a fairly inexpensive cost.
  • Lighting: Fluorescent lights can be harsh and displeasing. Instead, buy your own table and floor lamps so you can control the ambiance. Use string lights or paper lanterns to add extra pizzazz.
  • Colorful Rug: Buy a vibrant plush area rug to add warmth and a contrasting pop of color.
  • Bedding: Choose a bedspread with rich colors or playful patterns to turn a dull space into a dreamy oasis. 
  • Baskets: Colorful baskets such as our Scoop and Macklin Medium Baskets below store a number of things while adding a spontaneous burst of color. Being organized has never looked this good!



Desk or study essentials are just as important as studying itself. By keeping your studious space neat and organized, your concentration and involvement in your schoolwork increases and encourages good study habits. Keep books, binders and folders in a basket or tray or neatly contained with bookends, store pens, pencils and other writing utensils in a pencil cup, and hang important reminders, deadlines and notes with fun, colorful magnets. Our Medium and Large Wire Organizers (and even magazine racks) also provide the perfect solution for storing papers, reports and folders. 



Whether you have an actual kitchen or dedicated area in your dorm, these kitchen basics will make any space more functional and useful.

  • Baskets: Particularly our Ashley Stacking Baskets shown below are perfect for storing large amounts of fresh fruits and veggies, pantry items and more.
  • Paper Towel Holder: Buy a paper towel holder that mounts over-the-cabinet door or is magnetic to save space and avoid clutter.
  • In-Cabinet Organizers: Double your cabinet space with an in-cabinet shelf or over-the-shelf basket. Use one to store plates, mugs, cups or small pantry staples such as cans of soup, condiments and small jars. A Spectrum favorite, the Ashley Expandable Shelf expands up to 22-7/8 inches wide for maximum storage potential.
  • Over-the-Cabinet: There’s nothing better than taking advantage of wasted space. Choose from paper towel holders, baskets, towel rings and towel holders, hooks, and trash bag holders.
  • Sink Organization: Sponges, brushes and other dish rags can easily pile up and create a mess. Eliminate the clutter and utilize your space with a Cora Suction Sink Cradle.


Remember, you are attending college to obtain a degree. The more organized you are, the higher the chance for success. From everyone at Spectrum, we wish you a fun and successful academic school year. Shop Spectrum’s entire back to college collection here