This post includes 44 of the most genius dorm hacks that’ll make your campus life so much better!
Essential College Survival Hacks
Ready to move onto campus and officially start your college journey? Here are some dorm hacks that will make your life on campus much easier.
1. Bedside Caddy
We all know how annoying it is if you’re sleeping on the top bunk and have to climb the stairs every time you need to put stuff on your desk. Instead of risking your life climbing those wonky stairs in the dark at night, get a beside caddy! I promise, this will make your life so much easier. It’s so convenient and has so many storage spaces for you to put your dorm room essentials.
2. Shower Storage Organizer
Dorm room showers are usually super tiny. Of course, you and your roommates could always put your shampoo and shower gel bottles on the floor… But it just takes up so much space and looks kind of messy.
The best way to organize stuff in a confined space is always to think vertically! These shower organizers are great because they can be secured on the bathroom wall and not take up space on the floor.
3. Electric Hotpot Cooker
Omg, these electric hotpot cookers are my absolute favorite and I always talk about it! Most dorms don’t have stoves (unless you live in a bigger apartment-style student housing), and this is when electric cookers can come in handy!
They’re super convenient, lightweight, practical, and cute! As long as you can access electricity, you can bring these cookers anywhere you go. Who doesn’t want hotpots on the go? Sounds like a dream to me! (This is definitely one of my favorite dorm hacks)
Related Post: 50 Best dorm gifts every college student will love!
4. Power Strip With Extension Cord
What I don’t understand about some of the dorm rooms I’ve stayed in is that why is there outlets next to my bed? Who designed this room layout? Come talk to me! I demand an answer! Lol!
No, but seriously, sometimes you really might be super unlucky like me and have to sleep in a bunk bed that doesn’t have an outlet nearby. To solve this first-world problem, you’ll need a power strip with an extension cord. This way, you can lay in bed and study on your laptop without having to get up and charge it every few hours.
5. Portable Door Lock
Yes, most dorms have security in the lobby and also locks on the door. But you know… just to be extra safe, an extra portable door lock can never hurt you! Haha, if you’re paranoid like me, having an extra set of door locks on your door will definitely help you sleep better at night.
6. Portable Handheld Steamer
Oooo! I remember how badly I wanted to buy this when I first got into college. I don’t know about you, but my clothes are always wrinkly. And when you’re doing presentations or attending career fairs on campus, the last thing you want is for your blouse or button-up shirt to look all crazy.
Also, dorm room closets are always so tiny! And since you won’t have a lot of space, you most likely will have to fold or roll your clothes up instead of hanging them up. So yea, wrinkly clothes are kind of inevitable. But this is what these portable handheld steamers are for!
7. Stackable Can Rack Organizer
Saving money in college often means buying lots of 99 cents canned foods to help you stay on budget. If you have tons of cans in your pantry, you know how crazy and unorganized it can look sometimes.
To help you better organize the one million canned foods you have in your dorm, consider getting a stackable can food organizer! It’ll make your kitchen space much more aesthetically pleasing!
8. Hanging Toiletry Bag
If you’re staying in a dorm that only has communal bathrooms, you’ll definitely want to get a hanging toiletry bag to save yourself a lot of hassle. Unless you literally wash your face and hair with an all-in-one shower gel, you’ll most likely need to being a few bottles of shower essentials to the bathroom.
Carrying them in a plastic bag could work too, lol. But it’ll just look and feel better if you have a toiletry caddy or bag that you can easily carry to the bathroom.
9. Soft Fluffy Carpet
Dorm room floors/carpets can get dirty… I mean REALLY dirty! Just imagine how many messy college students have stayed there before you, and how many dirty shoes have stepped on the floor
To help you feel more at home, definitely consider getting an area rug or fluffy carpet. This way, you can take your shoes off and actually sit down on the floor without feeling like germs are crawling all over you!
10. Magic Space Saving Hanger
This is another one of my favorite dorm hacks that I can’t recommend enough! Like I mentioned before, college dorms usually don’t have a lot of closet space, especially if you’re sharing the room with a bunch of other roommates.
To save space, a lot of people choose to just roll up their clothes or fold them up and stack everything up vertically. But what do you do if you don’t want your clothes to get wrinkly? This is where magic space-saving hangers come to the rescue! Now you can hang more clothes up without worrying about taking up too much space.
11. Poo-Pourri Bathroom Deodorize
My housemate in my freshman year of college actually introduced me to this magical before-you-go toilet spray! Haha! If you’ve never heard of this before, you should definitely check it out. It’s my top 3 dorm hacks!
Basically, what you do is spray this in the toilet bowl before going, and after you’re done, there will be no smell whatsoever! This is such a lifesaver and dorm room essential for college students and literally anyone who lives with roommates.
12. Best Dorm Hacks: Bedside Shelf
This is kind of similar to the bedside caddy I mentioned above. However, this one functions more like a tiny table instead of an organizer. If you’re a major foodie like me, I’m sure you’ll appreciate this design. Haha! Now, you can put all your drinks and snacks next to you (even if you’re sleeping on the top bunk!) So convenient!!
13. Shower Drain Hair Trap
Clogged shower drains are honestly the worst thing about living with roommates. Sometimes, it’s not even your hair that’s clogging up the drain but you still have to pick the hair out because nobody wants to admit that it’s theirs. You know what I mean?
Ugh! I’m sure you can hear my frustration haha! So, just get a hair trap! It’s much less gross and tiresome compared to picking chunks of hair out of the dark and dirty drain.
14. College Survival Hacks: Digital Air Fryer
How do people not like fried food? Like… I know it’s unhealthy, but it’s something I’m willing to sacrifice a few years of my life for : )
All jokes aside, fried food is amazing, and what’s even more amazing is being able to make it yourself at the comfort of your own dorm room. If you’re on a budget, having an air fryer will save you so much money in the long term.
15. Double Laundry Hamper
Are you an “actual adult” and actually make the effort to separate your clothes by color? If so, this double laundry hamper is exactly what you need to make adulting easier.
Now, you don’t have to go through the hassle of sorting your huge pile of clothes before doing laundry. Just grab the removable laundry bags from the hamper and go!
16. Hanging Pantry Organizer
This hanging pantry organizer is so cool and convenient because it allows you to see EVERYTHING in the pantry at once! The pockets are pretty big so you can easily stuff your seasonings or bags of grains in there.
Apart from food, you can also use this organizer in the bathroom or your bedroom! It’d be great for storing socks, underwear, or tiny accessories.
17. Crushed Ice Cube Maker
We all know how annoying it can be when your ice cubes can’t fit into your water bottle… Especially when it’s the summertime and you have to walk to campus!
Instead of waiting for ice cubes to melt to a size tiny enough to fit your water bottle opening, consider getting this crushed ice cube maker to make your life easier.
18. Storage Compression Bag
I swear by compression bags whenever it’s time to move or travel. It saves sooooo much space! If your dorm room is super tiny and you’re going to be bringing a lot of stuff, make sure to get a compression bag. It’s great for storing fluffy blankets, bulky sweaters, and anything that is light in weight but big in size.
19. Sneaker Dryer & Wash Bag
I once tried throwing my sneakers in the dryer and they almost broke the poor machine. Omg, I can’t even imagine paying for the repair as a broke college student lol. If you want to machine wash your shoes, make sure to put them in these wash bags to avoid damaging the washing machine or dryer.
Related post: 22 Super important things every college student needs
20. Wall-Mounted Shoe Rack
Having shoes scattered all over the floor is just not a good look in general. Especially if you have tons of shoes and so does your roommate.
Also, the last thing you want to worry about in the morning when you’re already running late for class is having to look for your left shoe. Not fun, and super frustrating for sure. So get organized with a wall-mounted shoe rack today!
21. Dorm Hacks: Portable Lap Desk
Being able to study while laying down is honestly such a LUXURY! However, it can get kind of annoying when you have nowhere to place your mouse, notebook, or other study essentials.
With a laptop desk, you can now study comfortably in your bed like the queen that you are!
22. Dorm Hacks: Lightweight Vaccum
My friend has one of these, and let me tell you. When I tried it for the first time ever, I was shook to the core. It’s SO lightweight and easy to use compared to those traditional and super heavy vacuums.
With these, you won’t have to dread vacuuming your dorm room carpet anymore.
23. Tri-fold Vanity Mirror
One of the many struggles and inconveniences when it comes to living with several roommates and sharing one bathroom is not getting to use the bathroom mirror whenever you want.
When you’re in a rush to get to class, you definitely won’t have time to wait for your roommate to finish using the bathroom. So make sure to get yourself a personal mirror that you can use when getting ready.
24. Storage Ottoman Cube
Storage ottomans are awesome because they can serve as an extra chair for guests and also storage space at the same time. When you’re living in a tiny room, making use of smart space-saving furniture is always the way to go!
25. Room Air Purifier
This will be especially helpful if you suffer from allergies or asthma. Since most dorm rooms have carpet floors, the air can get dirty at times due to the dust particles flying up from the carpet. If you’ve been coughing a lot or getting sick ever since you moved into your dorm, consider getting an air purifier to see if your condition improves.
26. Sunrise Smart Alarm Clock
Having trouble waking up in time for your early 8:00 am classes? Maybe this sunrise smart alarm clock can help you out!
27. Personal Air Circulator Fan
If you’re staying on campus during summer vacation, the heat in dorm rooms can get super unbearable, especially if there’s no AC. This is when having a personal air circulator fan will literally save your life. Now you can sleep peacefully at night without sweating your ass off.
28. IKEA Moving Bags
Every time I move, I always use these huge IKEA bags instead of bulky boxes. It’s so much easier to carry and stuff into the trunk of a car. Of course, if you’re moving a lot of delicate stuff, these bags might not be the best idea. But for clothes and blankets, these moving bags are awesome.
29. Dorm Hacks: Rapid Ramen Cooker
No need for a stove! With this rapid ramen cooker, you just need a microwave to whip up a bowl of your favorite ramen! It’s quick, easy, and super ideal for busy college students who don’t have time to cook on most days.
30. K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker
College students literally LIVE on coffee. Pulling an all-nighter is sometimes the only way we can juggle the amount of school work and activities going on in our lives. So if you’re sort of a coffee addict, getting a coffee maker will save you tons of money throughout your four years in college.
31. Command Hanging Strips
Putting holes into the dorm room wall is a big No-No! If you want to hang something up, make sure to use adhesive command hooks that do not damage the wall nor leave residues. I used these during my college years and never had a problem.
32. Mini Rice Cooker
I don’t know about you, but I can’t live without rice. Like literally! I will pass away.
If you’re also a rice addict like me and can’t imagine going one day without some fluffy white rice, you need a rice cooker in your dorm! It saves so much time compared to cooking rice on a stovetop.
33. Microwave-Safe Dinnerware Set
It can be awkward to invite guests over to your dorm and only have paper plates and plastic utensils. I mean, yes it’s cheap, but it’s not reusable which ultimately will cost you more money in the long term.
So consider getting a proper set of dinnerware that you can use during your four years in college. Split the cost with your roommates if they plan on using it as well.
34. LED Neck Reading Light
If you plan on pulling all-nighters throughout the semester, this LED neck reading light will be your best buddy. No need to worry about waking your roommate up with the bright study lamp or bedroom light anymore.
35. Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
If you don’t want the hassle of carrying a full-size vacuum cleaner to college, get a tinier version that also does the job equally well! If you have a car, this handheld vacuum cleaner will also come in handy.
36. Hanging Jewelry Organizer
This jewelry organizer is so cute! It not only helps you store and display all your necklaces and bracelets, but also serves as a beautiful piece of decoration in your dorm room. Love it!
37. Backrest Pillow
This is another one of my favorites out of these dorm hacks for college students! One of my friends had this in her dorm room, and whenever I visit, the first thing I do is lay on her comfy backrest cushion. It’s so comfortable!
When you’re studying in your bed, it’s easy to get back pain if you don’t have enough support for your neck and lower back. So make sure to get one of these to prevent any chronic back pain issues.
38. Desk Organization Rack
One of my pet peeves is doing school work on a desk that is super cramped and messy. It’s almost impossible to concentrate when there’s so much going on! If you feel the same way, you’ll love this desk organizer. With it, you can clear out all the unnecessary stuff on your desk that distracts you.
39. Bathroom Cleaning Set
Surprisingly, none of the dorms I stayed at provided toilet cleaning tools such as a brush or a plunger. For some reason, I just thought these would be provided for free.
If your dorm is also like mine, get a bathroom cleaning set to make sure the toilet is always squeaky clean!
40. Drawer Dividers
Having a messy drawer makes finding stuff super frustrating. Use a drawer organizer like this to help simplify and tidy up your living space!
Also, since there usually isn’t a lot of space in dorm room drawers, an organizer can help you section your mess into categories, A.K.A. An organized mess.
41. Five-Ingredient College Cookbook
When I went grocery shopping for the first time after moving into college, I panicked! I literally had no idea what to buy because I didn’t even know how to cook.
If you’ve also never cooked a day in your life, I highly recommend getting the 5 ingredient college cookbook. You can read it on Kindle for free (if you sign up for a 30-day free trial), and if you prefer audiobooks, you can also listen to this book for free with Audiobook 30-day free trial!
42. Combination Portable Safe
Not to be pessimistic and overly dramatic, but you can never fully trust the person you’re rooming with. No matter how close you think they are to you.
If you are bringing valuables to campus (which I don’t recommend), at least get a combination portable safe to make sure nothing ever gets stolen!
43. Laundry Mesh Wash Bag
Some washers and dryers in college dorms are quite old, so if you don’t use a mesh bag for your delicate clothing items, they might get ripped and damaged.
Don’t want to damage your precious bra from Victoria’s Secret or Savage Fenty? Get some mesh bags to make sure they’re 100% protected during the washing and drying process.
44. Self Defense Bundle
Having self-defense tools on you is so important if you live in a sketchy area and plan on walking back to your dorm alone at night. No matter if you’re a guy or a girl, get one of these!
You never know when it might save your life. Better safe than sorry!
There you have it, 44 dorm hacks that will make your life on campus much more enjoyable! Hopefully this post was helpful to you : )
By the way, if you think of any dorm hacks that you think I should include in the list, don’t hesitate below and let me know.