Need to decorate a dorm room? Here are some key pieces

It’s time to start thinking about the student in your life

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As we close in on August, students preparing for school are planning — with help from their parents — their room set up. Choosing and ordering supplies early will ensure they arrive in time for the first day. I’ve put together a list of the school must-haves every student needs, whether you’re staying home or going off to study.

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Here’s what you need to study hard, sleep well and stay organized all year.

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The work desk is the hub of your study life. If living in a dorm, chances are your work surface is already there — a built-in desk with drawers that has probably served hundreds of students.

If you need a desk, consider a lightweight style with just a few drawers (trust me, students move frequently and a desk that takes three people to move will not make you popular). Look for one that can be disassembled and easily stored, which is handy if you move home in the summer.

A comfortable ergonomically designed chair (because you’ll be sitting for many hours) will keep you from slumping or falling asleep and a good lamp (look for gooseneck-style lamps with built-in wireless chargers and USB ports) for those all-nighters is a necessity.

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Finish up with a file box for papers, charging wires and your stash of office supplies. Now you’re all set to hit the books.


One of the best ways to ensure a successful school year is to get back into a good sleep routine. A comfortable, supportive mattress (if you’ve ever slept on a dorm room “mattress,” you’ll know why I’m including a mattress here), fresh pillow and cozy bedding will ensure you sleep well at night.

A real sleep treat is the Twin XL Polysleep memory foam mattress (it’s made for dorm-sized bed frames). Unlike other foam mattresses, the Polysleep Mattress has a firm foam support frame to keep it from flattening out, a liquid-repellent cover to minimize spills or accidents and, for comfort, it boasts a hybrid foam which conforms to the body to relieve pressure points.

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Add microplush or flannel bedding for a touch of coziness, and sleep will be the easiest job you have this year.

A good mattress is vital for rest during a busy school year.
A good mattress is vital for rest during a busy school year.

Where to buy: Polysleep


Most student bedrooms and dorm rooms are small, so extra storage is key to staying organized and looking good throughout the school year. Small rooms are short on floor space, so I’m a big believer in getting vertical with storage.

Students can add the equivalent storage of a small dresser without taking up precious floor space. Bed Bath And Beyond
Students can add the equivalent storage of a small dresser without taking up precious floor space. Bed Bath And Beyond

If allowed, floating bookshelves are a great way to keep things off the floor. Hooks over doors are perfect for elevating knapsacks and tote bags, and closet organizers help you fit and hide everything in an orderly way.

The Square Away Six-Shelf Hanging Organizer ($35) found at Bed Bath and Beyond keeps folded items in sight and easy to reach without sacrificing too much vertical closet space, yet it offers the equivalent amount of storage as a small dresser. For the student who likes their fashion, I suggest thin velvet hangers, which give you up to 30 per cent more hanging space in the closet.

Also worth mentioning, Amazon offers Prime membership for students for $4.99/month.

Do you have a decor dilemma or want more decor inspiration? Follow Karl on Instagram @karl_lohnes.

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