Graduation is behind you and before you know it, you'll be college bound. If you're anything like most headed off to campus, you'll know the best is yet to come. It's officially time to shop for dorm life! There's a lot to think about when it comes to what you'll need, but you're about to shop for the tiniest living space you've probably ever had. The good news is, besides prepping for your future dreams, you're also about to have the time of your life. To help you and your mom from making your share of the same rookie mistakes we've all made, read on for the dorm essentials that will turn your dorm room into a space that feels like home for the next 4 semesters. Our mantra? Your Space, Your Style.


Get as much info from your college as you can about your dorm room. Measurements of your room layout are typically available even if they don't arrive in an "official" dorm info package. We promise, your college expects these questions.

Connect with your roommate. If you haven't already, we can't stress this enough because a.) who needs two refrigerators and b.) you might or might not want to coordinate your room decor. It's a good idea to chat it up about some things and if you're a freshman, your roommate will probably be your first friend.

Express yourself. Your new dorm room and campus life is the start of a new chapter and you get to decorate something that's all about you. Whether your a Fashion Addict, College Prepster, Music Maven or have a Boho Chic style, show your colors!

Organize your packing list. We love a good to-do and packing list. Decide what you really need to buy right now and what can wait for your first trip to Target post arrival.

Last, but not least. Remember, dorm rooms are small. Think compact and repeat after us with these two ideas when you shop: LESS is MORE + KEEP IT CONTAINED.


 Design Ideas  MacGregor Collection .

Design Ideas MacGregor Collection.

Shop Dorm | Desk.

The Desk. All dorm rooms need a clean, organized and well lit place to work and study and every desk needs the proper tools and accessories well within reach to do the job. Keep it together, stack it up and store it in style to create a cool study spot. Consider your desk and workspace one of the key areas to show your big personality.

Shown here: kate spade new york Couture agenda, russell + hazel gold stapler, Umbra Trigon Memo Board, The Pink Orange Ampersand Clipboard, Lilly Pulitzer Tusk in Sun Agenda.


Get ready to hit the showers. When it comes to dorm bath needs, think cosmetics, personal care items, bath towels, shower necessities and storage to keep it all together. You're going to have some serious needs for cosmetic and makeup organizers, drawer organizers, cosmetic cases and organizers, a hair dryer holder, shower caddy, a super cute vanity tray and most importantly, a tote to carry all your stuff from your dorm room to the communal showers.

Keeping your closet NEAT. You probably spent the last few weeks (and most of your budget) shopping for your college wardrobe. Now, you need to figure out where to put it all in your new space. No worries. Hanging storage, shoe storage, extra drawers, wall racks, scarf storage, storage boxes and bins all create the extra storage space you're going to need. Oh, and don't forget bed risers for underbed storage. This is a great space to keep off season clothing, such as blankets, sweaters and coats.

Kitchen stuff.  You're obviously going to need a few kitchen items for your dorm room and while they'll differ from what you'll need for setting up your first apartment, melamine and acrylic are good choices for students with busy schedules. Acrylic glasses, melamine plates, tidbit trays, cute napkins and coasters are some of the necessities for those weekly soirees. Don't forget a vegetable peeler, cutting board, grater and tools for healthy daytime eats.

Shown here: kate spade new your Eat Cake for Breakfast Mug, kate spade new york Gold Dot Acrylic Glasses, kate spade new york Pink Water Bottle, Umbra Buddy Paper Towel Holder.

 Alexandra Ferguson  #SORRYNOTSORRY Pillow

Alexandra Ferguson #SORRYNOTSORRY Pillow

Dorm Decor: HUGE Confetti toss! Because decorating your dorm just got really fun. Moving into your dorm or apartment is exciting and taking care of the basics is a must. We know you can't wait to decorate the space you're about to live in for the next year, so have fun shopping wall décor and cork boards from Umbra, picture frames from kate spade new york, decorative trays for dorm room soirees along with the cutest typographic pillows you have EVER seen from Alexandra Ferguson. Remember to pick up a few candles to make your room smell really good and most of all…express yourself as you decorate your dorm room.

LAUNDRY? We hate to break it to you, but you will be doing your own laundry for the next four semesters. No worries, we've got you covered with everything you need for your dorm laundry needs. From laundry hampers, laundry bags, laundry sorters, dorm size ironing boards that tuck away, drying racks and laundry essentials from The Laundress and Murchison-Hume. Once you're settled, all you'll need is a trip to your nearest Target for the basics.

 kate spade new york  storage and desk . Image c/o  It's Not Her It's Me .

kate spade new york storage and desk. Image c/o It's Not Her It's Me.

Let's talk STORAGE. We swear, no matter how light you pack for your dorm or first apartment, there never seems to be enough space. That's where cool storage comes in. Color coordinate it with your decor, add great color, patterns and stripes and keep things contained. Now that you have your own space, you'll be surprised at how much you want to keep it pretty neat.


  Brick Wall Memo Board  by Design Ideas

Brick Wall Memo Board by Design Ideas

There's an art to decorating walls and doors, and while we're no Picasso, we've got your style. Put some color on those walls, utilize wasted wall space and let's be perfectly clear that you cannot waste one square inch of your dorm room. It just so happens that we also have a pretty cool memo board selection.

THE NO HOLES IN WALLS RULE: Since decorating your walls permanently is out of the question, this is where COMMAND hooks come in to hang art work and frames. You can find them at our other favorite store, Target. If you haven't already, check out Chasing Paper for some super chic removable wallpaper. We're talking instant charm.

We know girls and guys just wanna have fun designing and decorating their first very own space, so that's why we got together with some of our favorite brands to bring you Fab Finds at The Organizing Store. We mean, who doesn't want a cool Crosley record player to spin that vinyl, vintage marquee lights, the latest gold jewelry organizers from Umbra or a kate spade new york agenda?

xx // allie + deb