Article by Greg Narayan (founder) — What’s the best part about starting college? Lots of things, but among them is leaving your parents’ house and living on your own.
However there are few things more depressing than an empty dorm room with just the stock bed and desk your college gives you. If you’re shrewd and thrifty like me, your “all set up” room will include a fan and your hoodie as a pillow and not much else. But as the year goes on you’ll need a bit more, so read on below.
Note: Buying online ahead of time will save you mountains over the prices in your college store, or even at the local Target.
This time-saving post can serve as your GUIDE as you furnish your dorm room.
The Big Stuff: Furniture (6 reviews)
You’re going to need a sofa or futon if your dorm has any extra space. Also a huge plus for visitors. Here are some good steals on futons, mini-couches, fold-out beds, and pillows we found, along with the nitty details:
>>Hillsdale Furniture Geneva Futon, Black Powder Coat
Our Review: Okay so we picked a few futons. Each has its qualities. This is small enough for a tight-size dorm room. Homestyle look. More details on Amazon. Pricetag: $108: Great Deal!
>>Beige Finish Futon Sofa Bed
Our Review: Assembly required but under 1hr. Beige finish feels great to sleep on, goes with lots. If you’re not the cleanest person, this will show stains/look dirty after two weeks. More details on Amazon. Pricetag: $225: Standard Price
>>Acme Chocolate Microfiber Adjustable Sofa
Our Review: Chocolate finish has a professor’s study look to it. Comfy enough to sleep, though button holes are annoying. Get a cover or at least sheet set for this one. Modern finish. Need ample space but works as a bed substitute. More details on Amazon. Pricetag: $213: Deal
>>Ikea Orgel Tall Floor Lamp
Our Review: Great combo of simple and stylish lighting. I had these that hung from the ceiling, always got compliments on how contemporary they looked. Lost one from my set and was sad for a week. Pricetag: $35: Deal
>>4-panel Black Room Divider by Shoji Screen
Our Review: Worried about privacy? Have a stranger as a roommate? This 4 panel make-shift wall will let you change, skype, eat, whatever you want in privacy. Recommended for all freshmen, and wisely placed by your closet. Easily moveable. Pricetag: $48: Deal
The Expensive Stuff: Electronics (5 reviews)
Maybe your parents help out, maybe you worked hard in highschool. If you can afford it, nice gadgets will make your dorm the social hangout you always wanted.
>>Toshiba 24-Inch 1080p 60 Hz LED-LCD HDTV, Black
Our Review: Basically an awesome HD television thats also durable to dorm room wear and tear. We threw a few things (nerf football) at it and it responded well. TVs are inexpensive nowadays, but this price is still ridiculously low. Pricetag: $190: Great Deal!
>>Lasko Tower Heater with Remote Control
Our Review: This thing literally SAVES you in a cold/cooler room. Takes up no space, lightweight, and heats a room in 10 minutes. Remote control allows timed settings of 1hr, 2hrs, etc thru 7hrs long. Also has a turn-off setting when it reaches desired heat. Pricetag: $43: Great Deal!
>>Altec Lansing Octane Computer Speakers
Our Review: These are worth getting excited over. No blown out speakers after 4 years use and bass loud enough to fill the whole room and be heard down the hall. This is Altec Lansing’s newest version. Will NOT be disappointed. Pricetag: $70: Deal
>>Canon PIXMA MX420 Wireless Office All-in-One Printer (4789B018)
Our Review: This printer does all types of jobs, and the wireless components will save you time and space (doesn’t need to be right next to the computer). You will have to set up wireless settings (alright, Dad!) and don’t forget to get Canon Ink Cartridges for your new printer. Pricetag: $106: Deal
>>Black & Decker Toast-R-Oven Classic 4-Slice Countertop
Our Review: Unless you always forget to turn things off, GET A TOASTER OVER. Sneak bagels back from the dining hall, and cook them late night or for breakfast. Or Poptarts, if you’re a sweet tooth. Pricetag: $46: Great Deal!
The Stuff Mom is Good With: Bedding (3 reviews)
Tip: We recommend spending a little more here, it’s stuff you’ll likely use all through college. Tip 2: Buying this stuff online really saves you money, with instore markups sitting at up to 50%.
>>Chezmoi Collection 7-Piece White, Grey, and Black Lily with Leaf Applique Comforter Bed-in-a-bag Queen Size Bedding
Our Review: Very girly look to it, and very elegant. Simple white design with lily leaf pattern. Found similar products instore at around $120-$150. Pricetag: $70: Deal
>>8 Pieces Blue Beige Brown Luxury Stripe Comforter Bed-in-a-bag Set Queen Size Bedding From: Amazon.com
Our Review: More masculine look. Pleated and comfortable on the surface. Goes with lots of decor. Pricetag: $63: Deal
>>ComfortTech 3M Thinsulate Fur Cyprus Full/Queen Blanket, Chocolate
Our Review: Efficient warm blanket made by 3M, the Post-it! guys. This thing is large and comfy, and just in general a great addition to your bed if you live East Coast or Midwest where it gets chilly. A minimalist’s blanket. Pricetag: $65: Standard Price
The Random Stuff You’ll Need
>>Fruit of the Loom Men’s 4 pack low rise collection fashion boxer brief
Our Review: Guys gotta have extra underwear, because the laundry monster definitely exists in college. Pricetag: $20: Standard price
We’ll update this guide with more cheap ideas soon. As of now it’s only beginning of summer, but just like it always does August will come soon. Prepare now! Whadya think? Let’s here about it in the comments
Full Disclaimer: Honest College is a member of Amazon’s affiliates program and earns a small commission when you purchase anything via the above link paths. The said, it’s not as if we blindly chose 47 things to review with the hopes you buy 10 of each of them. The above items are listed because they a) inexpensive and b) yield good results. You will be satisfied should you purchase anything.