Ready or not, school season is upon us! If school season this year means heading to college, it’s time to stock up on the essentials. While notebooks and binders are still important, it’s time to focus on basics for living on your own, like cleaning supplies, kitchen products, pantry essentials and other items to make a dorm feel like home.
To help you out, we have compiled a list of 16 dorm room essentials. Here, you’ll find everything from cleaning supplies to pillow misters, so you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way! Many of the products have been made with sustainability in mind, making them a great way to keep up (or kickstart) an eco-conscious lifestyle.
Dorm essentials #1: Cleaning supplies
These reusable cloths are perfect for those inevitable spills and gunk buildup. They absorb seven times their weight and are machine washable. They’re also non-toxic and earth friendly, making them a great alternative to paper towels.
Messes are expected in any living space, and this dustpan set is the perfect size for dorm living. Made from a combination of bamboo and recycled materials, this adorable little set can fit in those dorm crevices that a regular broom can’t, and it will help you keep your room in tidy for when the parents come visit.
If you find that dusting results in shuffling dust from one part of the room to the other, it’s time to invest in this microfiber duster. It collects and traps dust for a true clean. On top of that, it’s washable and made of bamboo and recycled plastic. Use this in all the hard to reach places, like corners, crevices and high surfaces.
Made with loops to provide extra scrubbing power, you can use these cloths to pre-clean your dorm before adding a personal touch. After a good scrubbing, they can be machine washed and then used to wash dishes or other dirty surfaces.
This cleaner doesn’t mess around. Made of naturally-derived surfactants and essential oils, this all-purpose cleaner can wash everything, including laundry, dishes and wood floors. It’s vegan, certified biodegradable and made without additives.
Dorm essentials #2: Kitchen items
Break your addiction to single-use sandwich bags with this set. It includes two bags: one stands upright for grabbable snacks while the other is perfect for a sandwich or wrap. These bags are dishwasher-safe, freezer-safe and dry-erase friendly for labeling.
Perfect for a long day in the library, this lunch box comes with removable containers and stainless-steel utensils. All the containers are microwavable and dishwasher-safe. Another bonus: it comes with a stand for your phone to scroll or stream while eating.
Whether you have access to a full kitchen or a communal stove, these mixing bowls are essential. They’re microwaveable, dishwasher-safe and made of recycled plastic. Each bowl in the 3-piece set is a different size for different needs with convenient handles for pouring. Best of all, they’re recyclable anywhere that accepts #5 plastic!
Dorm essentials #3: Pantry must-haves
Ramen is a must-have college classic, and luckily there are a number of delicious, healthy options. All the ingredients in Dr. McDougall’s Vegan Miso Ramen are non-GMO, and the noodles are organic and baked – not fried. Just add water and microwave for a quick, protein-packed snack.
This vegan and gluten-free take on macaroni and cheese is perfect for the health-conscious college student. Made with organic and non-GMO ingredients, it comes together easily with just a stove and a pot.
Protein bars are one of the saving graces of the busy college schedule. These protein bars are nutrient-packed and full of vegan protein and clean ingredients, making them a great breakfast substitute or midday snack. They come in various flavors, but this peanut butter chocolate chip is a favorite. The chocolate is Fair Trade Certified and the rest of the ingredients are organic, soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO. Not only will your taste buds be happy, so will your body and mind.
One great almond milk brand now has individual 8-ounce cartons. These portable portions are a great college pantry addition that doesn’t crowd the mini fridge, and it can act as a coffee creamer or breakfast beverage.
Dorm essentials #4: Personal care
Accidents happen, so be prepared with the most adorable first-aid kit you’ve ever seen. Welly’s First Aid Kit is compact yet full of essentials, including bandages, butterfly strips, ointments, pain relief and more. You’ll be happy to have this kit on hand.
If you’re committed to reducing waste, composting is worth considering. Do a bit of research on compost drop-off sites on or near your campus, and read up on the maintenance involved to minimize odors and pests in the process. Then pat yourself on the back for doing a service to the planet and for future generations! This compost bin is small enough for a counter and comes fully equipped with compostable bags and a slow decomposition method that minimizes unpleasant odors.
Can’t imagine anything better than a cool pillow at the end of a long day? What about a cool pillow that smells like lavender? This “pillow potion” uses essential oils to optimize relaxation and relieve stress. This could be the missing piece to your nighttime routine.
A little essential oil goes a long way in a dorm room, and this diffuser is an uncomplicated all-in-one solution. This diffuser uses repurposed wood and natural oils to give a steady release of delicious honeysuckle into your room. The unique twist design allows you to control the intensity of the scent. Adjust to your liking and it will provide up to 45 days of scent!