Author: Katie Martin

Once you've gotten all of your dorm room essentials, it's about time to acquire your nonessentials. Here's some ideas:

1. Décor - Thrift Stores or Online (


I'm a fan of personalizing my space when I'm bored and have a lot of free time. So, alright, about these penguins: I got them at Salvation Army for 50 cents each my freshman year, and they've stayed with me ever since. In the beginning, I was never specifically on the hunt for framed penguins, but it just shows that you never know what you'll find! Then again, if you're looking for some normal posters, I have a few that I've gotten for a decent price online, too. Try Amazon or AllPosters.


2. Glade PlugIns - $2.98 at Walmart


I'd never thought that I'd become this person, but I'm a huge fan of air fresheners. It all began when, last year, I had a neighbor that must've had like 5-6 air freshness up and running at once because, whenever I walked into her room, I was immediately suffocated by the scent of lavender. And I absolutely loved it. Right away, I bought a stand-alone air freshener that sat on my desk but was ineffective - I think the key is to get the ones that plug into something. Right now, I have the Glade Apple Cinnamon PlugIn, and I think I like it so far!  I'll keep you updated, but I'm pretty sure I don't need to make any more air freshener investments in the near future. It seems that one is pleasant enough on its own without being too overwhelming.


3. Plastic Laundry Basket on Wheels $15.99 at Target


I think most people have some sort of mesh laundry bag/hamper that can only support up to like two loads of laundry. I must have different standards of measurement than these laundry bag companies because I've consistently broken one after the other. In total, 3, maybe 4. So this year, I decided that I needed a new strategy and came across this Sterilite laundry hamper that fits snugly into my closet. The wheels are good for the weak and haven't-done-laundry-in-awhile, and I'm sure it'll be entertaining enough wheeling it through the halls of Cavanaugh.


4. Storage Ottoman - $16.88 at Walmart


I use these mostly as a foot rest now, but they were the primary guest seating during my freshman year when my roommates and I didn't have a futon (we had a cramped forced triple, yikes!). I also study and do homework while sitting on my futon, so all of my books and notes are right under my feet (literally ha-ha) and are easily accessible. Also, to note, these particular ones are sort of cheap, so don't jump on and off them. (I already had to throw one away.)


5. Lanyard and Command Hook - $4.29 per pack of Command Hooks at Office Depot


I spend half my life searching for my room key and ID card, so I would recommend keeping them both on a lanyard or plastic ID badge (I've gotten these in the campus bookstore) and hanging it up on the same Command hook whenever you walk in your room. Obviously, I don't follow this advice but it doesn't keep me from dishing it out. 


That's all I got. I tried really hard to think of things that you don't really need, but might want anyway ;) Hope this gets you started!