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Deck the Dorm with Pans & Post-Its: Add These Essentials to Your Dorm Room Checklist

2016 August 16
by Emily Hill

Bet you don’t have ‘wireless router’ on your dorm room checklist, but that’s okay because your college co-ed can snag one with her new Amazon Prime Student account. Warning: It might be more awesome than your Prime account.

Deck the Dorm with Pans & Post-Its: Add These Essentials to Your Dorm Room Checklist

I love Amazon Prime as much as I love Diet Coke, and I don’t make that comparison lightly. From pomade to powdered peanut butter and everything in between, an Amazon Prime box hits our porch once a week (at least). In fact, I’m expecting a box today containing essentials for Madison’s college dorm.

You know you’re a grownup when you start getting practical items for your birthday.

The iron and hand mixer she’s receiving are two of about 102 items we’re gathering so we can deck out her dorm room when she moves down to BYU this weekend. After chatting with her future roommates (one of whom is already living on campus) and her mom who lived in the same dorms once upon a time, Madison compiled a fairly comprehensive list of dorm essentials. I won’t bore you with the basics I’m sure are already on your dorm room checklist (dishes, towels, bedding), but I did want to share a few you might not have thought to include:


  • Liquid measuring cup. This is especially important if you’re baking lots of brownies.
  • Sharp knives. I’m not talking steak knives; I’m talking a good chef’s knife and utility knife. I’ve seen lots of affordable knives on Amazon with solid reviews.
  • Reusable food storage containers. We stocked up on disposable ones knowing they’d probably find their way into the other apartments.
  • Pots & pans. Let’s be honest, college students mostly cook grilled cheese, quesadillas, mac & cheese and pasta but once in a while they’ll want to entertain. Check with roommates to find out who’s bringing what; you don’t need six sets of pans but more than one set can come in handy.
  • Pot holders. For those countless batches of brownies.
  • Cutting board. The flexible cutting mats are thin and lightweight (i.e., easy to pack).


  • Alarm clock. Yes, they have an alarm on their smartphones but it’s always good to have a backup…especially during finals week. We found one an Amazon that projects the time onto the ceiling. Madison loves it.
  • Accessory hanger. This is a great way to keep jewelry organized when space is limited.
  • Space-saving hangers. We love the velvet-lined, super thin hangers. No stretched-out shoulders or slippage.
  • Shoe organizer. If you don’t have room for a shoe rack on the floor, grab one that hangs over the closet door.
  • Three-drawer storage container. This can double as a nightstand and offers extra storage. You can also pick up under-the-bed storage containers for packing away winter clothes and other seasonal items.
  • Bluetooth speaker. You’ll find this makes its way into the bathroom, kitchen, rec room and the picnic basket.
  • Color printer. I so wish I’d had a printer so I wasn’t at the mercy of the computer lab and its normal business hours. Who finishes a paper before 9:00 p.m.???


  • Plastic caddy. If counter space is limited, consider a caddy for keeping bath & body essentials organized and portable.
  • Bath sheet. I’m a believer in the bath sheet. It’s bigger than a bath towel and provides more coverage and drying ability—important perks when trying to get ready in an apartment of six girls.
  • Hand mirror. You never know when you might have to get ready in your room. Or the kitchen.


  • Plasti-Tak. Nails, thumbtacks and tape are frowned upon in most dorms. If you want to hang something, hang it with Plasti-tak. Plus kneading it doubles as a great stress reliever.
  • Post-It Notes. Every dorm room needs a Post-It wall. It’s where you document inside jokes, funny quotes and conversation snippets.
  • Umbrella. It sounds obvious but I bet you forget to pack it. (We will too.)
  • Flashlight. You never know when you might need it. Plus it’s great for night games.
  • 6-outlet extension cord. Self-explanatory.
  • Wireless router. Madison’s dorm provides internet but if you want WiFi, you have to bring your own wireless router.

I have no doubt there will be more to buy once Madison has been living in her dorm room for a week or two, but Nathan and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary in Europe so she’ss going to have to do her own Amazon Prime-ing. Fortunately for her, there’s Amazon Prime Student.

Amazon Prime Student

I’d love for my daughter’s first semester at college to be as stress-free as possible. She’s going to experience plenty of learning opportunities, most of which will come in those first few weeks. Since her parents will be busy dining on croissants in Paris, I’m totally going to encourage (i.e., strongly recommend and constantly remind) her to sign up for the six-month sponsored trial (thank you, Sprint) of Amazon Prime Student.

Amazon Prime Student

By signing up, that brilliant student of mine can access:

  • Free two-day shipping: No explanation of this awesomeness needed.
  • Unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video: Watch thousands of movies, TV shows and award-winning Amazon Originals on your compatible TV, laptop, Fire TV, smartphone or choice of more than 600 devices.
  • Exclusive deals and promotions for students plus sweepstakes, giveaways, and contests.
  • Textbook savings: Goodbye campus bookstore, hello extra time and money! Skip the line and ridiculous costs by purchasing textbooks through Amazon Prime Student and have the books shipped directly to your doorstep.
  • Prime Photos: Store unlimited photos securely (and for free!) with Prime Photos.
  • Refer-a-friend credit: Refer a friend and both of you will receive a $5 credit!

After her six-month trial, Amazon Prime Student is only $49 a year—at’s half the price of a regular Amazon Prime membership—and includes over a million songs with Prime Music and one free pre-released book a month with Kindle First.

Dude. Maybe I’ll go back to school as Madison’s roommate.

You could always surprise your college co-ed with an Amazon Prime Student account as a belated graduation present or dorm-warming gift. It’s pretty much a dorm essential at this point. Perhaps I should add it under Miscellaneous in the dorm room checklist…

For more information, check out Amazon Prime Student online.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls. The content and opinions expressed here are my own.


Looking for more good ideas? Try browsing my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board. I guarantee you’ll find quite a few!



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