Moving into a college dorm room is overwhelming and costly. It can be difficult to decide what to bring and what to leave at home. It is best to keep these two things in mind: Be organized and prepared.



Each college will have their own rules and regulations while you live in the dorms. It is important to read up on what will be allowed. Yes, they will be checking your dorm to make sure you do not have contraband.

In a small dorm room, it is important to maximize space by keeping things organized. Also, if you know your roommate, it may help to ask them what they plan on bringing. A mini-fridge is very important but you do not need two.

So, here are some things you probably forgot to budget in and can purchase at Goodwill without breaking the bank.


Storage boxes

Clear storage bins keep things easy to find and fit under your bed. Any sort of storage will help with organization.



Office Supplies

Pencil holders, staplers, rubber bands… the list of supplies go on and on. Be unique and turn regular items into cool office organizers.

Iron or Hand Steamer

Let’s face it, your clean clothes will probably stay in a laundry basket and even if they are put away wrinkles are inevitable. Having an iron handy will save the day.


Slow cooker or hot plate

If your dorm allows them get yourself a slow cooker and a hot plate. You can make all sorts of slow cooking recipes. This saves you time and money.



To store all the salads you will be making trying to avoid the “Freshman 15.”



Plates and silverware

Purchasing disposable plates is costly and bad for the environment. Use cute plastic plates instead.

Reading light

You need to study, but your roommate has a 7 a.m. class. Reading lights help avoid using the bright fluorescent dorm room lights.



Cork board

You can add monthly calendars, shopping lists and to do lists. You can share the cork board with your roommate to help keep you both organized.



We hope the next few years are filled with fun and learning! We would love to see how you decorate your dorm room.

Tag us on Facebook (Goodwill Industries of San Diego County), Instagram (@goodwillsandiego), and Twitter (@goodwillsd) so we can see your finished product.