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If I Was in College: My Top 5 Back-to-School Dorm Picks

9:37 AM

I remember my first (and only) year living in a dorm as a freshman at a private college.  I remember thinking that I was ill-equipped for dorm life, due to not having many of the things that make a dorm comfy and practical.  Luckily, I had roommates with the best gear for college, and they were great at sharing.  This still leaves me with a wishlist of things that I would want for my kids to have in their dorms someday.

Here are my top picks for today's dorm room, and all items are available at Walmart or  (Sadly, my local store didn't have much for dorm furnishings this year, but all of the items in this list can be purchased online.  Note that I use affiliate links for some of these items, but it doesn't change my opinion of how much I love these products!)

1.  Bean Bag Chairs

The one item I could find at my local store, they had an entire aisle dedicated to them.

Bean bag chairs have really evolved over the years, morphing from flat, deflated "bags" to more structured chairs that can support full-sized college students.  I remember thinking "I wish I had someplace to sit other than my bed" and feeling really uncomfortable entertaining friends in my dorm without any real lounge furniture.  A couple of bean bags like the Big Joe Bean Bag Chair (they come with cup holders!) can solve this problems for under $30 each on Rollback!

2.  Mini Fridge

Something that was considered a luxury in the 90's is now kind of standard issue for many dorms.  New improvements in the mini-fridge genre have turned this essential food storage solution into a fashion trend (check out the Hello Kitty fridge for an example) or even a way to communicate via dry erase finish!

3.  Charging Station

In 1996, we had landlines, and the dorm phone was only used when we could roundup minutes for our phone cards.  Today, kids all have their own cells, tablets, and laptops, making an organized charging station a necessity.  Something as simple as this charging port can have all the roomies charging their gear at the same time -- all from one outlet.  (We know how precious the few outlets are that come in today's dorm rooms.)

4.  Storage Trunks

Closet space is usually disappointing in many dorms, and extra storage can be the difference between knowing where things are and having your stuff destroyed.  These storage trunks were one of the neatest items I saw this year in Walmart's dorm collection; they are tough, rugged, and can help with the process of moving, storing, and organizing all year long!  (They are even on rollback right now; just $44 buys you a wheeled trunk in on one of 4 colors!)

5.  Bedding

I still have the bedding from my college years (90's, anyone?) but kids these days want a variation of styles, from trend pieces to athletic licensed gear.  I love the line of NCAA college comforters and sheets.  I even found this comfy throw in Nebraska Cornhusker style for under $30!

Did you have a must-have list of gear for your college son or daughter?  If you could go back in time, what would you make sure to take with you during your first year of college?

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I've received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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