As the summer winds to a close, families with college-age students are making that annual pilgrimage to Ikea or Bed Bath and Beyond to stock up on the supplies they need to make sure their dorm rooms are comfortable and stylish.
It’s become a huge business, with total college back-to-school spending hitting a record high of $5.9 billion this year. The average family plans to spend more than $100 on dorm room furnishings, according to the National Retail Federation.
While you probably already know that you need extra-long sheets for your bed and a caddy to haul your toiletries to the shower, the items on the school-supplied packing list aren’t going to add much personality to your room.
While crafty students can probably come up with plenty of DIY ways to pump up the pizzazz factor, not everyone wants or needs to spend hours with a hot glue gun or washi tape. For those looking for more of an off-the-shelf solution, there are a host of new gadgets and fun accessories that turn an otherwise drab space into one of the coolest rooms on campus -- or at least on your floor.
Some of the items on our list are all about form, while others are more focused on function. It’s not easy to make the most efficient use of the small space supplied in most dorm rooms, but the items on this list can definitely help.