Dorm Room Essentials: The Hoya’s Guide to Freshman Living

The average dorm room for a Georgetown freshman runs just under 200 square feet — and that’s if you’re not shacked up in the friendly confines of Village C. But a few smart investments can go a long way toward making effective use of the space you have. Before you head out shopping, add these to your dorm essentials list and make the most of your new, modestly sized abode.

Command Hooks + Command Strips

Command strips and hooks are a college student’s best friend. The easy-to-use, removable adhesive strips are perfect for hanging up posters to give your sparsely decorated dorm a personal touch. The convenient hooks also allow you to take advantage of every bit of space: Consider investing in several hooks to hang your shower caddy — yes, you’ll need one — towels, jackets and even accessories like belts and purses.

Under-Bed Storage

This one’s a must. Under-bed storage — even if it’s just the spare suitcase you used to move in — is key to fitting all of your prized possessions into your new home. It’s also perfect for storing things you’ll rarely use but probably need, like your winter coat for that one snow day a year or the philosophy textbook you reluctantly bought but probably won’t open.

Pro tip: Check out your room before you buy storage. It’ll help you get a sense of the amount of space you’re working with and what types of storage will work best in your new digs.

Spare Bedding

Every college student — and, probably, every functioning adult — needs a spare set of sheets. Your mom probably told you so already, and you may have scoffed, but she was right: Bring spare sheets. You will eventually spill an entire cup of coffee on your sheets at 4 a.m. during finals; plan ahead, rather than being the kid doing laundry in the middle of the night just so they can get those four hours of sleep.


Small, desktop mirrors and full-length mirrors alike are good additions to your new pad, especially if you don’t have your own bathroom. If you’re thinking about a full-length mirror, coordinate with your new roomie to make sure they’re not already bringing one — one is enough! Save some space by hanging it on your door or closet. Or, if you’d prefer something more compact, desk mirrors are perfect for helping you get ready in the morning.


You won’t have your own kitchen in your freshman dorm, so you might think you won’t need any dishes. Nevertheless, having just a few dishes can be all the difference when it’s pouring rain outside and you’d rather not trek to O’Donovan Hall. Consider stocking up with a bowl and plate, some utensils and a quirky mug. That way, you’ll be able to cook for yourself in the common room when Leo’s is closed over Easter break, or when you just really want to try that mug cake recipe that you keep seeing on BuzzFeed.


Though the Resident Hall Offices do carry vacuum cleaners, you’ll be competing with hundreds of other residents to get a hold of one. Even then, they can often be unreliable. Having your own vacuum can come in handy when your friends spill popcorn all over your floor or if you break something fragile. Be warned though: You might end up as the only one of your friends with a vacuum, in which case, be prepared to loan it out.

For the especially fastidious, buy a vacuum with a detachable, handheld component to help you clean hard-to-reach spaces.

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