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When shopping for your college dorm, everyone knows the main dorm essentials you need to buy. There’s the twin XL sheet, a shower caddy, shower shoes, laundry basket, bed risers, etc. — you’re definitely familiar with the list by now. On the flip side, there’s also the fun dorm decor things like twinkle lights, photo collages and ottomans with hidden storage.
However, there are a handful of under-the-radar dorm decor essentials that can turn your cinderblock and linoleum forced-triple into your home. They’re also completely unnecessary by all means but can make or break your living space. For me, that was a monogrammed mug from Anthropologie that my roommates knew was mine and only mine. It was special, and I loved it for nearly a decade — until it shattered a few months ago.
Take it from me, a professional online shopper and lifestyle editor who has already been through four years of shared college dorms: Finding those special things is as essential as soft twin XL sheets.
Keep scrolling below for some totally unnecessary but also completely necessary dorm decor essentials that are actually fun.
1. A very special mug that’s uniquely yours
Wild Sage Zodiac Mug, $1.40 (Orig. $7)
Milk Mug, $10
Blockprinted Monogram Mug, $9.60 (Orig. $12)
Dogs Mug, $10
2. A portable humidifier to quench your thirsty skin during finals
ONUEMP Cactus Humidifiers with Night Light, $15.99 (Orig. $18.99)
Pure Enrichment MistAire Cloud Ultrasonic Humidifier Mood Light, $39.99 (Orig. $49.99)
Small Portable 1-Liter Humidifier, $19.98 (Orig. $29.85)
3. A small popcorn maker for Netflix marathons
Dash Smartstone Stirring Popcorn Maker, $29.99 (Orig. $49.99)
Dash Fresh Pop Popcorn Maker, $24.99
W&P Popcorn Popper in Charcoal, $17.59 (Orig. $21.99)
4. Aesthetic candles that double as decor
Editor’s Note: Fair warning, expensive dorm fines are very real. Try not to set off any smoke alarms and hide the burned wicks from your RA — or just decorate with candles that you don’t want to burn!
GOODIES Smiley x Goodies Take the Time to Smile Candle, $27 (Orig. $45)
LEX POTT Twist Candle, $20 (Orig. $40)
Homesick Location Candle, $19-$38
If you liked this story, shop these editor-approved picks from Nordstrom.
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