Find your dorm room necessities

two young men in a small dorm room
two young men in a small dorm room

Back-to-school ads are full of products that you need to be cool at school, but how many of these products can you realistically fit into your shared, jail cell-sized dorm room? What's the key to picking out the dorm room necessities from the things that will make your space look like an episode of Hoarders?

"Organization is key," said Andrew Skipper, an interior designer and two-year dorm veteran at Bethal College. When you live in a shared, small, temporary space, anything that helps your room look and stay organized is a dorm room necessity.

Finding out the quirks of your space will help you focus on things to keep organized and eliminate things you don't need or that won't fit. When Skipper found out that his dorm room closet didn't have a door, his dorm room necessities became items that made his closet eye pleasing instead of an eyesore. "I wanted the closet to look appealing and stay organized," he said. "So, I bought all matching hangers and baskets for shoes and hats, and a taller hamper for dirty clothes."

When picking your dorm necessities think space saving.The fewer things you have, the easier it will be be keep it all in order. Skipper coordinated with his roommates to make sure they didn't bring overlapping items. Skipper was in charge of kitchen appliances and tried to buy things that could serve more than one purpose. "I brought a combination microwave and toaster that was very space saving," he said.