Back to School Essentials for 2020

Top picks for the dorm room, plus studying essentials and more from students at Manhattan College.

Spring-Photo-Shoot-Ologie_04.20.15_466.jpgWhat are the best buys for back to school? We asked two student lifestyle publications their favorite items for decorating a dorm bedroom (or re-decorating your home living space!) and staying focused this semester. 

Here's what Manhattan College's Her Campus chapter and Lotus magazine had to say:

Bed/Bath Essentials 

The Bedroom

  • Bedding sets (comfortor and sheets): Make sure to research which size bed your college dorm will have before buying any bedding! Some dorm rooms may have twin beds but others could have Twin XL.
  • Throw pillows and a comfy blanket: cover your bed with a bunch of pillows and blankets to make your dorm room feel like home.
  • Twin XL mattress protector and Twin XL mattress topper  
  • Inflatable mattress for when friends come to visit
  • Hubby pillow will save your back when you’re sitting up in bed doing work
  • Bed rest pillows are a must-have for for doing work in bed
  • Bed risers are great if you like a bit of elevation. Risers also allow for under-bed storage
  • Tension rods and blackout curtains are adaptable to your size window and keep the light out when a recharging power nap is necessary

The Bathroom

  • The perfect bath coordinates bundle 
  • A small shelf unit like this from Ikea is perfect for storing yours and your roommate's toiletries. It's also easily accessible in the bathroom and keeps everything nice and neat.
  • A shower caddy is perfect for communal residents to keep all of your bathroom necessities in one place and make it easy to transport. 
  • Shower shoes 

Staying organized

  • A handheld planner: Between clubs, classes, and exams, every incoming student should invest in a planner they love. Whether you opt for a plain Moleskine or a colorful Lily Pulitzer, make sure the planner has plenty of space to make to-do lists, mark appointments, and list assignments. 
  • A desktop planner is perfect for those who don’t like carrying a planner around but still want to stay organized and keep track of course work.

Other useful items

  • A Keurig machine (single serve) is great for when there’s no time to grab a Starbucks before your 8 a.m. class and for a warm cup of tea when Locke’s Loft is closed during your late-night study session. Don’t forget to pick a mug that matches your personality.
  • Silent water cooker
  • Trunk with lock/mini safe: It’s important to have a place to keep belongings 
  • Brita ‘As You Pour’ water filter is faster to fill in a communal sink
  • Full-length mirror: Preferably one that hangs over the door
  • OttLite Cool Breeze LED Fan Lamp- Adjustable Task Light is the best lamp ever with multiple settings, good for homework as well as makeup.
  • Extra long charging cableDorm rooms don’t always have outlets where you need them. Having an extra long charging cable makes it much easier for you to set up your room how you’d like and not have to worry about reaching an outlet. 
By Christine Loughran