Dorm Room Essentials

Chances are that when you move into a dorm, it will be your first time living on your own. With Ikea’s maze-like layout and the transfixing displays at ...

Aug 30, 2014

Chances are that when you move into a dorm, it will be your first time living on your own. With Ikea’s maze-like layout and the transfixing displays at Home Decor, it often becomes difficult to distinguish the indispensable from the easily disposable. However, these are ten essential items that you should consider buying to make your room more organized and comfortable:
  1. Electric kettle: Having your own electric kettle will save you time running to the lounge or dining hall every time you need to make some instant noodles, coffee or tea — staples for college students the world over.
  2. Crockery: It is always useful to have a plate or two, a couple of drinking glasses and a set of food storage containers even if you will be eating most of your meals in the dining hall. Having crockery of your own will allow you to host small dinner parties with friends, eat take out and store snacks in your room for when the dining hall isn’t open. A reusable water bottle is also a good idea. It is much more environmentally friendly and you will also save on dining dirhams.
  3. Hangers: In a small closet, hangers are a real space saver. Hanging garments reduces the amount of wrinkles, and therefore the amount of time spent ironing.
  4. Mirrors: You may not recognize your need for mirrors until you come to college and are forced to share one panel with three other people who are all getting dressed for class simultaneously. Having a small personal mirror for makeup or a larger full length panel in your bedroom can save you time in the morning — meaning a few more precious minutes of sleep.
  5. Shower organizer: In a small bathroom, bathroom products can get mixed up really quickly; having an organizer that you can hang on your shower head can help you keep things a bit more organized. It also prevents roommates from supposedly accidentally using your products.
  6. Suction hooks: Suction hooks do not damage walls and are still sturdy enough to hold things up, allowing for your coats, towels and anything else to be wrinkle-free. They come with different adhesive strengths depending on what you want to hang up.
  7. Cleaning supplies: Although you can always borrow your floor’s communal vacuum cleaner, a room can benefit from additional cleaning supplies. It is best to coordinate these with your roommates but as a general rule, having a disinfectant, mop, bucket and washcloth is advisable for maintaining a clean environment.
  8. Desk lamp: A lamp will keep you from straining your eyes during those all-night study sessions, and it will also make your place a lot cozier when you want to hang out at home without the harsh glare of bright overhead lighting. Buying a mini reading light can also be a life saver if you and your roommate have different sleeping hours and you like to read in bed.
  9. White board: A small white board in the living room can help you and your roommates keep track of all the chores and necessary supplies. It can also be used as a notice board to give your roommates messages in case they are asleep or out. A little communication can go a long way!
  10. Power strip: Between your computer, alarm clock, cell phone charger and lamps, not to mention hair dryers and curling irons, you’ll soon find yourself with an arsenal of electronics that all need their own plugs. To make sure you're all powered up and able to use your gadgets, an extension cord and a power strip are very handy.Also, it never hurts to pick up an extra adaptor.
A majority of these items can be found at any department store. LuLu Hypermarket is a cheap and reliable chain with stores all over the city. Daiso and Carrefour are also good places to buy things for your room. The Madinat Zayed area has many small shops for electronics, stationery and other supplies. If you are in that area be sure to check out Al Safa Supermarket and theMadinat Zayed Shopping Centre, which also has a LuLu Hypermarket.
Also bear in mind that your choices and purchases may not be what your roommates envision for their ideal dorm room, so be sensitive of their views while shopping for your room.
Mitali Banerji is deputy features editor. Email her at
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