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If you’re anything like we were last summer preparing for our daughter’s freshman year of college, you have been spending a lot of money on stuff for the dorm room. Some things like mattress pads and printers and TVs have to be purchased from big box stores or online, but there are a LOT of things you can save money on by purchasing at discount stores. One of my favorites is Dollar Tree. They have more stuff than I ever imagined before I started exploring them regularly. Students heading off to college need lots of little things and a Dollar Tree Dorm Room is the way to go!

The first most obvious things they will need are school supplies.

Colleges don’t give you school supply lists like they do in elementary school, but by now you should be really good at figuring out what you need. You’ve been doing this for thirteen years now. 🙂 Dollar Tree carries all kinds of binders, paper, composition notebooks, glue, pencils, staplers, protractors, highlighters, and calculators. There is no need to overpay by buying these items elsewhere.


Dollar Tree really comes in handy with things students need that you might not think about getting at a dollar store. For starters, laundry supplies.

Dollar Tree Dorm Room Tide Laundry Detergent

Depending on where the laundry facility is located in the dorm, students may not want to lug heavy bottles of detergent and fabric softener along with their load of laundry. I use Tide and Downy for our laundry at home, but these are pricey. Dollar Tree carries little 10 ounce bottles of these for a buck! Each bottle provides enough for about 10 loads, so we just stocked our daughter up with four bottles of Tide and four bottles of Downy. That should be enough to do laundry all year, and it only cost $8, which is less than one regular size bottle of Tide. The bottles are tiny and easy to carry to the dorm laundry room. Additionally, if she should run out, she can run to a Dollar Tree in her college town and grab another bottle without spending much money. Dollar Tree also carries laundry baskets, hangers, and drawstring laundry bags. Discount stores tend to carry a lot of brands you haven’t heard of, but they also carry many well-known name brands, so scour those shelves the next time you’re there. I love the smell of Tide and Downy, and I would think if that is a smell from home, it would provide some comfort to a student away from home for the first time.Dollar Tree Dorm Room Downy Fabric Softener

Students will also need a few cleaning items, even if they live in a traditional dorm with two students to a room with a bathroom down the hall.

They will want to be able to periodically dust their room and clean mirrors and floors. (Hopefully! 🙂 ) If they live in a dorm where they have a bathroom for their own use, they will definitely need items like glass cleaner, toilet cleaner, paper towels, and rubber gloves. Students living in apartments will probably also need kitchen cleaning items like dish soap and dishwasher detergent. Trash bags, sponges, dish racks might also be needed. All of these items are available at Dollar Tree and they carry many well-known name brands.

If students are living in a dorm or apartment with their own bathroom, you can even decorate their bathrooms from Dollar Tree!

They carry shower curtains and curtain ringsDollar Tree Dorm Room Soap Dispensers, bath mats and the little items they’ll need for their countertop, like toothbrush holders and soap dispensers. They also carry towels and washcloths, but I find them a bit flimsy for long term use. I’d suggest using the money you save by shopping at Dollar Tree to buy nice sturdy fluffy towels.

Dollar Tree Dorm Room Shower Curtains


Storage Needs

Dorm rooms are not large, and storage is at a premium. You can find everything from clear plastic storage containers with lids to canvas collapsible containers with handles to over-the-door single and double hooks. Closets in dorm rooms are notoriously small so you will want to make sure you have plenty of storage solutions on hand. You can never have too much.

Dollar Tree Dorm Room Storage Bin

Shop for your storage needs


Dollar Tree even has safety items.

Students may want to have a lockable trunk for their room where they can store valuables until they have determined the trustworthiness of their roommate. You can buy padlocks with keys at Dollar Tree. They also have battery-powered window and door alerts.

Dollar Tree Dorm Room Window and Door Alert


Tech Accessories

Dollar Tree carries docking stations, ear buds, and car charger adapters. Now, are these super high-end? Not always. But the $1 price point makes it affordable to stock up on items students might misplace often or need in a pinch.

Dollar Tree Dorm Room Docking Station Dollar Tree Dorm Room Earbuds




Dollar Tree Dorm Room Car Charger Adapters


Toiletries and Medications

These items can be pricey so be sure to check out the aisles of Dollar Tree for things like toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, shaving cream, band-aids, lip balm, and cold medications. Again, if you look, name brands abound. Do make note of the country of origin of products like toothpaste. Since the product is used orally, you will want to purchase items made in countries with which you are comfortable. Dollar Tree Dorm Room Toothpaste

Dollar Tree Dorm Room Pain Reliever






Dollar Tree Dorm Room Shave Cream

And finally, SNACKS!

Most students living in the dorms will also have a meal plan, but everyone needs some handy snacks for late night study sessions or movie watching. Dollar Tree has sports drinks, oatmeal, popcorn, movie candy, and MUCH more, including that college right of passage food–Ramen Noodles! 🙂

Dollar Tree Dorm Room Gatorade

Dollar Tree Dorm Room Candy Dollar Tree Dorm Room Ramen Noodles

Dollar Tree Dorm Room Fiddle Faddle


Do you need larger quantities of anything? There are many items you can purchase in bulk on If you don’t know where the nearest Dollar Tree is in your area, you can check out their Store Locator.

Trying to outfit a dorm room can be stressful. You can ease some of that stress by shopping for bargains that will save you money. Head to your nearest Dollar Tree and check out all the fun stuff they have! If you have any shopping tips for dorm rooms, be sure to share in the comments section.

As always, check out Pinterest!

Dollar Tree Dorm Room





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