Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

Dorm Must-Haves for Back to School

Believe it or not, it’s almost time to head back to the classroom! If a college dorm is in your future, the earlier you start shopping, the better.

When outfitting your student’s college dorm room, it’s important to strike a balance between functionality, comfort, and personal style. Ohio Valley Goodwill thrift stores are the perfect place to find something unique at a great price.

Here are some essential items to look for at the thrift store first instead of paying retail:

Bedding: You want your bedding to balance comfort and style. Duvets, blankets, comforters, and lounge pillows can often be found at your nearest Goodwill store. Don’t forget – most dorm bedding needs to be a Twin XL!

Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home graphic with dorm room images

Lighting: Goodwill is a great place to find lamps, string lights, and other lighting for those late-night study sessions! Search for a desk lamp for focused lighting while reading or studying, as well as some “fairy” string lights or a floor lamp for ambient lighting.

Storage Solutions: A small dorm room requires creative solutions to stay organized! This over-the-door shoe rack is a great thrift store find. If your dorm has shelves, you might also consider bringing some small thrifted baskets to keep things like cosmetics and pens stored in a single, accessible place.

Kitchen Essentials: If your dorm allows cooking, make sure you have basic kitchen items like plates, utensils, a small set of pots and pans, a cutting board, and a can opener. Plus, don’t forget a fun coffee mug for early morning classes! Goodwill is a great place to find these items for much less.

Green picture with "Bloom where are you planted."
Green framed picture

Décor: Adding personal touches is the perfect way to make your dorm room feel like home. Consider wall art, posters, framed photos, plants (if allowed), extra pillows, and other decorative items. Make sure you know the rules for hanging things on the walls before you go shopping, as some schools require certain hanging solutions that won’t leave damage.

Flannel with Jeans from Goodwill
Flannel with Jeans from Goodwill

New School Outfits: Last but not least, be sure to check out the clothing racks while you’re at your nearest Ohio Valley Goodwill store to find the perfect back-to-school outfit. If you look carefully, you can often find new-with-tags brand-name items! You can also stock up on pajamas, jackets, shoes, and accessories.

Get Dorm-Ready with Goodwill!

Preparing to move into a dorm is a big job with long checklists. Thankfully, Ohio Valley Goodwill makes it easier to find most of what you need in one place and helps you stock up with a smaller price tag. Best of all, your dorm will be entirely and exclusively YOU when you style it with unique pieces you found at Goodwill.

Find your nearest Goodwill thrift store and start your back-to-school shopping today! And remember, when you shop at Goodwill, you’re supporting our mission to provide fulfilling job opportunities to individuals with disabilities and others facing barriers to employment.