It might only be the middle of July, but back-to-college season is already creeping up on us. Whether this is good news for you (parents) or mildly devastating (everyone else), it’s a good idea to get your dorm shopping out of the way now so you can enjoy the rest of summer. Thanks to a new Ikea “Back to College” campaign, it’s easier than ever to ensure you have everything you need to conquer the upcoming school year.
In addition to a dorm and apartment checklist, shopping guides helpfully categorized into kits, and a “Surviving College 101” guide, which includes tips on room sharing and making the perfect cup of coffee (you know, the essentials), Ikea has also put together a style quiz to help you determine how you should decorate your room. The furniture company then breaks down its dorm-ready products into seven distinct themes to make it even easier to find your perfect decor.
Need a little more guidance? Join Ikea for their “College Life Your Way” events this weekend at a number of stores nationwide, where you can attend workshops and take advantage of special offers. And to do our part in making the transition to college a little smoother, we’ve put together a list of our favorite affordable dorm and apartment items from the retailer.
An infinitely better way to store extra bedding or towels, rather than shoving them under your bed, this basket is a must for easy organization. It’s even convertible: display it full size or fold down the handles for a completely different look.
Flådis Basket, $19.99
Looking for a no-fuss bed that won’t break the bank (or your back—looking at you, uncomfortable dorm beds)? Pick out a comfy mattress and try a daybed. Another space-efficient piece: It doubles as a seating area for when you need to study and don’t want to trek to the library.
Fyresdal Daybed Frame, $199
Good lighting is essential for those late-night cram sessions, and this simple desk lamp is perfect. We love the chic charcoal color that’s sure to match any other decor you pick.
Hektar Work Lamp, $54.99
A step up from your standard photo wall, these coordinating set of four posters look more high-end and are ideal for sprucing up an empty wall. Pop them into some coordinating frames and voilà, you’ve got a makeshift gallery wall
Bild Poster, set of 4, $6.99
Whether you’re living in an off-campus apartment or your dorm doesn’t provide a desk, having one is definitely a necessity. This sleek one even comes with a cable outlet. Plus, you never know how crowded the library will be.
Micke Desk, $79.99
Everyone has tiny knick-knacks they don’t want lying around, so keep them out of sight in a chic pastel box. You can stack these boxes on a desk or even the floor, but they also fit seamlessly into several of Ikea’s shelving units, like the Kallax.
Tjena Box, $4.99
Speaking of the Kallax, it’s a multifunctional tool that will revolutionize the way you organize. Use it as a dresser for your foldable clothes, insert boxes to hold your smaller items, or display some chic accent pieces (or not-so-chic textbooks) and use it as a bookshelf.
Kallax Shelf Unit, $34.99
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are unlikely to find chic hardwood floors in a dorm room. The more likely scenario is some dingy linoleum disaster, which you can easily cover up with a plush rug, making your space much cozier.
Rens Sheepskin, $29.99
If you’re sharing a room and closet space is limited, remove bulky outerwear and instead hang them up on this funky-looking valet stand. It even has a tray on top to store your accessories.
Ikea PS 2017 Valet Stand, $24.99
When space is tight and you don’t have room for a bigger storage piece, utilize the walls. These handmade storage tools easily hook onto wall hangers or a door.
Nordrana Hanging Storage, $19.99
Plants are an easy and generally affordable way to very literally breathe new life into your space. Flex your green thumb with one of these little potted plants. Don’t worry if your green thumb is a little more black: Bonsai plants are relatively low-maintenance and only need moderate watering and some sunlight to survive.
Ficus Microcarpa Ginseng Plant, assorted colors, $29.99
Not that you need a reason to look forward to sleep, but if you did this duvet cover/pillowcase combo would make a strong case. It’s made of densely woven cotton percale to feel crisp and cool against your skin.