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The best thing about heading off to college isn’t the newfound freedom or deciding which intramural you’re going to join, it’s shopping for your dorm. And after two-plus years of Zoom lectures and school-from-home, the excitement this summer is real. A staple for design lovers and bargain hunters everywhere, IKEA is unsurprisingly the go-to destination for those getting ready to leave the nest. And while browsing the Swedish retailer’s site or warehouse-like store can be overwhelming (the bedding options alone feel endless), the brand just made it a little easier by shining a light on its best-selling products for back-to-college.

The Go-Anywhere Utility Cart

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Raskog Utility Cart, IKEA ($40)

Whether you fill the compartments with toiletries or midnight snacks, the three-tier cart has wheels for easy maneuvering, and its low profile means you can slide it out of the way under a desk or a bathroom counter when your hallmates stop by to hang out. 

The Pegboard You’ll Own Forever

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Skådis Pegboard, IKEA ($25)

With infinite modular possibilities, the famous pegboard can handle anything you throw its way (pens, plants, and even purses). Bonus: You don’t have to ditch it after graduation day. Take a note from our style editor, Julia Stevens, who still uses hers to keep all her kitchen tools tidy.  


The Apartment-Appropriate Dresser 

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Hemnes Dresser, IKEA ($350)

When it’s finally time to upgrade to off-campus housing, the Hemnes dresser is IKEA’s most popular pick for a reason. Not only does its sleek lines fit with almost every decor style, the 12 drawers ensure there’s plenty of room for your overflow of sweatshirts. 

The Study Group–Approved Stools 

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Kyree Stool, IKEA ($25)

In most dorm rooms, hangout options are usually limited to the bed and the uncomfortable desk chair you inherited. Cue some stackable stools. When friends are over, they offer extra seating, and when it’s time to study, they tuck away easily to save floor space.

The Midterms-Acing Desk

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Alex Desk, IKEA ($159)

Having a productive work zone can make or break your semester, and it all starts with your desk. With two drawers and a sneaky cord-hiding compartment, this one is miles better than the plain old library tables. Bring on the all-nighters.