What dorm room items you can find at thrift stores

What dorm room items you can find at thrift stores

Heading off to college is one of the most exciting times in a young adult's life. But, it is also an expensive one. From paying tuition rates to buying lots of textbooks, college expenses may pile up. 

Admissionsly reports that the average college student spends more than $2,000 a month. These expenses might include transportation, food and any other dorm expenses. 

If your kid is heading to college this year, help them save money on their back-to-school shopping and dorm room essentials by thrifting for them. We have compiled a list of must-have dorm essentials and what items you can find at the best thrift stores in Iowa

What your college student really needs for their dorm room

There is a lot of information out there about what your college student really needs for college. The best place to start is by considering the size of your kid’s dorm room. It can give you a better understanding of what they truly need. 

One mistake that many parents make is overbuying for the dorm. When shopping for the dorm room, remember that less is more. Focus on the important things they will need and use every day. Here is a list of college dorm essentials

  • Storage bins/boxes

  • Lamps or extra lighting

  • Bedding sets - pillowcases, covers, blankets and sheets

  • Laundry bag or basket

  • Office supplies - pens, pencils, notebooks, planners and calculator

  • Electronics - laptop and headphones

  • Small coffee maker

  • Mini fridge 

  • Bathroom supplies 

  • Household and kitchen items - bowls, cups and trash bags

Dorm room essentials you can find at thrift stores


Whether your kid is planning on cooking their meals or preparing a bowl of cereal before class, dishware is essential. You can get budget-friendly and high-quality dishware at thrift stores. There you can find complete dish sets, coffee mugs, bakeware and even water bottles for everyday use. 

Small kitchen appliances

Aside from dishes, your college student might also need small kitchen appliances. However, before purchasing, check with the school guidelines. Some small appliances that might come in handy are a coffee maker, toaster, mini-fridge, microwave, blender and rice cooker. The good news is you can find these at great prices at the best thrift stores in Iowa. 

Storage baskets 

A small room requires creative storage solutions. Dorm rooms are limited with space and might require your kid to store items in bins or boxes. Instead of buying expensive storage bins at retail stores, you can get creative and thrift baskets and bins for lower prices

Picture frames

Heading to college means that your kid will be away from their family and friends. You can help your kid feel a little less homesick with framed pictures. Head to a thrift store and pick up some cool picture frames. If the color does not match their decor, you can always spray paint them. 

Visit one of the best thrift stores in Iowa!

At Thrift World, we have a wide selection of clothes, home decor and kitchen supplies that your college student will need. To help you save even more money, our stores have special tag sale colors every week! We have locations in Council Bluffs, Omaha and Kansas City! Come visit our stores today!