Keep It Simple With College Furniture


By Anne Bouman

With the great expectations that accompany moving into one’s own space, practical concerns often fall to the wayside. I distinctly remember convincing my brother and dad to haul a massage chair that I absolutely HAD to have up three flights of steps to my 20’ by 12’ dorm room (there were no elevators, conveniently).

Now, entering the autumn of my senior year, and several years of move-in, move-out madness later, I feel as though I have learned a few things about the more practical aspects of college furniture. I have learned first, that furniture must be portable and versatile. While the excitement of moving into your dorm room for the first time can carry you through hauling frustrating and cumbersome furniture around, 2 years later your patience will have worn thin with such items. Below are some examples of pieces I wish someone had told me about before the massage chair incident. Being a college student myself, I’ve also obviously kept in mind the importance of a limited budget.

Backpack Laundry Baskets: While not all residence halls or college houses are the same, all four of my residences have had laundry facilities in the basement, and as I mentioned, in none of them was there an elevator involved. As such, hauling my laundry and 5lb. Family Size detergent up and down the three floors of my dormitory was wearying. Discovering the backpack laundry basket made this weekend chore much faster and more enjoyable.

Pull-apart Drawers: These little storage units are unassumingly fantastic. They can be put under your bed, on a shelf, in a closet, essentially anywhere you can find space. And – when you’re ready to move out, pack up couldn’t be easier. Just shut the drawer and sling it under your arm. These make up for the lack (or complete absence) of drawer space in a standard dorm room. Plus, should you decide to move into a house off-campus, you can use them to maximize minimal closet space, or if you attend school far from home, stack them to create a make-shift dresser that is extremely functional – voilà!

iLean: A portable, and versatile shelving system. Let’s face it, the built-in shelves in dorm rooms leave little space for creativity. They don’t move, they can’t adjust, and they certainly didn’t make way for my flat screen TV (or massage chair). Often dorm furniture is inconveniently placed and other times it is nonexistent.


I remember my freshman year, we had built-in shelves that were placed across a doorway from the only cable outlet – we had to tape the cable to the wall around the doorway so that it wouldn’t trip us up! As I anticipate living in a house off campus again this coming year, having portable shelving unit is extremely useful. iLean has designed a shelving system that is as versatile as my constantly changing schedule. With the iLean mobile shelving system, I am free to design my room on my own terms – and change it when necessary. Check out these photos to get a better feel for what iLean looks like.

Keeping it simple with enable you to traverse the constantly changing college lifestyle with ease – and not spend too much doing it. While your friends are spending the final days of the school year sweating through their move out, you can rest easy. You know that in your final days before heading home for the summer, you’ll sweep away with all your practical, fabulous gear under your arms. Now that’s independence.

Author Information

Anne Bouman is a college student, blogger, and well-versed in the themes of college furniture fiascos.

Photo credit: iLean™,


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Categories: Personal Advice