College Essentials - IKEA Canada

Moving into a dorm can be tricky. with a roommate and new environment. I am sure those moving into dorms will soon think about how they will want to create a comfortable environment that is both practical and personal. 

Back To College Tips Back to College checklist that was available in stores last summer c/o IKEA Canada

-          Look for a desk and bookcase that can be used in a home office or first apartment later on. The EXPEDIT bookcase is finished on both sides so it can act as a room divider as well,  a great solution for a bit of privacy if you are sharing your dorm room.

-          If you have an open room without walls, define zones for sleeping, studying, and any other functions you need out of the space. A rug is a great way to do that, it can create a ‘room’ within a room.  Under your desk it separates the work area and under your bed it creates a sleeping zone.  Curtains are another way to create privacy and block out light and noise, handy if you’re sharing a room.

-          Choose a colour scheme and stick to it to create a unified look and minimize visual clutter.  If you are setting up a study space in a dorm room it should blend with the rest of your apartment but give this area a boundary so there is a clear zone for working and studying.

-          Add lighting as necessary so you have overhead/ambient light to illuminate the space and task lighting directed over your work area. The TIVED work lamp has an adjustable arm so you can direct the light where you need it. It also has a built-in LED bulb that lasts approximately 20,000 hours. LEDs consume 80% less energy and last 20 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.  

-          Don’t forget about desktop organization. An efficient work area encourages clear thinking and the ability to focus on studying.  Magazine files, paper sorting trays and boxes are handy for managing or hiding clutter – this can be useful when parents come to visit too!

-          Get a comfortable chair. It doesn’t have to be expensive but you have to be able to sit comfortably in it for a long period of time. Swivel seats and casters make it easy to move around so they are good in a small space.

-          Consider the placement of electrical outlets and phone/cable jacks when deciding on where to put your desk, computer, printer etc. to minimize cord clutter. Choosing the right desk can help cut down wires running everywhere, like the MICKE corner work station. The top shelf has a cable outlet and enough room for a printer, there are also cable outlets and a compartment in the back panel to run your cords through so they aren’t visible. The back panel is magnetic and the legs can be mounted to the left or right depending on your needs. 

PE079702 TERTIAL work lamp $9.99

PE107397 LACK side table $9.99 (this can double as a large stool if you have friends over)

PE157411 IKEA PS cabinet $59.99

PE234077 DOKUMENT magazine file $9.99 for 2

PE268430 EXPEDIT shelving unit in high gloss red (new) $129

PE276579 TIVED work lamp $29.99 (built in LED)

PE279857 MICKE corner work station $199

PE284329 MALM occasional table $89.99 (this is on casters and can be a side table, a desk, or you can place it over your bed like a table)

PE146914 FNISS wastepaper basket $2.99

All images courtesy of IKEA Canada (click images to enlarge) 

Back to School Checklist c/o IKEA Canada
Living and Sleeping

  • bed
  • mattress
  • pillows
  • comforter
  • duvet cover
  • sheets
  • pillow cases
  • table lamps
  • floor lamps
  • sofa-bed
  • chairs
  • rugs
  • side table
  • picture frames 
  • pictures
  • plants
  • curtains
  • wastepaper basket
  • energy saving light bulbs
  • alarm clock
  • mirror
  • mattress pad
  • mattress protector
  • armchair


  • drying rack
  • laundry bag
  • ironing board
  • dustpan/brush/mop
  • lint brush


  • desk
  • file cabinet
  • desk chair
  • desk organizer
  • desk tray
  • work lamp
  • notice boards
  • laptop bag
  • batteries
  • extension cord
  • surge protector
  • cable organizer

Storing and organizing

  • bookcase
  • wardrobe
  • hangers
  • storage boxes
  • shoe organizers
  • media storage
  • door hangers
  • shelves
  • hooks
  • under bed storage boxes
  • toolkit


  •  shower caddy
  • towels
  • wash clothes
  • bath mat
  • scale
Cooking and Eating

  • frying pan
  • cooking pots
  • food storage containers
  • bowls and plates
  • glasses
  • coffee mugs
  • coffee press
  • flatware
  • kitchen knives
  • chopping board
  • dish towels
  • kitchen utensils
  • can opener
  • bottle opener
  • scissors ice cube trays
  • place mats