Here's What Your College Apartment Really Needs Before School Starts

By the time you're ready to move into a college apartment, it feels like the first of many big decisions. But while you may suddenly have the liberating freedom of an off-campus address, endless options can be intimidating when it comes to styling your new place. That's where we come in. We know that you have the essentials covered — you're an adult, after all — so we've skipped the need for sheets and hangers and went right to the things that'll elevate your look from dorm-room decor to grown-up getaway. And because we also know that your school schedule makes it hard to find time to shop, we've kept our 13 picks to a curated collection of a few favorite stores. Read on for some ideas.

Sleeper Sofa

As we all know, sometimes a "quick drink with friends" turns into an all-nighter. That's where this sleeper sofa from Urban Outfitters ( $649 ) comes in. Chip in with your roommates to grab this pick for whenever you have an unexpected guest.

Clothing Rack

And while you're at Urban Outfitters, claim this space-saving clothing rack ( $149 ) to organize your wardrobe for the week. It's also a great find if your closet is nonexistent.

Table Lamp

Repeat after us: you are not going to use your phone's flashlight as a reading lamp this year. Instead of draining your battery and only being able to see half a page at a time, invest in this table lamp from Ikea ( $9.99 ) for your nightstand.

lamp
credit: Ikea

Writing Desk

As much as your couch is a one-stop shop for studying and socializing, there are times — like during midterms and finals — when a desk is a must-have. This option from Target ( $76 ) won't take up too much space in your bedroom.

desk
credit: Target

Block Printed Rug

As you learned in decorating 101, a rug is an easy way to define your living space. And this one from Urban Outfitters ( starting at $29 ) comes with an added trick — a pattern helps hide stains. It's super cute, so be careful.

Wide Bookshelf

Use this two-toned bookshelf from Target ( $174 ) in your living room as a stylish console and storage space. Your TV can go on the top shelf, and your collection of books and knickknacks can artfully cover the others.

bookshelf
credit: Target

Upholstered Headboard

All right, so a headboard seems pretty extravagant on a student's budget. But hear us out: not only does it make your bed more comfortable, but it also ties your entire room's style together. This printed pick from World Market ( starting at $299.99 ) means that you can keep the rest of your decor minimal.

headboard
credit: World Market

Guest Towels

Be honest: what happens when you need an extra towel? If your answer involves reaching for a beach towel, then it's definitely time for an upgrade. This two-pack of guest towels at H&M ( $9.99 ) will give you a respectable back-up plan for you or a visitor.

towels
credit: H&M

Storage Basket

Just as you can never have too many accessories, you can also never have too many places to store them. Make sure you have plenty of storage options in your grown-up apartment, and grab this large basket from H&M ( $19.99 ). Use it to gather snacks, clothes, books, magazines, or anything you need to put away neatly.

basket
credit: H&M

"Crossing the Street on a Rainy Day" Art Print

It's true, that Breakfast at Tiffany's poster is iconic. But it's also...everywhere. Replace that worn poster for some full-fledged art, and opt for this colorful print from Society6 ( $44.10 ). It would look great above your dresser.

art print
credit: Society 6

Extendable Table

Sometimes you're going to need more room on your dinner table than you planned, whether it's game night or pizza night. When that happens, it'll be a lifesaver to have this extendable table from Ikea ( $299 ) at the ready. It adjusts to fit six people, whenever necessary.

table
credit: Ikea

Soap Dispenser

This year will be the year that your bathroom sink doesn't have a dissolving soap bar near the faucet. Instead, this soap dispenser from H&M ( $17.99 ) will keep your suds stylishly contained — and your counter much cleaner, too.

soap dispenser
credit: H&M

Diamond Wool Pouf

Here's the thing about trendy floor poufs: they can work as mini coffee tables or seats. Make use of this one from World Market ( $89.99 ) during your next Netflix binge, and you'll be glad you have it.

pouf
credit: World Market