You'll soon be off to college and settling into your new Home Sweet Home: a compact dorm room. Most dorm rooms come equipped strictly with the basics -- a bed, desk, chair, light and garbage can, plus a small amount of storage space in the form of a dresser and/or closet. But don't be put off by such a bare-bones pad; today's students love to customize their rooms with everything from decorative linens and cushy futons to brightly colored rugs and a wealth of personalized accents.
In fact, according to the 2011 Back-to-College survey done by the National Retailers Association, parents and students dole out an average of $808.71 on dorm furnishings and electronics, plus apparel and food items during their back-to-school shopping [source: Grannis]. That's a lot of cash, especially with the ever-rising costs of a college education. So if you have to trim expenses a bit, eliminate unnecessary purchases and focus on what's really important for a comfortable, productive year, such as the five following dorm room accessories.