How to Build the Perfect Dorm Shower Caddy

published Sep 7, 2023
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I’m pretty sure every student who lives in a dorm dreads using the communal bathrooms. No one — I mean no one — wants to step on those shower floors with their bare feet, or make eye contact with their floormate as they clean out their razor in the sink, or… well, you get the picture. But one way I learned to make the experience less terrible (dare I say, even enjoyable) is to put together an organized, well-stocked shower caddy. 

A good shower caddy will ensure you have everything you need to prevent discomfort or discombobulation in those tiny shower stalls. It will keep you organized during a quick bathroom trip when you’re pressed for time and late for class, and it will help you feel relaxed when it’s time for an everything shower. As someone who takes pride in her shower routine (#cleangirlaesthetic), I don’t know where I would be without my shower caddy, although I can confidently say I wouldn’t be in a communal bathroom! 

Here are the must-have products that’ll elevate your dorm shower experience.

1. Your Dream Caddy

You can’t make a shower caddy without the key component: the caddy itself. Most people fall into camps regarding which type of caddy they prefer: mesh vs. plastic. Mesh is good for hanging on a hook when you’re not using it and therefore can take up less space, but plastic dries quicker and is easier to clean. It all depends which features are more important to you.

2. The Basics

I don’t think anyone needs me to tell them to use shampoo or soap in the shower, but just in case: Be sure to pack all your essentials in your caddy, including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, and, if shaving is part of your routine, a razor and shaving cream.

3. Body Scrub

Sometimes you just want to feel pampered … even if it’s only for a few minutes between class and your work-study job. A body scrub is a quick way to accomplish that; find one that smells and feels good to you, and use it to slough off some dead skin every once in a while! 

4. Shower Cap

Whether I’ve had a tough arm day at the gym, or I’m in a rush to get ready, or it’s simply just not a hair wash day, there are some days where I just don’t need to wash my hair or even get it wet. Shower caps are super helpful when it comes to keeping your hair dry and preserving its style. With so many options for patterns and colors, you can find one that best fits your vibe.

5. Loofah

I know, I know: Not everyone loves a loofah. They can be tough on your skin if you scrub too hard, and if they’re not well taken care of, they can collect bacteria (which, hello, is not what you want when trying to get clean). That said, *I* still love my loofah because it helps me exfoliate and really feel like I’m getting clean. Just don’t scrub so hard that you’re hurting yourself — and make sure to rinse it well, hang it up, and let it air dry after every use to keep things sanitary.

6. Portable Light-Up Mirror

Sometimes the dorm bathroom lighting just isn’t it. But you don’t have to resign yourself to relying on the fluorescent Big Light, because portable light-up mirrors exist now and they are everything. Avoid unblended makeup or a missed spot shaving by keeping one of these handy every time you hit the bathroom.

7. Hairbrush

As someone with wavy hair that gets tangled easily, a hairbrush is an essential part of my shower routine. I use it to ensure my conditioner gets evenly distributed throughout my hair, but you could also use it post-shower before walking down the hallway and back to your room. You never know who you might run into!

8. Head Massager

This is luxury. Forget a spa day — spend a few minutes in the shower with one of these babies and you’ll feel relaxed, refreshed, and ready to take on the day. Just be sure to rinse it well and leave it out to dry.

9. Shower Shoes

Listen — it’s no secret that sharing a bathroom with multiple people can be uncomfortable. Shower shoes are necessary when it comes to keeping clean, avoiding germs, and staying away from those stray hairs swirling around the shower drain. Pick a pair that you won’t mind wearing on a daily basis and make the most of your communal shower situation!

Isabel Petrou

Public Communication

Isabel is an incoming sophomore at the University of Vermont. She is studying public communication. She grew up in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where she frequented the beach often during the summer. Even though her heart belongs to the ocean, the mountains are becoming a close contender. Her favorite part of living in Burlington, Vermont, for college is its unique coffee shops. Her perfect day would consist of going to a cute café in the morning, then spending the day at the beach swimming and reading, then ending the day by shopping and getting dressed up for a nice dinner downtown. Through Dorm Therapy, Isabel is excited to be a voice for young adults embarking on their college journeys and she hopes to make this big transition of life more comfortable for others in the same place as her.

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SchoolUniversity of Vermont '26
MajorPublic Communication
FavesShopping, the beach, TV/movies, walks, reading, Taylor Swift
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