CNN Underscored partnered with Bed Bath & Beyond to create this content. When you make a purchase, CNN receives revenue. CNN news staff is not involved at all in the selections or product reviews. For more on what we do and how we do it, visit our About Us page.
If 2020 was supposed to be your year to experience true independence for the first time — embarking on your college journey, making new friends, having new adventures and living in new places — you’ve probably dealt with your share of disappointment over the last few months.
Though you may still be heading off to college, you might be doing so in a location far different from what you’ve envisioned. Whether you’re now faced with cramming all your stuff into a tiny apartment share or just a room in your folks’ house that still contains an old dollhouse or a bed in the shape of a racecar, Bed Bath & Beyond has got you covered.
With a few smart basics from the retailer, you can save space, time and money, no matter how crowded you’re feeling in a home that’s now doubling as a work or study space. Check out a few of our picks for maximizing a small space, building a better bed and improving your bathroom, below:
Bedside matters: Salt Metal Side Table ($29.99)
You’re going to have to make use of every available inch of your bedroom this year, and that Transformers nightstand you’ve had since you were 6 just isn’t going to cut it. The Salt Metal Side Table, however, has value that will make even your parents happy. The bottom shelf has sides to keep your stuff in place — no more searching under the bed for that nail polish you knocked over — and effectively doubles your bedside table space. Plus, its metal frame is durable enough to take any amount of pounding on your alarm clock’s snooze button.
Keeping that new look new: ORG Slimline 50-Count Flocked Suit Hangers ($24.99)
With new responsibilities comes a new wardrobe. No matter what industry you’re in or what field you’re studying, you’re occasionally going to have to look professional — even if your interviewer, mentor or adviser can only see you from the waist up. Unfortunately, keeping business-y outfits looking crisp and presentable requires a lot more care than your broken-in hoodie and favorite pair of jeans do.
The ORG Slimline Flocked Suit Hangers save you tons of space in your closet — meaning you won’t have to retire that old hoodie to make room for the “new you.” They also keep your serious attire safely off the ground (the velvety outer layer and flocked top keep even the most satiny blouses from slipping off) and looking pressed. They also come with an accessory bar for your ties, scarves, belts and more.
Good things in store: Salt Woven Storage Bin ($7.99-$14.99)
If there’s one thing you don’t really appreciate until you’re living on your own, it’s the people in a household who seem to magically make clutter vanish. Then, when you finally end up being that person, you realize it’s not so much magic, as it is just staying on top of your messes — say, with the help of organizers like the Salt Woven Storage Bin. Available in three sizes, these bins are stylish, easy to match with any decor and convenient, with open tops and those essential side handles. Sick of stumbling over your old textbooks in the dark? Toss ‘em in a bin; that counts as cleaning!
Stay cool (or warm) at night: Therapedic 300 Thread Count Cotton Mattress Pad ($49.99-$89.99)
You’d be spending a lot of time in bed regardless of what’s going on in the outside world, so make sure your bedtime hours are as refreshing as possible. After all, you won’t be much use after sleepless nights.
The Therapedic 300 Thread Count Cotton Mattress Pad turns any bed into a joy when you’re in repose. There’s a breathable cotton-top layer over temperature-regulating fiber fill, which means it keeps your bed cool on hot summer nights and warm in the winter cold. Plus, it’s been treated to keep away microbes and resist stains and odors.
With all the advantages of actual white goose down at a fraction of the price, the Synthetic Down Back/Stomach Sleeper Pillow is soft and fluffy, and it has a high thread-count cover that will ensure a soothing sleep for years. It’s specially designed for those under-served snoozers who are back or stomach sleepers (about a third of us).
Cool comfort: Garment Washed Printed Comforter Set ($59.99-$99.99)
There’s a reason it’s called a comforter. Obviously, you want to pick out something that provides maximum comfort — and you can’t go wrong with the Garment Washed Comforter Set. The last word in coziness, it’s 100% cotton (180 thread count with polyester fill) and comes in enough patterns to satisfy even the most esoteric of tastes. Plus, it has matching pillow shams.
Shower power: Salt Steel Shower Caddy in Chrome ($14.99)
The bathroom is usually one of the smallest yet most used rooms in the house. If you’re sharing your shower space with six roommates or your parents and siblings, you know that there’s no more valuable real estate in a home than those narrow, slippery, curved ledges that are somehow supposed to support an entire household’s supply of shampoos, conditioners and soaps. (And naturally, everyone uses something different.)
The Salt Steel Shower Caddy creates what you could call a shower tower of power. It hangs from the shower head and provides two shelves, two hanging hooks and even a special rack just for a soap bar or sponge. The collar is nonslip, and two suction cups help keep everything in place, preventing loud crashes in the night — or worse, while you’re washing up.
Fitting an entire household’s toiletries into a tiny bathroom probably means having to stick some essentials in hard-to-reach places. For instance, you might be suddenly out of toilet paper at an inopportune time when you discover that your 6-foot-5 roommate stored the new rolls on the very top shelf — where only he can reach them.
The Kikkerland stepstool not only helps you make the most out of your space-challenged bathroom, but it also knows to stay out of the way when it’s not needed, folding up to a discreet size so you can slide it under the sink or into a closet.
When you’re spending a lot more time indoors than you thought ever thought possible, it’s easy lose track of your physical health. The Thinner Portable Digital Bathroom Scale makes sure you keep an eye on your weight without having to visit the doctor’s office. Lightweight and easy to store, this scale takes up a minimal amount of floorspace. Bonus: it comes with an “tap on” feature for activation.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.