It’s that time of year again. What time you ask? Okay, I’ll tell you even though I’m pretty sure you’re already quite familiar to what exactly it is that I’m referring to. Ready for the answer? It’s back to school time. For my high school readers, time for you to do that last minute summer reading you had three months to do. For my college readers tome for you to, if you’re like me, get your schedules done for the semester and pick up some things for your dorm room. Though this post is mainly geared towards my college aged readers, some of these items my younger readers can use in some capacity, but I’ll have another post just for you. The Fall 2014 semester was my first semester of being an actual, full time college student. By this I mean, not dually enrolled as I was in high school. Being a full time student of the university allowed me many new privileges that I wasn’t awarded the year before because I was still technically a high school student. I now had a meal plan and the biggest (and my favorite) privilege of them all, was the fact that I could now have my very own dorm room. I no longer had to live with my parents and I could come and go as a pleased. Though I lived in the same city as the school I attended, I decided that I wanted a dorm room so that I could have the full authentic “college experience”. Dorm life was very different than I what I imagined and I found that once I moved in and the semester progressed, there were certain things I found that I needed that I didn’t think to buy. So, here’s a list of my Top 10 Dorm Essentials.
Extra Sheets, Pillows, and Pillow Cases
When shopping for necessities like these always follow the “extra is better” rule. After all, you never know what will come up or when you’ll need extra sheets, pillows, or pillow cases. I found myself having my sister stay in my dorm room overnight throughout the semester and with the extra bed I had in my room, she was not about to share my XL Twin bed with me. Personally I’d recommend buying at least one extra set of each.
This one is kind of self explanatory and extremely practical and yet, I have no idea why I forgot to buy any before move in day. Don’t be that girl bringing 3 Target bags full of garbage out to the dumpster because you didn’t have time to make a trip to Wal-Mart or Target to get any before time for room checks.
Please, whatever you do, do NOT, I repeat, NOT forget to pick up a pair of shower shoes. They can be a pair of flip flops you got that you’re not so fond of from the Old Navy $1 flip flop sale or a cheap pair from the Dollar Store, just pick some flip flops and use them as your designated shower shoes. To my understanding many freshman dorm rooms have communal bathrooms while others don’t. If you’re unsure of your dorm’s particular arrangement it’s better to be safe than sorry. Luckily for me, my aunt put together a care package with two pairs of shower shoes, extra soap, washcloths, etc. and that my sister and I could both have a pair.
On move in day, be prepared to do a thorough wipe down and scrub of your dorm room. It may look clean but don’t be fooled. Colleges are full of germs and even if you’re someone who never gets sick, prepare to catch something. Be sure to stock up on bleach, Lysol wipes, and bathroom cleaning supplies.
While I’m on the subject of personal hygiene, another major set of items overlooked in the packing and unpacking process is that of laundry supplies. Whether it be detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, you name it, don’t be that person who realizes at the last minute when they’re in desperate need to do laundry that they have none of these things.
This essential goes hand in hand with laundry supplies but is often overlooked because chances are, you won’t think about it since you probably have a clothes hamper. Personally, I prefer taking my dirty clothes down to the laundry room in this as opposed to lugging my hamper down from my room on the third floor. Laundry bags are often inexpensive and can be found at Target, Wal-Mart and even the Dollar Store.
Again, need I say any more? Stock up on things such as underwear, bras, socks, and layering tank tops before move in day. Doing this prolongs the need to do laundry just a little longer.
Additional Chargers and Cables
This essential is also kind of self explanatory. Things happen, chargers break. Never get caught without a charger, especially if you have an iPhone!
Let’s be honest, the florescent lighting in a dorm room isn’t the most flattering lighting to begin with. I suggest buying a desk lamp and maybe a floor lamp, string lights or maybe even both. In addition to creating your lighting more attractive, you’ll have the ability to be able to sneak in that late night cram session without waking your roomie and the additional lighting can make your room feel more homey and comfortable.
Under Bed Storage
At this point if you’re a new college student, you haven’t gotten the moving process down to a science like returning college students do. I have forever been an over-packer and some times I don’t even use everything I bring to school with me but I bring it anyway because you never know what will come up. This being said, my dorm room did not have the means to hold everything and still be organized. Under bed storage was a life saver. I suggest going to your local Target or Wal-Mart and purchasing one or two storage drawers like this or similar if your dorm room has your bed lofted already or purchase bed risers to make your bed sit higher.
These are my top 10 dorm essentials! Let me know what you think in the comments below and tell me what your back to school essentials are. If you want to see my other dorm essentials follow my Pinterest account.