Going off to college is exciting, but living away from home can be a little stressful, too. Ease anxiety and increase comfort by packing up items that make the dorm or apartment feel more like home. When it comes time to pack up and leave for college, everyone knows there are certain things you need to bring to make your dorm room all it can be. If you’re wrapping up packing details before shipping off your freshman to college, you probably have the basics covered: sheets, bedspread, and pillows; towels; a backpack; a laptop; and cellphone and charger. Here are some things that often get forgotten about, but should definitely be included in your dorm room shopping trip.
There also are the desk supplies — scissors, stapler, paper clips, tape, file hangers and calculator.
There’s a list of dorm room essentials.
1. Small Microwave or Toaster
While the dining is a great place to dine with friends and break away, you will inevitably find yourself eating a quick bite in your room or trapped in your text books one evening. So, don’t forget a dorm fridge so you can have a cold drink, healthy snack, or cold milk for cereal whenever you need it. And, you’ll need a way to heat up that frozen meal so you should also consider a small microwave or toaster oven to provide a warm meal or snack.
If you are getting bored, roommates get busy talking late nights, watch movies late nights then earphone can rescue you. Sure, it seems like being noisy is your roommates problem, not yours, and you should adjust accordingly, but their snoring won’t be keeping them up. Better to have some way to block them out, just in case. On that note, an eye mask is not a terrible thing to bring either, after all if you have a test at 8:00 a.m. you want to get a good nights rest.
3. Bed linens which are both functional and stylish
Don’t forget that most college beds have extra-long twin beds, which means special sheets are needed and if you use standard twin sheets, you might look like an illustration in a popular Dr. Seuss book. But, don’t forget the stylish side. The bed is often one of the largest pieces of furniture in a dorm and it can make a statement or reflect your personality. Bright colors or bold patterns can transform a barren room into home, which can be a big pick-me-up for those away from the family and friends for the first time.
Contact your roommate as soon as possible. As far as decor goes, exchanging pictures of any major pieces like a rug you plan on bringing or your bedspread can be helpful if matching decor is important to both of you. Same goes for wall art like posters, wall tapestry and other accessories. Remember that your roommate may not have the same aesthetic taste or the financial resources you have — anticipate there will be compromises.
5. Storage solutions
With an average of about 100 sq. ft. per person, dorm rooms don’t offer a lot of space. This means finding compact storage solutions for more comfortable living arrangements. Consider cubby solutions with pull out bins, under bed storage, or bed risers to create more storage space.
Dorm roommates’ sleep schedules and study habits don’t always mesh well. One roommate may have the chance to study in the afternoon, while the other one prefers to be a night owl. Either way, there will inevitably be the time when one roommate needs light while the other sleeps. Consider an LED desk lamp or clamp light for studying and the NOTTI LED color changing light to provide mood lighting, gently brighten the room and notify you of incoming calls when your phone is on silent.
7. Alarm Clock
Getting up for that early class can be tough. And, while most students have a smartphone they can use for an alarm, they can easily lose their charge or be can go missing after a late night of studying. There are advantages to using the traditional wake-up method and alarm clocks like the new BEDDI syncs with your smartphone and includes a charging station so it is always there when you need it (and means less cords around your dorm room).
8. Portable fan
Many dorms are not air-conditioned, but opening the windows in the late summer heat could attract bugs. Having a small fan next to the bed will keep your child cool at night without disturbing their roommate.
Movies will be a great way to take a break from studying. Be sure you pack your favorite movies and TV shows, which you can share with your roommates and friends on the weekends.
10. Disinfecting wipes
A new school year can mean exposure to new germs. Pack plenty of disinfecting wipes for things like doorknobs and faucets, which will help you stay healthy.
If the toilet or sink is clogged, and maintenance can’t get there fast enough, then you need a plunger nearby. Keep one in the bathroom in case of mishaps.
Living in a dorm often means sharing a bathroom with numerous people. Pick up a pair of flip-flops at the dollar store that you can wear in the shower, to keep your feet free of any bacteria.
13. Dish soap
Many dorms now feature sinks in each room, which means you need to stay on top of the dishes. Purchase a bottle of dish soap large enough to last them through the year.
14. Fly swatter
If you are living in a dorm, especially on the first floor, bugs will be unavoidable. You want a fly swatter to take care of fast-moving or stubborn creatures.
15. Dry-erase boards with adhesives
Sticking a dry-erase board on the front of the door, or on the wall in the bedroom, will allow you to write messages to their friends, as well as remind themselves of important to-do list items. Pick up one or two at the campus bookstore, along with markers and an eraser.
As soon as classes start, you will hit the ground running with assignments. But printing at the library may cost money. Instead, send your child to school with a printer of their own, fully stocked with ink cartridges and paper.