Heading off to college is an incredibly liberating experience. No more parents, no more rules, and no more having to live under somebody else’s roof. Well, technically living in a dorm is living under somebody else’s roof, but you know what I mean. You can decide what time you want to go to bed, what you want to have for dinner, and whether or not you want to go to class (word advice — go to class).
But, while college offers a certain kind of freedom most 18-year-old’s relish, it’s also the first time teenagers live on their own. And let’s face it, most teenagers don’t really know how to live on their own. So, whether you are heading off to college this fall or you know somebody who is, here is everything you’ll need for your dorm room.
Yes, you will spend a lot of time outside of your dorm room while you’re in college, but you’re also going to spend a lot of time in your dorm room while you’re in college. More specifically, your bed. Rather than just buying cheap sheets and blankets, invest in comfortable bedding you’ll enjoy sleeping in.
And, even if you don’t think you’ll need it, buy more than one set of sheets. In fact, I would recommend having three sets at your disposal. You never know when you’ll need to switch them out, and you don’t want to have to wait for your first pair of sheets to dry before being able to get back into bed. The more the merrier when it comes to sheets!
Dorm rooms are tiny, but it’s the only space you have while you’re in college. Because of the lack of space, it’s important to buy functional organizational pieces that can kill two birds with one stone.
For example, a storage ottoman (which you can buy from Target), can store blankets, school supplies, or other knick nacks, while also doubling as a footrest or seat. Grab a few storage drawers to put in your closet or under your desk, which can hold extra toiletries, clothes, or snacks.
You won’t have your mom or dad around asking you to clean your dorm room in college, but that doesn’t mean you should forgo cleaning altogether. Dorm rooms can get messy very quickly, so it’s a good idea to have a few handy cleaning tools around. Grab a handheld vacuum to clean up any dust or crumbs, make sure to have a trash can, and always have a thing of cleaning wipes at your disposal. I’m not saying you have to clean every day, but don’t let your room become a pigsty!
Sleeping in a dorm room is a lot different than sleeping at home, so you’ll want to have a few things on hand to help you get a good night’s rest. A sleeping mask is key, as are earplugs, especially if you and your roommate go to bed at different times. It’s also a good idea to have a mini fan or a white noise machine near your bed, just in case the dorm gets a little loud on weekends.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that you don’t need a fully-stocked kitchen in your dorm room. It’s just not necessary and will take up way too much space. You’ll eat most of your meals in your dorm cafeteria anyway. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get some kitchen appliances.
For example, if you’re a big coffee drinker, it might be a good idea to have a coffee maker in your room. Or, if you love drinking soda, buy a mini-fridge! Take inventory of what you truly love and purchase those items specifically.
Along with the big items listed above, there are many other things you’ll need to bring with you to college. Don’t forget a desk lamp, laundry bin, shower cady, bathrobe, alarm clock, and enough hangers to accommodate all your clothing. But just remember, while this list is a great place to start, you are going to forget things when you move to college. And you know what? That’s OK! Just get your essentials and go from there.