You did it! You’ve graduated from high school, and now it’s time for college and life on your own. It’s exciting, so make sure you don’t forget anything important as you prepare. From a range of experts, here are the 10 things to make sure you bring to college.
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You may have heard this before: dorm rooms are tiny! Okay, it’s not a news flash, but even so, many students forget to bring storage solutions that work for their dorm rooms. Look for under-bed storage containers, flat hangers, and command strips with hooks with which to maximize what you’ve got but don’t ruin the walls. Since space is at a premium, plan ahead and get creative.
Light It Up
When you get into your new dorm room or campus housing, you may be unpleasantly surprised by how dark it is in there. If you’re prepared, though, you’ll be in a well-lit space that’s just right for your needs. Leslie Josel, owner of Order Out of Chaos, puts it like this:
“A lot of dorm rooms are small and dark, so extra lighting and back up light bulbs are a must. A bedside lamp is perfect for those nights you want to read in bed without disturbing your roommate, while a desk lamp will be necessary for studying.”
If you’ve got your own bathroom, you’re in luck! But most students will be sharing a bathroom, and many will travel down long hallways to reach common bathing areas. For these students, a shower caddy is a must. This makes it easier to make that morning march down the hall with all of your soap, shampoo, conditioner, comb, brush, razors, deodorant, and everything else you’ll need. Look for one that hangs and folds into a bag, for maximum utility.
Think About the Future
As you’re planning for what you’ll need, don’t get sucked in by too many dorm-specific items. Instead, go for things that you can use both in campus housing and later on as you transition out of school. John Linden, an interior designer with Mirror Coop, explains:
“Only purchase things that you can use in your first apartment. There is a lot of dorm-specific furniture. Save yourself the trouble (and expense) of re-purchasing when you move into your first apartment and find furniture that can make the move seamless.”
Linens and Bed Gear
In a dorm or campus apartment, you need your own linens for bathing and bedding. You’re also going to be assigned a mattress—and odds are excellent that it will be a twin XL size, and well-used. This means you need a linens and bedding checklist with each item ticked off: a twin XL mattress protector, twin XL sheets and comforter, pillows, towels, and to ensure you actually sleep well on your aging mattress, a twin XL mattress topper.
Under Your Feet
It’s easy to forget what’s under your feet, but don’t! Dorm room floors can be old and dirty, and they can also get very cold in winter. Instead, add some style and comfort to your room at floor level. Tim Poirier, University Dean of Student Development at Delaware Valley University says, “An area rug can be a nice extra item to bring to a new space that can add color and personality. We recommend students choose an area rug that is 8×10 or smaller.”
Hook Yourself Up
A surge protector with USB ports is a must for all college students. It protects costly electronics against damage from a power surge, avoids the extension cords which many schools ban anyway, and provides more outlets in a dorm room, which probably doesn’t have enough.
A Breath of Fresh Air
For better health and greater happiness, it’s worth the time and minimal investment to include a plant on your checklist. Justin Hancock, the lead horticulturist at Costa Farms, sums up the benefits:
“The dorm room of 2018 would be lacking in style without a living, breathing and especially colorful plant. Decorating with plants adds color and harmony to your room, providing you with a feeling of wellbeing. Plants also allow a dorm room to feel more like a home, plus they are very Instagram-able!”
Just In Case
Occasionally, things go wrong. When they do, make sure you’ve got a first aid kit, a small sewing kit, and things like spot remover for your clothes on hand. These are the kind of things that are very important, but easy to forget—your parents probably had them in the closet, and this is the first time you’re thinking about them!
Just For Fun
This list is mostly about necessity, but it’s worth bringing one small, fun item that helps you relax and make friends! Stacy Caprio of Deals Scoop recommends something unexpected: “I love popcorn, so a must-have for me and all popcorn-lovers is an airpop popcorn machine. It’ll help you make easy friends in the dorm area as well!”
Good Luck, and Have Fun!
You’re going to love being a college student! Hopefully this list of 10 things to make sure you bring to college will help you get started just right. And remember, Fashion Furniture is just a phone call away if you decide to go the rental furniture route for your college housing!