Dorm Room Essentials

With a degree in journalism and advertising from Northern Arizona University, Natasha Reeves has always had a passion for telling stories. She has a love for social media and enjoys producing human interest stories, long forum features and life style pieces. Just graduated and currently working in digital marketing Natasha is exploring life and is highly involved in freelance work.

When going into college there are a lot of adjustments to be made, especially adjusting to dorm life. Living in a dorm gives a student the balance between the freedom of living on your own as well as the convenience and safety many dorms offer. There are a lot of life lessons to be learned in a dormitory, such as how to cooperate with others, respect for personal space and belongings, learning about people’s differences, and a lot of times, how to do your own laundry or maybe how to get stains out of a carpet. But before going into dorm life there are a few things a new student should bring to make life easier in this new environment. Below are a few dorm hacks to make your semester run smoother.
1. Febreze
Or really any air freshener. One thing you will learn quickly is that dorms do smell. Whether it be a messy roommate, old pizza boxes, or a random smell wavering in from next door some sort of air spray or plug-in WILL be needed in a college dorm.
2. Microwave (assuming the dorm doesn’t come with one)
Meet your new best friend and main source of food, the microwave. From ramen to soup to T.V. dinners the microwave will serve the hungry college student well with quick, cheap meals. As a heads up here are a few things that should never really go in the microwave:
• Foil
• Metal
• Notebook paper
• Brown paper bags
• Plastic bags
• Or any food that has a lot of oil (usually comes out too soggy)

3. Bottled water or Pitcher Filter
Reality check, the water in your dorm is probably not going to be very good. If your facility provides some sort of water cooler or bottled water consider yourself extremely lucky. Most dormitories will require you to get water from the sink or won’t have any kind of water source. So unless you are okay with gulping down the stale taste of bathroom sink water invest in some Nestle, Crystal Geyser, or a Brita Filter.

4. Sleeping bag or Fan (depending on where you live)
One thing is for sure, your dorm room will always be either too hot or too cold. For dorms with their own thermostat this isn’t an immediate need however you never know when your friends will want to go out on a camping trip, so still include a sleeping bag onto your dorm check list!
5. A nice pair of headphones
There is a high chance that the average student already has a pair of headphones but you will be using those headphones a lot in college; so it might be a good idea to buy a high-quality, durable pair. These devices of audio magic will help diffuse many fights between you and your roommate. There are going to be times where your roomie is going to need sleep but you have to pull an all-nighter watching that movie for your German film class. When your roommate is blasting away playing that intense video game, you are going to need some good headphones to help you concentrate on your Netflix binging. Plus, for those who are into fashion you can get some chic headphones to wear around when walking to class.
6. Don’t forget the flip-flops!
For many dorm dwellers, especially freshman there will be a public restroom and shower room of some sort. Flip-flops can help keep your feet safe from any bacteria lingering in the showers.
7. A small container for bathroom supplies
Going along with the flip-flops, it is wise to have some sort of box or container to put your soap, loofah, shampoo, etc. in for when transporting between the bathroom and your room.
8. Wash cloths
Besides cleaning a wash cloth can have many uses and can help you save money sometimes. For example, on the occasions a student decides to cook or bake a wash cloth can be used as an oven mitt. When you run out of dryer sheets you can rub in a nickel sized dot of conditioner into a wash cloth and use it as a homemade dryer sheet. It won’t leave any smell, stickiness, or stain. In certain situations a wash cloth can also be used as a plate or coaster.
9. A small safe
Not to initiate any bad feelings between you and your roommate but having a lockable container is advised when living in a dorm. Your roommate(s) might be the most trustworthy people however there is a high risk of theft in dorms. From passports to your favorite collector’s item a safe can help keep your belongings secure.
10. Chairs, chairs, chairs
You are most likely going to have a lot of guest in your dorm room. Bean bag chairs, saucer chairs, folded lounge chairs, or even a futon are all excellent to be used when hanging out with your buddies.
11. A mini fridge
This is one of those items that is only needed if your room doesn’t already come with one. Even if you don’t make your own meals a mini fridge is going to be a must for snacks and drinks.

12. Coffee maker
This is the time of your life when you really get introduced to substances like coffee and energy drinks. A lot of the time you are going to need that extra boost. A coffee maker can help you save money and will always provide you with a delicious hazelnut, vanilla, or straight black escape.

There are plenty of other items needed when moving into a dormitory. These items however, are just a few that will really help you get by and can easily be forgotten when trying to pack your pillow, toothbrush, and tablet.

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