Tips & Tricks to Preparing for Your Dorm Room

Had my mother not taken me by the hand and forced me to go into Bed Bath & Beyond the month before I started school, I would have been completely screwed!

I was so nervous about starting school in a far away place that I was trying to put off thinking about it. That included thinking about packing and buying items for my future home — the dormitory. As easy as it is to procrastinate, you do NOT want to do it.

The truth of the matter is that you’ll end up saving much more money (and your sanity) if you stagger purchases for your dorm room throughout the summer. You’ll be less likely to make impulse purchases and buy things that you don’t really like.

As someone he’s been there, I can give you a pretty good idea of what you’ll need to be prepared. I’ve created three sections that will (hopefully) encompass all of your freshman year needs!

What you’ll probably need:

  • Twin XL sheets (and comforter that fits)
  • Laptop/printer
  • Small lamp for extra lighting
  • Shower curtain
  • Bath mats
  • Shower caddy
  • Storage containers (for under your bed)
  • Microwave
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Cable cord for TV
  • Risers for mattress
What you’ll probably want:
  • Flat screen TV
  • Speakers for MP3 player/smartphone
  • Wireless mouse
  • Wireless Internet router
  • Comfy chair or futon
  • Mini refrigerator
  • Flash drive
  • Mattress pad
  • Your favorite books/movies
  • Pictures of friends/family (to battle homesickness)

What y0u’ll likely forget about:

  • Alarm clock
  • Flashlight (if the power goes out — dorms are dark and creepy without electricity)
  • Band-Aids
  • Advil (or similar pain relievers)
  • Trash can
  • Surge protector (you’ll thank me for this later)
  • Extra pens/pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Extra notebook/printer paper
  • Extra ink cartridges for your printer
  • Quarters (for laundry and parking)
  • Hangers (you’d be amazed by how many you’ll need)
  • Laundry basket
  • Post-Its
  • Robe/Towels
  • Extras of all your personal items (in case you don’t have a car)
  • Planner
  • Binders/notebooks/folders
  • Hand soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Dish washing soap/sponges
  • Extra phone charger
  • Social Security card (you’d be amazed when you’ll need this and you won’t have it)
  • Plates/cups/utensils
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Laundry detergent and dryer sheets
  • Swiffer
  • Vacuum
  • Batteries

And now you’re probably wondering where in the heck you”ll find all of this … No worries, I’ve got you covered:

Although it will be great to prepare all of this for your individual needs, don’t forget you’ll need to coordinate with your roommate(s)! There is only so much space in your tiny dorm room, and it will be silly for both of you to have duplicates when really only one will do. I recommend either starting a Facebook message chain, an email or a Google Doc listing what each of you have bought so you can easily keep track. Try to keep it as equal as possible — you don’t want to have resentment built up before you even set foot inside your new home!

What do you wish you would have packed for your freshman year? Let me know in the comments!


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