I remember shopping and packing up my room to move into a dorm and thinking about how easy it was. It should have been a ridiculously stressful experience. Everyone I knew was spending days running around like chickens with their heads cut off in preparation, but not me. It wasn't until I moved in and realized what I didn't have that I became freaked. I spent days after moving in shopping on Amazon, making frequent runs to Target and mooching off of my roommate and everyone on the hall. It wasn't even just me; none of us were fully prepared.

So, this is everything I can recommend to make life easier for incoming students preparing for dorm life.

1. Mini Fridge and Microwave

If you are able to have these, they'll make your life so easy. Mini fridges hold more than they look and microwaves cook just about anything. I was hesitant about getting them because I didn't think I would use them, but I'm so glad I did!

2. A Big Trash Can

The trash can that comes in the dorm is tiny, or at least mine was. Unless you want to take your garbage out every day and spend trillions of dollars constantly buying trash bags, do yourself a favor and upsize. You'll accumulate more trash than you think.

3. Broom and Dustpan


I was shocked to see how many people didn't bring a broom. Unless you have carpet, it's a must. No one is going to clean but you, so you need the necessary tools to do so.

4. Air Fresheners


Get stuff to plug into the wall, get something to spray, get all of it. There is no telling what will waft in through your vents. Burnt popcorn is a smell that lingers for days and you get tired of it fast.

5. Laundry Basket with Wheels

First semester, I lived in an awful, paradoxical situation where I hated doing laundry because my basket was too heavy to carry down, so I would hold off and it would just get heavier. Over Christmas break, I made a point to get one that rolls and I did laundry all the time with no cares in the world.

6. Tide Pods


Speaking of laundry: Tide Pods. They're the epitome of college convenience. A big container lasts forever so you almost never have to buy soap and it's much easier to carry tiny pods down to the laundry room rather than a huge jug of laundry detergent.

7. A lot of Clorox Wipes

Stock up! Dorms get super dirty; you spill things, dust forms quickly and stuff needs disinfected constantly. It's a whole thing, so to make cleanup super simple, get a bunch of wipes.

8. Extra Blankets and Pillows


This isn't an essential but they're good to have an extra set on hand for when you have guests or you have to find another place to crash.

9. Curtains


Again, not completely necessary but a huge help. If blinds are provided but curtains aren't, you might want to pack some for the dorm. College campuses usually have quite a bit of night life, so for the best sleep, shutting out the light is great. Plus, they make a room feel very cozy!

10. Basic Cookware

It doesn't take much; maybe just a pot, a pan, a cookie sheet and a plastic spoon. College food gets old FAST, so being able to whip up something quick is awesome.

11. Disposable Plates, Cups and Cutlery

This is more of a personal preference, but having everything disposable seems to be the most convenient option. Cleanup is easy and they don't take up much space.

12. Good Snacks


This should be self explanatory, but for some it isn't. Some people don't bring food they'll actually want to eat. Get things that are good and some that are good for you. Don't be that guy that is always begging for all the good snacks or overpays at the vending machines.

13. Quick, Easy Dinners

As I said before, college food gets old fast! At some point Ramen and Easy Mac will sound better than whatever you can get with your meal plan.

14. Bluetooth Speaker


My speaker was the best thing I owned. Bluetooth speakers make everything easier and obviously more fun. Sitting in silence or with just earbuds all the time is super lame, don't do that.

15. Printer


There wasn't ever a day I didn't wish I had a printer. It's hard to get used to writing a paper late at night and having to print it out at the library early in the morning before class. But if you get one, let it be your best kept secret, otherwise everyone will use it and you'll run out of ink in a week.

16. Lots of Extra Storage


I can't stress enough how small dorms are! However, it's actually really easy to make your room feel bigger than it is. Utilize all your space. Get hanging things for the doors, drawers for under all open spaces, storage ottoman and hang what you can from your bed.

17. Piggy Bank or Change Jar


It's such a good idea to save all your change because it'll come in handy later. Pennies add up when you're broke and want candy at 2am from the vending machine. It's something you wouldn't think to have but you'd be glad you did.

18. Business casual attire


Not actually for your dorm, but important nonetheless. Interviews come up all time and opportunities pop up out of the blue, after all, that is what college is for. It's a good idea to be prepared!

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