Starting college is an exciting experience for many freshmen. For most, it is the first time that you are completely independent. For those of you living in a dorm this incoming fall, here are a few tips to help make living on your own for the first time a little easier.
1. Shower Caddy
Whether or not you have a communal or a suite style bathroom, a shower caddy is an essential for convenience and comfort. This is an easy way to transport all of your bathroom essentials without worrying about leaving things inside of the small, shared bathroom.
A hand-held steamer is a convenient and safe way to remove wrinkles from your clothing, whether you are going to class or out with friends; it is a lot safer than having an iron in the dorm.
3. Hanging Shoe Organizer
This is the best tip I received before becoming a freshman living in the dorm, because the closets are typically very small. Having compartments for shoes, or even for storing other things like jewelry, purses, school materials, or snacks is handy and stays hidden behind the door as well.
4. Mini Extension Cord
Although there are most likely outlets in your dorm room, you are still sharing the room with others. Therefore, the outlets may be occupied and you'd be surprised by how quickly they become unavailable. Having an extension cord allows you to charge your lamp, phone charger, computer charger, printer, etc. all at once.
Living in the dorm, there will most likely be a shared laundry space. Being the first time living alone for many, doing laundry is a chore some people are not used to. Having a hamper helps you easily transport the clothes to those communal spaces. (TIP: I had two hampers, one for clean clothes and one for dirty clothes, because I sometimes got caught up with school work and didn't have the time to fold everything in the moment it was cleaned.)
6. Command Strips
Most dorm rooms do not allow you to drill holes into the walls. Therefore, having command strips is a way to hang decorations, a headboard, photos, etc.
7. Mattress Topper
The dorm room twin-sized beds can sometimes be uncomfortable; having a mattress topper adds volume to the bed and comfort overall, reminding you of your possibly more comfortable bed from home.
Sometimes the temperature in the dorms is uncontrollable. Having a fan or a heater can help make the temperature in your dorm more comfortable in case the weather outside does not match the temperature you prefer indoors.
9. Mini Fridge
Some dorm rooms come with mini fridges, and some do not. In my opinion, a mini fridge can sometimes be a small space to share with another person, so bringing your own leaves no room for confusion on food that belongs to each other, or on who is using up more fridge space.
10. Food Storage/Silverware
My roommate and I shared plastic utensils and it worked out great! Plastic plates, cups, and silverware are more convenient than metal ones during the dorm life.