You might be going into your first year of college, which is scary and exciting at the same time. You have NO IDEA what to expect but you also get a chance at being yourself while also being independent and a bit free. You might be freaking out because you have no idea what to bring. Is there an official dorm checklist? What if I need this? What if that is only going to take up valuable space in my little cubicle of a dorm?
Worry not, younglings!
OR maybe you're a dorm veteran and you just want to see my incredible ideas of what else to bring into your dorm, because oh "I didn't think of that". Everyone has those moments. Trust me.
Look no further because these are the absolute dorm ESSENTIALS that you'll regret bringing, no matter if you live an hour, or 10 away from your school.
1. Cleaning suppliesGiphy
A lot of people that I've come across that think they're clean, clearly have never met me. I am probably one of the most compulsively clean people you'll ever meet. Cleaning supplies were absolutely essential for my dorm checklist and I think it should be a part of everyone. Being messy and sloppy isn't cute anymore, as far as I'm concerned for a college student. It's one thing that you don't have time to make your bed, but every once in a while Lysol your tabletops and Febreze your pillows.
You can even make it sort of fun with MUSIC!
In reference to what I use:
2. Brita filter or filtered water bottleGiphy
Buying cases of plastic water bottles can get super expensive and it's also bad for the environment. Filtered water is clean and is probably a lot better than the water coming from your school's water fountain (tastes may vary). Buying one filtered bottle or even a regular pitcher, with the filters lasting about 2 months, you're saving so much money as opposed to buying a plastic water bottle every day, or a case of waters once a month. Smart saving and hydrated, that's the way you do college!
3. Storage binsGiphy
Most schools do not offer a lot of storage in dorms, and you'll probably find yourself needing more space to put all of your things. For example: snacks, undies, the utensils you stole from your school's cafeteria (shhh), and more snacks. Storage bins are useful, especially if you can stack them. Less clutter and more organization. We love an organized king or queen!
4. Foam bed topperGiphy
The most important out of the list because when I say it is a dorm ESSENTIAL, I really mean it. You may have to jump on your bed, or buy a little step stool but totally worth the leap. The beds in dorms are never comfortable, ever and you will probably end up with a bad back, and a worse sleeping schedule added to your already bad one. Just some things you don't wanna be going through as a young adult, especially if you're a freshman. No one wants to become a washed out freshman.
5. Throw blanket(s)Giphy
Yea, you need a comforter, bed sheets and maybe a little blanket over your bed sheet but an extra blanket or two can never hurt. Sometimes you'll want to sit on your bed j chillin', maybe studying or watching Netflix and in the winter, (or if you're just a naturally cold person) you'll want to cozy up with a blanket. (Also a really good gift for someone, with another little gift as an extra). Even you don't really use it, it's still something that will add to your room decor, adding more pizzazz.
6. Power stripsGiphy
You're gonna be plugging a lot of things in like a printer, mini-fridge, microwave, lamps, and everything else you'll have on your dorm checklist, so don't go to college without the handy dandy power strip. Be sure to also get the right one because a lot of schools have restrictions with some electronic things. There are oftentimes outlets in weird and hard to reach places and the powerstrip(s) will help you to reach everywhere and anywhere.
No, I'm not telling you to bring a huge vacuum. Bring a little one that is easy to store and to clean out. It's needed on your dorm checklist, especially if you're a girl who sheds like a golden retriever (me). I use it at least once a week, maybe even more. It's a quick and easy way to keep your dorm looking like your mom came to clean it, all it takes is no more than 10 minutes.
8. Freakers/ FracketGiphy
Okay what? Freakers and Fracket are words we use that are short for frat sneakers and frat shoes. These are usually the sneakers or a jacket you don't particular care about getting dirty, or torn. After a couple of months, my white converse, that were a couple of years old, turned black and these are the shoes I wear to parties. When they get a bit too dirty, simple wash them and let them air dry.
Okay this sounds super cheesy but if you're into remembering your best memories and writing vivid details about it, getting a journal for your college experience is so ideal. You get to keep it forever, reliving your best and worst memories, you can write anything you want, and you can even get your friends to join in, sharing what everyone wrote and what everyone's different perspectives look like.
10. An overnight bagGiphy
You never know where college might take you, even if it's just home for the weekend. Having an overnight or a duffle bag is essential because there's so many impromptu trips you would have no idea that you'd take. A duffle bag, or even a large backpack will do. It doesn't have to be too crazy like a luggage or a big bag with straps, unless you're like me and overpack everything, just in case.
11. Dawn (dish soap), and a spongeGiphy
If you decide to take plastic reusable containers, utensils, and cups, its probably a good idea to take things you'll need to clean them with. Don't just wash them with your hands and some hand soap. No one wants their dishes smelling like a flower.
My favorite essential dorm category!! I suggest pretzels, your favorite candy, popcorn, ramen (obvy), easy mac and cheese, and fruit (if you have a fridge), but you can choose anything as long as it fits and you're able to do what you can to eat it. I advise that you get creative with your snacks, because you never know when you're craving salty or sweet, or savory, or cold, or hot, or ramen. (I actually came home from college for break and was craving ramen, so it is a real craving).
It's extremely rude to watch a show or listen to music if your roommate isn't cool with it (set ground rules before experimenting with this) and even if you're in the library, sometimes it's better to focus with headphones for some people. PLUS, it's an excuse to ignore someone if you don't wanna talk to them.
14. Full-length mirrorGiphy
To take mirror pics, obviously! But just because college is a lot, don't let your inner fashionista stay in. Work those kicks, and don't forget to accessorize. Sometimes I see mirrors that are a little off so it looks like you're looking into a funhouse mirror because it makes you look shorter or taller, so make sure you get a mirror that's right for you. If you don't wanna look like you're in a funhouse, I advise you to spend a bit extra on one. You're gonna be looking into it every day, however many times you look at yourself a day.
It may be a tiny box and you may question how they make 2 or more people sleep in there, but make your dorm the most cozy, and homey, and the most you with decorations such as pictures, decorative lamps, plants, pillows, and more pillows, etc. You're gonna be living there the whole time you're there so may as well make it feel like home.
Of course, there are others and if you have ideas, make the most of them and make your dorm your own!
For first years, if you are one of those who gets homesick, bring pictures or anything that reminds you of home. It'll help you through the first couple of weeks or months.
For us veterans, maybe add some memories you've made throughout college so far or change up your furniture or your walls every couple of months so you don't get sick of it.
Everyone, I know Pinterest is usually stereotyped as a girly thing, but guys can take just as much inspiration or tips for a (cute) dorm.