12 Must-Have Items For Your First Apartment Or Dorm Room

12 Must-Have Items For Your First Apartment Or Dorm Room

I am three years into college and these are the items I could not live without.


As I am getting ready to move into my new apartment on campus, my roommates and I have been discussing some of the items we will need to bring individually. Which got me to thinking that since July is quickly coming to an end, everyone will be back to school shopping soon. So why not write about the items that some people may forget or think about getting when it comes to their first apartment too. Without a further ado, here are 12 must-have items for your first apartment or dorm room that you may not have even thought about or need to get a replacement.

1. Vacuum

Dirt Devil Vacum Cleaner Quick Lite

This may be the one thing you will forget about when you are last minute purchasing items for your new apartment. Trust me, if you are bringing a rug then you will want a vacuum to clean up those pesky messes that WILL happen. My mom bought this extremely expensive Dirt Devil vacuum from Amazon that is literally the best vacuum I have ever used. But I found this one, in the picture above, on Amazon for a little bit cheaper and the reviews are also pretty good too.

2. Cleaning Supplies

Clorox Value Pack Scented Disinfecting Wipes

10/10 would recommend going to the Dollar Tree or anywhere where you can get a plethora of cleaning supplies for a cheap price. You won't use them as much as you think, but if you are a slight OCD germaphobe -- like me -- then you will especially want to get a triple pack of Clorox cleaning wipes. These things were made by God himself, I swear on my life they are amazing. Plus you can buy them in value packs, so you can have plenty to spread around your apartment.

3. Coffeemaker/Keurig

Keurig K15 Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

This one is pretty obvious, but if you love to drink coffee it is a must. Not only will it save you the hassle of waiting in line at Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks, but it will also save a ton of money. If you are also like me and collect coffee mugs or tumblers, then you are also being eco-friendly and using less waste!

4. Coasters

Marble Stackable Coasters

Such a small item, but it makes all the difference. One of my biggest pet peeves is the condensation left from drinks. Coasters are a must in my house at home and I have brought that annoying trait with me to college too. Plus it gives the apartment a more clean look when you don't have coffee rings all around the tables. Target usually has some cute ones, but I would also hit up IKEA to see if they have a couple of cheap and cuter options.

5. Water Pitcher/Brita

Brita Grand 10 Cup Water Pitcher

I am not a huge fan of having to use plastic since it is bad for the environment. So instead, try buying a water pitcher/Brita systems -- they work wonders. Especially if your apartment runs off of city water, then it can help to filter out anything that may have ended up in the pipes.

6. Oil Diffuser

URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser

If you living on campus, or in an apartment that does not allow candles, a great alternative is an oil diffuser. Amazon sells a ton of cute and pretty cheap ones. I bought one my sophomore year of college and I literally use it every day. The one I have is listed above. It also changes colors, so you can change it to whatever mood you are feeling that day! Plus you can use a ton of different scents and change up how the room smells every day.

7. Ottoman

Ottoman with Tray - Room Essentials

An ottoman is amazing when it comes to extra storage. I have used mine for a numerous amount of things. For example, when I lived in my sorority house, I used it as a food pantry and placed all the snacks that I didn't want my sisters getting into. While at home, I use it to store all of my unused blankets in. It makes for a great way to put things out of sight and comes in handy when you are like me and pack way too much stuff. They are also nice for putting your feet up or for extra seating.

8. Record Player or Speaker

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable with Speakers

Personally, I prefer record players and they are coming back in style too. The one I have -- which is not the same one listed and pictured above -- has the same options to play Bluetooth or actual records. There is just something about the way vinyl sounds compared to anything else. Filling your apartment with dope music always gives it a more homie and relaxing vibe.

9. Futon

Futon Sofa Black - Room Essentials

A futon is a little bit cheaper than an actual couch, depending on where you go. Plus I would rather my friends accidentally ruin a futon than a couch any day.

10. Extra Blankets

Juwenin Home 100% Cotton Knitted Throw Blanket

First thing I ever learned in college, was to bring a good amount of blankets and sheets with me. That way so when you are doing laundry or take your time doing laundry, you can already have a backup set ready to go. Plus I don't know about you, but I love to curl up in extra throw blankets in the winter.

11. Portable Air Conditioner or Fan

Honeywell HYF290B Quietset 8-Speed Whole Room Tower Fan

One of my friends, who happens to be a Senior now at Butler, told me to include this and she is completely right. I sleep with a fan going every night, not only does it make for a wonderful white noise, but it also helps when you live with someone who loves to keep the air up rather than down. It also helps to keep some circulation going throughout the apartment.

12. Smart LED TV

TCL 32" 720p 60Hz Roku Smart LED TV

There will be nights where you want to just relax and watch Netflix, play games with friends or just have time to yourself. A TV that provides HULU or Netflix already built in is a life saver. It beats having to strain your eyes by watching everything on your tiny computer screen. Plus, having a gaming system, like a Wii or a PlayStation, to go along with your Smart TV always makes for the life of a party. It also becomes an excuse to invite friends over to see your cute new apartment and to have game nights!


I hope that some of these items were somewhat helpful and that they help make your apartment feel like home. Happy new apartment!

Cover Image Credit:
Kari Shea

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Finding Your Niche In College Starts With Finding You

Attempting to be someone you are not for the sake of having company only hurts you in the long run.


Transitioning to college is hard enough, but trying to find a place where you feel "at home" can make this time even more stressful. Here are some tips on how to find that place/group of people that make you feel like sunshine.

I have always felt a little out of place wherever I went, but it wasn't until college that I realized that this feeling was so special and more people should capitalize on their differences rather than conforming to a certain mold. Transitioning to college and finding your place among so many people can be very overwhelming. The added stress of attempting to be someone you aren't for the sake of having company adds a whole other layer to this problem. The easiest thing for me to do in any situation like this is trying to make the setting a little smaller. One of the most obvious ways to do this on a college campus is by getting involved!

It is inevitable that within the first few weeks of the semester at any college, there will be an organization fair. This is a chance to scope out all that your school has to offer! Chances are there will be some type of group or club that lines up with your interests. Most college campuses have extracurricular opportunities ranging from social sororities and fraternities, professional ones, intermural sports, vocal groups, and so many more. You are more than likely going to find some type of organization that you can call home if you seek them out. Joining an organization is such an easy way to interact with people with similar interests. An interest can bring two completely different people together and create some beautiful friendships. It is situations like this where it is important to be your authentic self and mingle with those you share something with.

That being said, finding your place in college isn't always about being involved. Getting involved on campus is just one of the simplest ways to start. There are so many other opportunities on campus to meet people whether it be among others in your residence hall, people in your classes, or just people you find yourself stumbling upon! Finding people to spend your time with is easy; however, you should make it a point to surround yourself with people who bring you up.

Once you have a set group of people that you find yourself spending time with, it is important to pay attention to the way you feel when you're around them. If you find yourself feeling bad about yourself or get the impression that you need to change something in order to "fit in," chances are the people you're around are not the best for you or your self-esteem. It is important to surround yourself with people who allow you to feel comfortable in your own skin. That being said, you also want people who encourage you to make good decisions and help you reach your goals. People who encourage toxic behavior in your life might be fun in the short term, but in the grand scheme of things, you need to be surrounded by people with your best interest in mind. Essentially, surrounding yourself with people who influence you to be your best self is one of the best decisions you can make short and long term.

The key to all of this is being conscious of your own feelings and needs. Pay attention to who reaches out to you to hang out. Notice the ones who pay attention to you as you speak when it feels like no one is listening. More than anything, be conscious of who you're with and where you're at when you experience moments of pure happiness. Life is too short to waste your precious time on people who don't build you up. Wouldn't you rather spend your time with more moments of pure joy than self-hate? Start living for you!

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