Preparing for college is overwhelming, especially when getting ready to move into your new dorm. From extra-long twin bedding to closet organization systems, there’s so much shopping to do and things to buy; some essential items often get lost in the shuffle. We’ve got you covered though, here are 15 products you’ll really want in your dorm room but might forget about in the hustle and bustle of packing. This is so important, we’ve even got a Pinterest board devoted to dorm essentials.
1. Mattress Pad: You’ll definitely want some sort of mattress pad or foam topper. Many dorm mattresses are old and uncomfortable so having some sort of topper can make all the difference in getting a good night’s sleep. Egg crate style toppers are popular and typically the most economical option, however there are also tons of more luxurious options like memory foam and gel mattress pads.
2. Rug: Dorm room floors are often times worn or stained. Your room might come with linoleum or carpeted floors, both of which might be pretty yucky. A floor rug can make you feel a little better walking around your room barefoot, not to mention adding a pop of color to otherwise drab flooring.
3. Bed risers and underbed storage: Dorm rooms are small so it’s important to economize on space whenever you can. Optimize the space by vaulting your bed up on risers and using the additional space for storage. Raising your bed just a few inches off the ground can really save huge amounts of space. Drawers and bins under your bed are a great place to store extra bedding or out-of-season clothing, like winter coats during the warmer months.
4. Power strip: A notorious problem with dorm rooms is the lack of conveniently-placed outlets. Investing in a power strip or two will keep all your electronic gadgets happy. Make sure it complies with your dorm’s regulations to avoid a fine.
5. Water Filter: Since many dorms have older plumbing and bad tasting tap water, a water filter is really a must. It eliminates the need to stock up on bottled water, saving you time and money. Make sure you find one that fits in your mini-fridge!
6. Cups, dishes, and utensils: Even if you have a meal plan, there are bound to be a few times where you just want to snuggle up in your room with some mac-n-cheese, ice cream, or hot-chocolate. Whatever your favorite snack may be, you’re going to need something to eat off of and with. You don’t need much in this category, but one or two cups, a plate and bowl, and a set of silverware are absolute musts.
7. Small dish soap and dishwashing brush: Even if you only use your dishes occasionally, keeping them clean is important. Not only is eating off a dirty plate gross, it can actually get you sick. Keep a small bottle of dish soap and a dishwashing brush handy and clean out your mugs, dishes and utensils right after you use them.
8. Handheld vacuum: Warning: the flooring in your room will get dirty! And, if you don’t clean it, it can actually be pretty disgusting. Invest in a small vacuum, like a Dustbuster, to keep your room clean, or at least not filthy, throughout the year.
9. Disinfecting wipes: In addition to keeping your floor clean, you’ll want to wipe down other surfaces periodically to keep away the dust. Disinfecting wipes are easy to use and can be a big space saver over large bottles of cleaning solution and dust cloths.
10. Sewing kit, first-aid kit and tool kit: Absolutely necessary for missing buttons, unidentified party injuries, and your wall hanging/room fixing needs, respectively.
11. Wrinkle removing spray or a small portable steamer: Both are so much easier (and take up less space) than an iron. Even if it’s only for a few important events and presentations, you’re going to need wrinkle-free clothes sometimes.
12. Beach towel: Whether you’re tanning in the quad, visiting the rec center pool, attending a springtime pool party, or even going on Spring Break – it’s good to have a beach towel that’s separate from your bath one.
13. Games and playing cards: Simple card games like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity are great games to play with your friends and hallmates. Since they can be played with large groups of people and occupy relatively little shelf space, these are a must. Plus having games in your room is a great way to meet new people and make friends at the start of the year.
14. Wall hooks: lots of companies make small hooks you can stick onto your new room’s walls. These are fantastic because they’re easy to use, require virtually no tools and comply with some dorms pesky “no-nail” regulations. Not to mention, they’re perfect for hanging towels, jackets and small bags.
15. Posters, pictures, and wall decorations: Having decorations on your walls can help turn a dull room into a place that makes you feel at home. Plus, empty dorm walls are bleak and uninviting. Cover up the mysterious stains and missing paint with posters and photos from home.