After admiring your acceptance letter, choosing your housing and mentally preparing yourself for new faces, places and a new campus, you are officially ready. Let the college years begin. Even though you’ve checked your lists twice (okay, three times) and feel so ready for the big move, it’s still easy to overlook a few things you’ll want to have with you at college. Here is HC’s list of forgettable (yet essential!) items that will make your dorm comfier, encourage you to stay organized, take your social life to the next level and more!
For Your Dorm Room
1. Bathroom shelving
Browse through the house wares section of bargain stores for multi-purpose bathroom shelves that can double as wall shelves, like these at the Container Store. They’re less bulky than regular wall shelves – so they’ll hang easier, too. “These are awesome for dorm rooms because they help you maximize your dorm space,” Harper Yi, a Her Campus correspondent at The College of William & Mary, says. “Vertical space is key when you are living in a small area.”
2. Double sided-tape and command strips
If your dorm, like most, is strict about hanging things on walls with nails (which most are), pack these. Double-sided tape is great for small items, like single pictures or thin posters. Command strips go on easily, hold tons of items (purses, large picture frames, towels and more) and won’t leave marks when you remove them. No damage, no dorm fines!
Older dorms can be really difficult to clean, and dust may seem to appear overnight. When you don’t want to wear shoes in your room, but hate walking on the dirty tile floors, rugs are a great investment. If you don’t know the dimensions of your dorm, check online or contact a housing representative to see if he or she can look up that information up for you.
Before buying a rug, make sure to consider a few factors. How often will you clean the rug? Even though that mint one looks beautiful, a dark color might be better for hiding dirt. And how often will you wash the rug? Choose a fabric that’s easy to clean, like nylon or cotton. If you want to add a little flair to your dorm, a decorative rug is also an easy fix.
Many dorms may have vacuums available in the residential life offices, but having one in your room may give you more initiative to clean, says Kelsey Mulvey, a junior at Boston University. Check out Amazon for some cheap, portable and perfectly storable options.
1. Sewing Kit
Unfortunately, mom won’t be there when a button falls off your favorite shirt. A basic sewing kit with needles and thread should do the trick – just make sure you learn how to do it before you leave home. For a fun DIY project, try putting together this sewing kit with your favorite colors of thread.
2. Duct tape
TV cables, extension cords and other exposed wires can be dangerous. Tape them to the ground to avoid tripping over them when you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
3. Bag of rice
You’d be surprised how easy it is to drop your phone in a cup at a party, or in the toilet at the dorm. Ariella Brand, a Her Campus intern and Boston University collegiette, recommends having a bag of rice on hand in the event of a phone emergency. If your phone has water damage, submerge it in dry rice. The rice can help soak up any excess moisture.
4. Power strips, surge protectors or extension cords
Between charging your cell phone, your iPod, plugging in your flat iron and powering up your laptop, you will run out of electrical outlets. Make sure to pack a power strip (check with a housing representative from your dorm to find one that adheres to fire code) or extension cord to keep your gadgets charged and your wires untangled. A surge protector will also help keep your electronics safe and functioning.