Don't Forget These College Dorm Essentials

When getting ready to come to Penn State this past August to start out my freshman year, I figured I had all the essentials. I had my bedding, some cute decor, some school supplies and some basic clothing I could use year-round. I didn’t realize I was missing a lot of things. Here is a list of some things you should consider bringing this fall to make dorm life a breeze.

  1. 1. Organization

     If you didn’t know, dorm rooms don’t come with a lot of built-in organization. I recommend bringing some baskets to slide under your bed or to put on the shelves in your room, containers for under-the-bed storage, and maybe even something to divide up the drawers in your dresser. After all, you’ve got to make the most out of the space you’re given.

  2. 2. Snacks

    Believe it or not, you don’t always feel like making a trek to the dining hall. Ramen is an age-old classic; however, bringing mac n’ cheese, chips, granola bars, and quick snacks like that make it easy for you to continue your study session or relax after class.

  3. 3. Cutlery

    Whether it's paper, plastic or actual cutlery you bring from home, having some forks, spoons and plates in your room go a long way. While you’re at it, make sure you have some paper towels or some napkins available to clean up spills or for emergencies.

  4. 4. Lighting

    Dorm lighting is notoriously terrible, so having a lamp or some Christmas lights for your room is something that can totally improve your room and help you relax without the bright overhead lights on.

  5. 5. Air Freshener

    The dorms tend to smell pretty bad, especially because you’re living in a hall with so many people. It’s helpful to have an air freshener that plugs into the wall or some that can spray in the air for when times get particularly tough. Be sure to check with your roommate on this one, though. You want a scent the both of you can enjoy.

  6. 6. Hangers, Hangers And More Hangers

    No matter how many hangers you think you need, always bring more. A trip to Urban Outfitters or H&M is inevitable and before long, you’ll find yourself in desperate need of another hanger. Better to be prepared than having to have your favorite shirt wrinkled later.

  7. 7. A Drying Rack

    Some things just cannot be put into the dryer, and when you’re doing laundry, there are only so many places to hang things up in your room to dry. In order to prevent your desk chair from becoming a permanent residence for all of your sweaters, you should invest in a drying rack.

  8. 8. A Calendar

    You might have bought a small one when buying school supplies. However, a large calendar that can go on your bulletin board or on your wall is a life saver. That way you’re able to better visualize your assignments and exams, and it makes it a lot harder to forget a due date.

  9. 9. A Fan

    This one might be obvious, but I didn’t realize how important it was. You need a lot of fans. I think my room had about four fans in it during the first few weeks because the dorms get so overwhelmingly warm. I recommend a box fan or a floor fan and one that can clip onto the side of your bed.

  10. 10. Cleaning Supplies

    Another one that might be obvious. However, you don’t really think about how dirty your dorm can get. It’s helpful to have some disinfecting wipes, a small broom or vacuum and some dish soap in your room for when your dorm room gets messy.

  11. 11. Deocrations

    If you’re like me, you’re ready to move in with a ton of decorations to make your room look and feel homey. Even so, it’s important to emphasize the usefulness of pictures, throw pillows and knick knacks in your room. The feeling of homesickness is unavoidable, but little things from home help to push it away.

Good luck moving in, collegiettes! Hopefully you have all the materials for a great semester!