12 Dorm Room Must-Haves For Your First Year

You know you're in an empty dorm room when your home away from home looks more like a prison cell. Do you feel like you're still missing something? Here are some things that should be on your list this fall:

1. Coffee and Tea. I don't know what I would have done my first year without my morning pick-me-up. I also do not want to disclose how much money I spent feeding my starbucks addiction. I rationalized  by telling myself it was for the “atmosphere”. Save yourself some money, because textbooks will hurt your wallet enough, and invest in a kettle. Tea is also becoming hugely popular (thank you David), but if you are my kind of person and coffee is your cup of tea, then get yourself a french press. They are super easy to use and all you really need is hot water. 

2. Mattress Pad. You never know what you're signing up for when you move in. A mattress topper can be a game changer for a good night's rest. Invest in one and thank me later.

3. Cleaning Supplies. Nothing major, you can leave the bleach at home, but have some Lysol Wipes around. You never know what will happen but I can promise that something will. You could even make your own DIY wipes if you want. I'll wait while you check out Pintrest.

4. Power Extension Cord. Dorm rooms never have enough outlets, I swear they only ever have one and it is always behind your bed. That's not good enough for this day and age.  A power extension cord will make all of your electrical needs accessible. Why choose between your laptop charger and your phone charger when you can have both? This one was just too cool not to share!

5. Reusable Bags. Every company on the planet has a reusable bag with their logo plastered across it and I suggest you pick one up. They will come in handy when you are grocery shopping and they are better for the environment. Some even fold into a tinier package, so you have no excuse.

6. Shower Caddy. Every residence is different but you will most likely have to share your bathroom. If you are in a dorm where your bathroom is down the hall, then a shower caddy is a must. They keep everything in one place, you won't forget your soap in the shower, and you won't have to set your loofa on the floor. Managing your bathing supplies will be so easy. While you're at it you might want to pick up some shower shoes. Actually no, definitely get shoes.

7. Storage. All the storage. With such little space you need to be smart about how you organize your life into a 10’ by 10’ room (or even smaller). I suggest a shoe rack to house your summer sandals and your winter boots. Another great idea is having an under-bed bin that houses all of your winter apparel that you take out once the snow starts falling. Allowing your minimal closet space to be full of only season appropriate clothing.  

8. Full Length Mirror. The best is one that hangs on the back of your door. You will be able to fully see if your outfit is as cute as you think it is. Add cute pictures and  little encouragement notes to yourself for a personal touch.

9. Snacks. Even on a meal plan you need some munchies in your room. It's always a good idea to keep some granola bars to grab for when you are on the go. Some cafeterias have restrictive hours and you never know if you are going to sleep through breakfast. Don’t go to class on an empty stomach, have a little something something ready in your room. Maybe you could even make instant oatmeal with your cool new kettle.

10. Plants. I am a firm believer that plants make you happy, especially in the dead of winter. Unfortunately, some plants are hard to keep alive. I am also a killer of plants. Not all plants need a lot of attention; a cactus is super cute and doesn't require a lot of water (thank you desert plants). If you still don't trust yourself, a good fake bouquet or set of succulents can do the trick. 

11. Journal. Your first year is going to go by so quickly. If you blink you might just miss it. A journal can help you document your experience and maybe help you remember some of the more “blurry” nights. University is a time for you to grow and learn, see how much you will change from your first year to your last. I adore my One Line A Day journal, which you can buy here

12. Personal Items. Don't forget to print out some pictures of your besties or decorate with your favourite fairy lights. It is your new home, so make it comfy with a soft rug that will greet your feet every morning.

The most important thing to bring is a positive attitude. Have fun, make friends, and if you are in desperate need for something, make a list and grab it during Thanksgiving break. OR you can always just pick up the phone and use the "Hey Mom! I forgot..." line that never gets old.


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