The Freshmen 10: Creating a dorm room space that you’ll love

imageYou’ve done it!
You’ve gone and graduated high school and you are on your way to get your degree.
But depending on where you are headed to college, you may be downsizing from your own room with a full/queen sized bed and plenty of space to a bunk bed or twin bed (or if you are lucky, a twinXL) that you share with roommates.
College is a great place to meet some of the friends that you will have for a lifetime and it is also a place that you will establish your own identity. So how do you prepare yourself for 4 years in a small space that is cozy yet comfortable for the 3.5 hours of sleep you will be cramming into your nights between social hours, lecture halls & study groups?
Keep reading moms & dads for my top 10 dorm room essentials for your college freshman and learn how to maximize space & comfort in the resident halls.

[1. Bedding] A nice neutral comforter works wonders and you can pair them with any sheet set underneath. Speaking of sheets, I recommend 2 sets of sheets (pillows, fitted sheet & flat sheet). Check with your college or university for bed sizing before you head out to the stores and fall in love with a set, only for it not to fit your bed.

[2. Throw Blanket] There is NOTHING like a warm throw blanket that is soft and comfortable to remind you of mom’s hugs! Even if you are moving to a warm part of the world to attend college, grabbing your throw blanket while studying or watching Netflix is a great addition to your packing list. Always go for the soft, yet oversized blanket when making your selections. You may just find your friends trying to sneak your throw onto their side of the room!

[3. Storage boxes/rolling storage] Sharing spaces at any point in your life involves compromise. Who’s side is who’s and what can I snag for available space? With storage solutions, you can maximize space and minimize confusion. I love rolling storage options with different bin sizes so you can store multiple things in one area. You can also purchase long storage bins that slide underneath your bed to tuck away items that you may not use often.

[4. Laundry baskets ] If “doing your laundry” meant leaving dirty clothes in the washing machine for mom to deal with, then this will be a new step for you. You don’t have to worry Mom, there are different options for laundry baskets to keep your student from calling you on speed dial everytime they run out of clothing options. My favorite options are the baskets that separate your clothing into different piles for easy washing. Check them out!

[5. Desk Organization] The last thing that you want to forget while midway through the semester is organizing your desk and class information to make study times easier to get through. If you have a desk, I recommend a desktop paper organizer that you can organize by “to-do” and “completed” to make your study time effective.

[6. Desk lamp /table lamp] Lighting may not be the best in dorm rooms, so instead of straining your eyes to read through chapters on microbiology, invest in a desk lamp for optimal lighting. You can select from clip on options to standard desk lamps. When it comes to selecting between halogen lamps and LED lamps, I would choose the LED lamp. Because you will most likely be working with this lamp for tasks, LED lamps will control the light source and help you to concentrate on studying.

[7. Photo frame options or collages] Being away from home can emit several emotions and you may miss your family. What better way to bring a piece of your heart and home to your dorm by hanging a photo frame on the walls with pictures of those you hold dear to your heart. You can select a few frames or purchase a large frame where you can change the photos as often as you’d like.

[8. Dishes/Tupperware Sets] Late night snacking and meals are the focal point of every college students day. When can you eat? What can you eat? If it’s the middle of finals week and you haven’t had time to eat a good meal, the best thing to do is to stock up on Tupperware so you can store meals in your mini fridge or snack throughout the day. Another great option to have is a set of dishes in your room for those moments that you need a late snack and don’t want to wander down to the cafeterias.

[9. Laptop] Most students own their own laptops for school, but if you don’t, I would shy away from relying on the school computers to get your work completed. There is nothing like needing to do some last minute research and having to run across campus to the library to get it finished. You don’t have to drop hundreds of dollars on a MacBook to be set for school, Google Chromebooks are another great option for laptops and the great thing is that they are relatively inexpensive to get you through the college years.

[10. Tool kit] It never fails! When something breaks, you can never find the right tools to fix it. With a small portable tool kit, you can have all the essentials (hammer, screwdrivers – Phillips & flathead, wrench and tape measure just to name a few). This was one of my favorite purchases during my time in college. I used it more times than I imagined and was always handy!

So there you have it! My top 10 list of dorm room essentials for your college freshman!
Let me know which items are your favorites and which items you would add to the list.

Join us next Thursday as we discuss how to create an inviting entry way to your home or apartment! Stay tuned!

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