Packing to move to college for the first year can be a little intimidating. You see hundreds of Pinterest posts about the things you need for your dorm room, but what do you actually need for your dorm room? Well sista friend, I am here to tell you. Here is a list of what you actually need for your dorm room!
Because you do NOT want to sleep on a bare mattress…eww. Typically, college mattresses are a size Twin or Twin XL so make sure when you buy your bedding, you know the size of the mattress you will be sleeping on. Also, if you want to, see if you and your roommates want to coordinate bedding / colors. It helps to keep a cohesive look throughout your room, but isn’t entirely necessary. My freshman year my roommates and I decided to do a Navy/Gray/Yellow color scheme and our bedding was the biggest thing that helped accomplish this! Don’t forget to deck out your bed with some cute throw pillows and here’s a pro top for you: invest in a body pillow. You can find them for under $10 at Target and they are amazing.
Staying organized is so important when you are living in a small space with another person. Storage bins help you to stay organized, clean, and in your own space. Remember to utilize crucial space, like under your bed and on the top shelf in your closet. The Container Store is the best place for all your organizing needs and they always have super awesome discounts for college students this time of year!
Because even with an unlimited meal plan, you will still want some food and drinks in your room. A mini-fridge is one of those things that only one person needs to bring. Plan with your roommate and see if she wants to bring it or if you want to bring it. Just remember, whoever brings it gets to keep it at the end of the year. If you don’t want to invest in it later, maybe offer to bring it and share it with the room!
Power strips and surge protectors are one of those things that residents halls can be finicky about. My freshman year, we were only allowed to use surge protectors because the building was like a million years old and an extension cord could blow a fuse and start a fire. Power strips are something that you don’t need to purchase before you move, but something you might want to invest in once you get to school. No matter how hard you try to have everything by the time you move in, you will find something you need to go to Target to purchase. Save these for that trip but know that they are important when there are three people in a room and only two outlets!
You have to put your dirty clothes somewhere. My suggestion? Pick a laundry basket that either fits in your closet or under your bed and has a strap for easy transport. Most times the laundry rooms are in the basement of a dormitory and carrying a plastic laundry basket up and down stairs will get really old, really fast. Pick out a laundry basket that has a shoulder strap to avoid the annoyance!
Similar to the laundry basket, pick one that can be stored away and out of sight when not in use. Shower caddies are something that you can spend a lot of money on but you totally don’t need to! Just look for one that has a lot of pockets/ spaces in it to carry all your various shower products! Pottery Barn Teen has super cute ones like the one pictured if you want a splurge and Bed Bath & Beyond has some great, cheap alternatives.
Because nails aren’t allowed but you will still want to hang stuff up. Target is the best place to buy these because they are almost always on sale this time of year! They come in so many different shapes and sizes but I have found that the velcro styled ones are best for hanging canvases and flags and the tiny clear plastic ones are perfect for hanging banners and fairy lights. Another pro tip: wait to hang wall stuff until it cools off outside. My freshman year I spent hours (and lots of command strips) trying to hang things just to have them fall down. If it is too hot outside, the walls will be too damp from the condensation to have anything stick to them. Just wait until it cools off outside and then decorate your walls!
Probably my favorite part to moving to college was the ability to decorate my room however I wanted. I could hang things, paint canvases, put some flags up, whatever I wanted. Picking out and having some cute decorations is essential for your dorm room because it will help your space feel more homey and like it’s really yours. Bring some pictures from home and hang them and maybe buy a print or two for your wall. I love searching Society6 and Etsy for cute decorations that are also cheap! If you’re ballin’ on a budget, DIY some of your own stuff, you can find loads on inspiration on Pinterest.
So you can check out your super cute outfits before heading to class! Again, Target is the place to buy one because they have them for under $15 and they can hang over your door. They aren’t the best quality, but they will do for your dorm room.
Here’s a hard thing to swallow, there is a high probability your dorm will not have A/C. Yup. No air conditioning means hot, hot days in your room. To save you some hardship, buy a fan, and a good one. I love this tower one from Target because it isn’t too loud, it oscillates, and it has different levels of air flow. It is $25 but no money is too much in order to keep you cool until November rolls around and it cools off outside.
Don’t be the gross room on your floor. Buy some Lysol wipes and maybe a Swifter Duster and clean up every now and then. Usually if your nice to them, the cleaning people will let you borrow their vacuum if the time comes and you need one. Take ten minutes every week or two and just tidy up, wipe things down, and dust. I promise you will actually feel better about your space if it doesn’t have pizza sauce on the floor or nasty dust collecting on top of your fridge.
So that you don’t have to eat out of the box of pizza if you don’t want to. If you do, that’s cool too but all the same, having some reusable plastic plates/silverware/cups is just nice to have around. That way you don’t have to go out and buy disposable ones and this way you are more environmentally friendly since you can wash what you have and reuse it!
How soon do you leave for school? Are you collecting all the things to take with you? Hopefully this list was helpful and not too overwhelming. Really, you will find what you need and what you don’t. Just remember to be sensible and try not to spend too much money. How are you liking the BTS series? I hope they are helpful and informational for all you freshman headin’ off to school soon!
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