It’s almost back to school season and while this year is going to look so much different than before, many schools are still allowing dorming, even if classes are online. Even though I’m not going back to school anymore, I’ve learned a thing or two while dorming while I was still in school that I wish I knew from the start.
This isn’t going to be a list of the obvious things, I’m sure if you’re reading this you’ve read a bunch of repetitive lists already. Instead it’s the things that I wish I had, or didn’t, when I was already moved in.
What You Need
These are the essentials that you should bring from home or pick up ahead of move-in day.
- A clip on desk fan
- if your room has AC just know you’re the luckiest freshman alive. I highly recommend picking up a clip-on fan that fits on your bed and desk so you can easily have it blasting right in your face wherever you are for the first few weeks of class until the weather cools down.
- A snack bin
- Grad a clear bind and pack it up before move in day, then when you’re unpacked, stick it under your bed and fill it with whatever snacks, plates, utensils and any other food things you have. That’s the one thing you reallyyyy want to keep any pests out of. Bonus: It’ll help keep things fresh longer.
- A compact coffee maker (or your own tea if that’s your thing)
- Two facts: dining hall coffee/tea sucks and coffee shops get expensive. Save some money in the long run and buy the supplies to make it yourself. I personally had the Keurig Mini and it was my saviour. Bonus: It’ll also work in your first apartment.
What to buy on move in day
These are things that I recommend you pick up after you;ve already brought all your stuff from home. I HIGHLY recommend ordering for store pick up because stores like Target, Walramt and Bed Bath and Beyond are soo picked over for about a week or so after move in day.
- A mirror
- trying to transport mirrors is a nightmare. They take up so much space and you have to make sure you pack it so it doesn’t break. Instead, I recommend buying a cheap one ($10 or under) and leaving/donating it at the end of the school year.
- The snacks for the aforementioned snack bin do not need to be taking up space on the way to school and can easily be picked up at any grocery store near your college. It will also help you get familiar with the store you’ll probably be going to most during the semester.
- Paper products
- The big one here is toilet paper. There will 100% be a time when the bathroom runs out of it, whether you have it in your suite or you live hall style and it won’t get refilled until the cleaning crew comes next. Save yourself and keep a roll or two stashed in your room and DON”T leave it. Be selfish with that shiz.
What to leave behind
Leave these things at home! They’ll take up space and you’ll probably never use them.
- A bulletin/cork board
- Most dorm desks have some sort of cork/pin board already on them so you don’t need to be using up even more of your already tiny space with another one.
- More than one hobby item
- You’re going to be pretty busy between studying and friends and won’t have a ton of time to pick up a secondary hobby. Pick whatever you enjoy most and bring the supplies for just that hobby. I told myself I wanted to start crocheting again my first semester and never once touched the yarn and hook I brought, but I did get plenty of use out of my friendship bracelet string while I was binge watching.
- All the pillows
- All you need is the pillows you need to sleep and either a body pillow or a single decorative one to put against the wall at night and to lean on if you’re ever sitting in bed. Anything else will just wind up on the floor most of the time.
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This semester will be a learning curve for sure, but you can 100% still try to make your dorm feel as comfortable as possible. One of the most important things about small space living is keeping the clutter at bay and the essentials on hand. I hope these lists help you feel even a little more prepared for move in and I wish every student the best of luck this year!