10 Things Every College Dorm Room Needs and 10 Things It Doesn’t

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  • If you’re sending your kid off to college, or if you’re the one going to college, then you need to know what to bring with you and what can stay at home. If you’ve never lived in a dorm before, this list might surprise you.

    Don’t Worry Too Much About These…

    1. Ironing Board
      You might think that ironing is important, but you will be amazed by the lack of space and time you have in college. Most of what needs to be ironed, won’t be. And, even if you do manage to iron something, it will be instantly wrinkled the second you step out the door.

      You might be better off with wrinkle-resistant clothing.

    2. Furniture
      Dorm rooms are small. They can’t accommodate a lot of furniture. Keep it light, and you won’t have a lot to bring home with you. Besides, most dorms come equipped with a desk – you’ll be spending most of your time there.
    3. Coffee Maker/Blender/Toaster/Small Appliances
      If the college has a self-serve dining hall, you won’t need small appliances. Plus, having all of these little things in the dorm increases the fire risk. Some colleges prohibit them and some dorms just don’t have the space for it.
    4. Area Rug
      Area rugs are designed to take up space – space you won’t have. Skip it.
    5. Knickknacks
      More stuff that will just get in the way – this is, again, a space issue. You don’t realize just how little you will have. There will be no room for cutesy porcelain dolls or little gnomes or whatever else sits on the shelf at home.
    6. A Stereo
      A stereo sounds good in theory. But, anything louder than an iPod or laptop is asking for trouble. Noise complaints are a big deal in dorms. You will be asked to keep your headphones on or turn your music down.
    7. Expensive Electronics
      Expensive electronics are a theft target. Leave them at home.
    8. Weightlifting Stuff
      Most colleges have a gym. Use their weights. Besides, where will you put them?
    9. A Trunk
      Trunks are big and bulky. Instead, choose space-saving alternatives like cubbies or a sweater bin that tucks under the bed.
    10. Fancy Bedding
      Fancy bedding is pretty much a frivolous expense. These items are pricey and, oddly enough, get stolen a lot more often than you’d think.

    You’re going to need these…

    1. A Small Fridge
      A small fridge is something you do want to have to keep leftovers and snacks handy.
    2. Essential Bedding
      Basic bedding and dorm room decor that you can buy at Bed Bath & Beyond will make your dorm feel cozy. Get something that’s inexpensive, but chic.
    3. Full Length Mirror
      While ironing might not be practical, you still want to look nice. And, mirrors are not as common as you might think. Get a full-length mirror for your dorm room.
    4. Safe or Locks
      Locking everything is a lesson you will have to learn in college. Bringing a safe or locks for your stuff will protect the valuables you do bring.
    5. A Bath Caddy
      Dorms typically have shared showers and bathrooms. Bring a caddy to keep all of your personal toiletries in.
    6. A Bed Lift
      A lot of dorm beds sit on the ground. But, if you want extra storage space, buy a bed lift so you can slide things under it.
    7. Extra Long Sheets
      Dorm beds are really long. Specially sized twin XL sheets fit most college dorm beds so buy extra-long sheets just in case.
    8. A Bed Pillow
      You need a pillow, because most colleges typically won’t supply one.
    9. Laptop Feet
      Laptop feet make working on your laptop more comfortable. And, you’ll be working on it so much that it provides extra ventilation.
    10. A Charging Station
      If you have a laptop, smartphone, and few other gadgets, one thing will become painfully clear: you need a charging station to handle it all.

    Jennifer Barnes works as a home economist. She likes to write about ways to live better. Her articles are available mainly on lifestyle and family living websites.

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