7 Essentials for Your College Dorm

Your first year away at college is a major milestone in your life. You are probably experiencing a mixture of excitement and anxiety as you plan for your year away from home. Creating your own personal sanctuary in your dorm room is a great way to ensure that you not only have all the tools you will need to have a successful year, but also a comfortable space to recharge after a grueling day of hitting the books.

Here are 7 essentials for your college dorm:

A Comfortable Bed Is a Must

Whether you are lucky enough to have your own room or you are sharing it with a roommate, the bed is of course the focal point of the room. Not only will you be sleeping on it, you most likely will hanging out on it chilling with new friends and maybe even doing homework on it. So it needs to be very comfortable.

At most schools you will be given a mattress and bed frame and just asked to bring bed linens and pillows. Don’t be afraid however to ask if you can bring your own mattress. That way you can ensure that it will fit your sleeping needs perfectly.

Don’t worry though if you are stuck with what they give you. There are many ways you can make the bed more comfortable. Buy yourself a foam topper and plenty of pillows and soft sheets and blankets to create your own personal sleeping cocoon.

Splurge on quality pillows, sheets and a comforter set so it will last your whole college career. Also, consider getting a reading pillow to make doing homework and reading in bed more comfortable. To protect your bed, also make sure to bring a bedbug-protecting mattress cover and a mattress pad.

Be Creative about Storage

College rooms are notorious for being tiny so you know storage is going to be an issue. In most dorm rooms, each resident will typically get a chest of drawers and a small amount of closet space. To maximize space, consider buying under-bed storage bags and removable organizers that you can fit in your closet.

If you have space in the room for extra furniture consider an ottoman where you can store games, books or extra blankets for small storage cubes that you can stack on top of each other. If you can find an organizer on wheels, it can easily be moved out of the way when you are entertaining and need extra space in the room.

Create Space for Hanging with Friends

No matter how crowded your space, having guests is possible. If there is enough room, think about bringing a futon or a reading chair. If that is not possible, a bunch of bean bags can also easily create extra seating when you need it. And for overnight guests keep a sleeping bag or air mattress on hand. Add an area rug to the room to bring in some color and warmth to the room. A really comfy rug can also be a great spot of hang out and chat with your friends.

Set a Cozy Atmosphere with the Lighting

The overhead lighting in dorm rooms while serviceable can be harsh. Soften the lighting in the room by bringing in an assortment of desk/table lamps and standing lamps. This way if your roommate wants to go to sleep before you, you can still enjoy your normal night-time routine with disturbing whoever is sleeping. Movie nights are also a lot more fun when you can dim the lights. String lights draped around the room can also bring a charming element to the room.

Put Your Personal Stamp on the Room

Just because it is a dorm room, doesn’t mean it has to look like a dorm room. Bring enough of your personal stuff to put your own personal stamp on it. When friends walk in, you want them to see you in the decorating. While you can’t paint walls or knock down walls, there are plenty of ways you can decorate your dorm room.

Photos and pictures on the walls and artfully displayed on top of tables and dressers are a simple way to decorate. Adhesive hooks and strips are available so you don’t have to worry about damaging the walls. Posters on the wall are also usually a staple in dorm rooms. If you have a favorite band, artist or love to dance, you can celebrate your passions by displaying it throughout the room.

Make Eating Away from Home Easier

While there will be cafeterias and food courts on campus that you will be able to use your food plan at, you know that there will be some mornings where you will want to eat something quick in your room or there will be nights when you will want a late night snack so think about what kitchen essentials and food supplies you will need for your room. With a small fridge and microwave, you can eat some of your meals in your room or even just simply pop popcorn. You can also always have milk on hand for cereal or to just keep your favorite beverage on hand.

Don’t Forget the Little Things Too

Sometimes we get so caught up on the big things when packing that we forget the little things that may not be a deal breaker, but will make dorm living easier. Try to remember as many of these things as you can so you don’t have to run out and do a lot of extra shopping when you get to school. Here are some things to consider:

  • A bulletin board or dry erase board to leave yourself important reminders or for friends to leave you messages.
  • A calendar to keep track of all your projects and tests and extracurricular activities.
  • A trashcan so you don’t have to run out of the room every time you have to throw something away.
  • Shower items: Flip-flops, a shower caddy to keep soap, shampoo, razor and other essentials, and a bathrobe
  • Laundry items: a portable laundry hamper or bag, laundry detergent, bleach, fabric softener, dryer sheets and quarters to make a communal laundry room less stressful. Consider how best to carry everything back and forth from the laundry room.
  • If you know how to sew, pack a sewing kit so you can repair any small rips or tears in your favorite clothes.
  • Bring your debit card/credit card for any extra expenses and your medical insurance card just in case you get sick or injured.

This is just a small list of what should pack for your move to the dorm. Also, consider your clothing needs and if there will be changes in the weather where you should pack heavy sweaters and winter gear. While packing can be stressful, once you are all set up at college, you will be thankful that you brought everything you did.

Find out more about how to create a comfy living space in the dorms by contacting Harleysville Mattress.

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