Six years ago I was loading moving boxes into our family car, completely unaware that I had packed way too much stuff for a room I was going to share with two other girls. Yes ya'll, I was placed in a triple dorm room. Three girls in one room, and two of them shared the same freaking name! Living with two Jessicas in a room not big enough to serve as a jail cell was a mission, but thankfully we communicated beforehand to avoid bringing any duplicate items.
When I first began dorm shopping I was all about those shopping lists that stores like Target and Bed Bath and Beyond provide, but after spending four years doing the whole undergrad experience, I can tell you with full certainty that you don't need half of the stuff on those lists.
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But since you're excited and this is the one time you can convince your mom that you need all of it, just make sure you don't forget any of these items. Cause this is the stuff you'll actually need once the semester starts. Trust me, you don't want to be like someone I knew who unfortunately forgot to pack something as basic as a towel.
Don't skimp when it comes to purchasing a comforter! The temperature in your dorm room will be controlled by the building, not you, which means if you're cold you have no say whatsoever. Purchase a comforter or blanket that will keep you warm in the winter months, and possibly even through the spring. Once it starts to heat up outside you can pack it up and send it home to save space.
Twin XL sheets.
There's a reason all those packing lists stress that you need twin XL sheets, cause you do! Twin sheets are never gonna fit on your new bed, so unless you're cool with sleepign on a bed countless others have without any sort of barrier, make sure to buy the correct size.
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Command strips and poster goo.
No way in hell that your university is okay with you hammering holes into the walls, so save yourself the stress and just purchase some supplies that will allow you to hang all you want on the walls without the bill at the end of the year. Things like this are great for stringing up lights, hanging posters and displaying photographs on any surface.
Bulletin or dry erase board.
These two items were life savers all throughout college for me. I dont know about you, but I'm terrible at keeping a planner, which is why I kept all my important deadlines displayed on posts its and my boards. Having one for your desk and one on your door will make it easy to stay on top of assignemnts and communicate with hallmates when you want to be left alone or make plans.
Hanging closet organizer.
With such limited space, having a way to be able to fold and organize your clothes without having to bring in storage containers is essential. Closet organizers are super inexpensive and make it easy to keep your jeans and tshirts in one place without the clutter of a dresser. Plus, they also make shoe ones that will keep your flats from piling up in the corner all year long.
Full length mirror.
Unless you want to step out of your dorm room to use the mirror in the communal bathroom, invest the five dollars in a full length mirror. Nowadays they sell them with easy to install over the door hook attachments, so you dont have to worry about drilling any holes or having to buy extra equipment. This way you can get dressed in privacy and not have to run every outfit option by the crowd in the hall.
Pop up hamper.
You know what's annoying? Having to find a place to store a laundry basket when you don't even have any dirty laundry. Instead purchase a pop up laundry hamper that can be folded when not in use. With dorms being so small nowadays, something big like a hamper can take up space that could be used for something else instead.
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Unless you're incredibly lucky and manage to get a single dorm room, you will be sharing power outlets with your roommate. Avoid an argument and electrical fire by purchasing a surge protector that will ensure you both have enough outlets for all your electronics. Plus, they now sell some that come with a USB port which makes it even easier to charge your phone at night.
One of the most important things any girl buys while dorm shopping is her shower caddy. As someone who uses more than just a bar of soap, cough every guy everywhere cough, a shower caddy is there to hold all my essentials from shaving cream to deep conditioner. Grab one that not only has holes for the water to drain but that can also be used to hold your heating tools when outside the shower. Trust me, you dont want to risk dropping more than just your shampoo on the way to the shower room because you didn't want to spend a few dollars on a shower caddy.
So let's say you ignored my advice to get a shower caddy. Fine, have it your way. At the very least purchases a robe you can wear to and from the showers. As someone who has seen too many slipping towel accidents, I cannot advocte enough how much you want to make sure you're not locked out of your room, toiletetries on the ground, wishing you had bought a freaking robe so that your bare butt wasn't out for everyone to see.
So tell me, what's something you couldn't have survived without your freshmen year of college?