For years, you gazed at stores and magazine catalogs featuring college dorm rooms and surreptitiously designed your future dorm room from the bedding to the frames to the rugs of your choice, dreaming of the day you would finally be able to attend college and live on your own. Time has passed, college decisions have been finalized, and your day to buy that twin XL bedding and shower caddy has come!
As summer progresses, stores are beginning to publish their college shopping checklists to help you stay organized and buy everything you could ever want and need for your future dorm room. Here are the five essentials from the checklist to help you make your new room feel like a home away from home.
#1: All hail the mattress pad.
You will soon discover that in college, your bed is your one and only sanctuary. If you can only splurge once when dorm shopping, buy the best mattress pad that Bed Bath & Beyond offers. Your bed is your key place for relaxation, and you definitely want to do everything you can to make it as comfortable as possible!
#2: Make Command hooks your new best friends.
I cannot even explain how many boxes of Command hooks I went through for my dorm. Your space is very limited, and Command hooks are an amazing tool to help you neatly hang everything and style your room without damaging the walls.
#3: Bins on bins on bins.
I may be a little OCD, but you will soon realize that organizing your belongings in bins will be one of the best choices you will make as a college freshman. Once you and your roommate both start to move in, and the floor is covered with a mess of goodies, you will realize the real limitations of the size of your dorm room and the complexity of sharing that tiny space with another person. When you're dorm shopping, definitely buy under-the-bed bins to store your food, toiletries, extra linens and miscellaneous items throughout the year. Keeping your food tightly secured in bins will also avoid bugs and critters from infesting your room. Trust me, the last thing you want to worry about your freshman year is an infestation of mice in your room...
#4: Embrace the fluffy bathrobe and slippers.
Like fire alarms at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday night before your most important final (because someone was making bacon in the kitchen)? NO! No one wants to wake up for a fire alarm, but with hundreds of students living under the same roof, you are going to get woken up to the sirens and blinking lights. So, the last thing you want to worry about is changing out of your embarrassing pajamas and throwing on sneakers. The big, fluffy bathrobe and slippers help make life outside in the middle of winter and in the middle of the night just a little bit easier and better.
#5: Buy as many picture frames as you can.
Your transition to college will be one of the most significant experiences in your life, and sometimes, it is really hard to balance your old friends from home with all the new friends you have made at school. Make sure you either buy a french memo board or a large multi-photo picture frame to put pictures of your friends and family from home in a special place in your new dorm room.
With these 5 essential items in the shopping cart, keep checking off that list to make your future dorm room at college just as cozy and welcoming as your room at home! Happy shopping!