As summer kisses our golden tresses goodbye and fall begins to strip us of our hard-earned tans, a college freshman may start to get the itch. The shopping itch. But this isn’t just a typical day at the mall, this is serious stuff. You are finally on your own with your very own dorm; but what on earth do you do with it? Your mom decorated your room back home, with all the annoying pastels and outdated carpet, but now it’s up to you. Look no further than this article to help you figure out what you need, and will be thankful for later, in your dorm room this year. This list isn’t for the basic necessities (like a laptop); it’s for things that might help pull your desired dorm look together or just make living there much easier.
1. Picture Frames
This may not be the most important on your to-buy list, but they will come in handy when that homesick feeling sets in. Not only are picture frames a good way to keep your family and friends from home in mind, but they are also great conversation starters. It may be awkward when you first meet your roommate, but with a few memorable pictures showcased, you’ll surely have something to talk about and, perhaps, something in common! Another great addition- or alternative- to having picture frames is to purchase a memory board or magnetic strips (like ones from http://www.thecontainerstore.com). This way, you can save desk space and let your creativity loose by creating a fun collage of photographs and magazine clippings. Whatever inspires you!
2. Extra Bedding
Extra bedding can be helpful in several situtions; first off, you need an extra set of sheets and pillow cases for when you stain your original bedding or if you simply want a fresh, clean start. Also, you may want to have guests, and what would they sleep on if you forgot extra bedding? College dorm floors are nothing fancy, that is a guarantee. It’s also nice, along with the sheets and pillow cases, to have an extra pillow and a sleeping bag for those visiting friends of yours…and additional wash towels would be the icing atop of the cake!
3. Posters, Wall Art, Etc.
These are safe, cool alternatives to painting or nailing frames into your wall. You can find cheap posters at http://www.allposters.com – they have the perfect poster for each and every student out there, from inspirational messages to Andy Warhol prints. Use sticky tabs that are specificially designed for posters and won’t mess up your wall, and go poster crazy! If you’re an aspiring artist or fashion major, go ahead and put up your own works. This will add a unique, one-of-a-kind touch to your room and may inspire you to draw more. Magazines are also great sources for wall art. Go ahead and tear out that picture of Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, or cut out several pictures that you like and paste them onto a blank poster like a collage. This is a great form of self-expression, and it’s actually quite fun to make.
4. Dry Erase Board
A simple and reasonable purchase is a dry erase board. You can decide to put it in your dorm, for writing lists or dates for exams, or outside your door, as a friendly message board. It’s a good idea to have both, but you can substitute a pad of paper and a pencil for your to-do lists and such. A dry erase board outside of your room is a great way to meet your RA, your neighbors, students on your floor, and students in your entire building. Write “Hey guys, I was seeing if this thing would catch anyone’s attention. If so, write your name and room number!” Then you can make your rounds to introduce yourself, or be able to say “Hey” to someone in the elevator or in a class you may have together.
Two issues most students face when moving into a dorm are the lack of space and the need for storage. These can both be solved with one cute, versitile item: an ottoman. Wal-mart has small, but spacious, rolling ottomans. They come in several colors, and the lid flips over, converting into a tray table, while leaving the center of the square-shaped figure open for storing extra toiletries, towels, etcetera. They also make for an extra seat, if you have a friends over and want to watch TV or sit and chat.
Beyond these objects, here is a list of other items you shouldn’t forget come moving day:
1. Power cord
2. Shoe hanger
3. Clothing storage
4. Hanging mirror
5. Desk supplies (scissors, paper clips, markers, etc).
6. Laundry hamper
7. Plastic dishware
8. Sewing kit
10. First aid kit
11. Stereo or ipod dock
12. Extra computer paper and ink cartridges
13. Zip drive
14. Swiffer (or a small vaccuum if you have carpet)
15. Extra hangers
16. Drawer organizers
17. Shower caddy
18. Backpack (don’t think you can carry all those books in one hand)
19. Alarm clock with back-up batteries
20. Blank CD’s
21. Tape recorder (for class lectures)