For most students, a dorm room is their first “home away from home.” Dorm room living poses several challenges to people. You will probably share the room with a roommate, which can be challenging for students who grew up without having to share space with siblings. Dorm rooms are also quite small, so you might need to consolidate your items to make room to live and study.
The standard dorm room comes with a few things. It will always have a bed, desk and chair, so you don’t need to worry about bringing much in the way of furniture. Dorm rooms also tend to have storage space beneath the bed, in closets and as part of the desk, but this varies from one room to another. They will also usually have at least a few shelves for books. Some dorm rooms will come with attached bathrooms, but others rely on community bathrooms for each floor.
Here are a few items you should consider bringing to your dorm room:
You’ll need sheets, pillowcases, pillows and a comforter or blankets and bedspread for your bed. Dorm room beds are usually twin-sized, so you will need your own set of linens if your bed at home is larger. Because dorm rooms are so small, your bed gives you an opportunity to bring in some color and personality, so pick linens that you don’t mind being a focal point of the room for anyone who visits you.
— Small Furniture
Bean bags or small foldable chairs are a good choice for dorm rooms. They will provide a place for friends or guests to sit when you have people over, but you can shove them out of the way or fold them up when nobody is around.
Most college dorm rooms have ample lighting, but you might want to bring a small lamp for your bedside or desk. This will allow you to study or read while your roommate is asleep without having to keep all the lights on in the room.
It’s up to you whether it’s worth having your own television in your dorm room. Many students choose to simply watch programs on their computers instead. Not all dorm rooms have access to cable, so you should find out before bringing a TV.
— Mini Fridge
A small refrigerator is a good investment for your dorm room. It will allow you to keep drinks and snacks on hand. If you buy a few simple cooking tools, you can make a few of your own meals and save money by not eating every meal at the campus cafeteria.
— Cooking Utensils
Most dorm rooms will not allow you to have anything with an open flame, but there are a few things you can cook with in your dorm room. A rice cooker or small slow cooker is very versatile. You could also buy a hot pot, toaster oven or microwave. Just take your space constraints into consideration and only bring what you’ll have room for.
You won’t have too much space to decorate, but you will have room on your walls to hang up posters, photographs or art. Be aware that you’ll be charged for any holes in your walls after you move out, so put up posters in some way that won’t damage the paint. You’ll also probably want a calendar that you can write down important events on, like exam dates. Some people also like to bring rugs since most dorm rooms have hard floors.
In addition to these basic things, you will also want to bring personal items like clothes, books, toiletries and other belongings. You will need to bring a laundry hamper that’s sturdy enough to carry down to the dorm room’s laundry facilities. If your dorm has a communal bathroom, it’s a good idea to get a waterproof toiletries bag, shower-proof sandals and a robe. It’s also a good idea to have a few basic cleaning supplies, but check with your roommate to see if they’re already bringing some so you don’t double up unnecessarily.
Of course, every dorm room will be different, and it’s ultimately your choice as to what you should bring. It’s a good idea to pack your items in advance and get an idea of how much room everything will take. It helps to look at your prospective dorm room before moving in, but if not, pack conservatively; you can always have your parents drop off extra items later or pick them up on a weekend after classes have started.