Going into my junior year of college, I've definitely come to realize that there were some things that I either forgot to bring to the dorms, or just didn't think of at all. To help all of my college students out there I've decided to make a list of 10 things that I should have brought (and ended up buying) the last two years!
1. Storage Space
You know all those boxes and tubs that you use to bring all your stuff into the dorms and then toss into the trash once you've set everything up? Yeah, don't toss those. At the end of the year you have to pack everything up again, and those boxes you threw away would be so helpful! I invested in these storage bins (with wheels!) from Target that I always kept under my bed when I was in the dorms! When you aren't using them to move you can use them as storage space for out of season clothes, snacks, cleaning supplies, etc.
2. Water Boiler
A water boiler would have been so useful all those nights that I tried to make noodles in my dorm room. I never ended up getting one (because I moved into a dorm apartment with a kitchen sophomore year), but I know many people who did. My friends who were smart enough to have a water boiler could use it for a variety of things, but most people I know used it to make tea when the weather got cold. I have this one at home and it's the easiest thing to use!
3. Something That Smells Good
Dorms don't smell good. I could never pinpoint exactly what they smelled like, but it was probably a mixture of sweat, food, and dust, among other things. Candles are banned on most campuses, but air fresheners and plug-ins aren't! I always have two bottles of Febreeze in my room (So you don't get bored of the one scent) and my roommates and I recently got these plug-ins for our condo. They make the whole place smell amazing! Also if you don't live in the dorms this is one of my favorite candles!
4. Crafting Supplies
If you're in a sorority, you're going to be exposed to a lot of crafting. You craft for your big, your little, and basically anyone who will accept a craft will get one. Even if you aren't in a sorority, there will be times where you will want to decorate your space. A little DIY art makes a room look and feel so much more lived in than blank walls. Paint your name in wooden letters to hang over your bed, or make a cute sign for you and your roommate to hang outside of your door. It's also a great way to pass the time if you're stuck in the dorms for one reason or another.
You have all your snacks lined up for your dorm, but sometimes it's easy to forget that some of these things require utensils. Picture me freshman year trying to eat mac and cheese the first week without a fork or spoon....it didn't go too well.
6. Dish soap
Speaking of utensils, if you buy regular reusable ones, you have to wash them! I actually bought a bunch of plastic ones, but if you do opt for the real deal, please get some soap!
Since we're on the food topic, I should mention spices. Salt and pepper are basically a given, but sometimes you just want some flavor. I recommend cinnamon for when you want something sweet (cinnamon toast is basically dorm food heaven) and garlic powder when you want to feel fancy. I had a habit of making lots of garlic bread in the dorms last year, and it was delicious. Adding spice to your microwave meals makes you feel like you aren't stuck eating prison food. Another positive is that most spices are relatively cheap at your local grocery store.
8. Sewing Kit
I had countless rips and tears happen throughout my two years in the dorms. My buttons would sometimes pop off or I would accidentally stab my comforter with scissors when I was crafting, you name it I probably ripped a hole in it. I can do simple sewing, and a tiny little sewing kit is extremely helpful when you're extremely clumsy with sharp objects. My roommate (bless her soul) is a fantastic sewer compared to me, and I've had her sew more things than I can count using the sewing kit my mom gave me.
The dorms can get pretty cold in the fall and winter, and stocking up on blankets is a necessity. TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Marshalls always seem to have an abundance of cute throws (I've probably bought way too many from those stores) but you can also attempt to make one yourself! My best friend made a t-shirt quilt out of all her old t-shirts and it looks fantastic. I'm going to have her help me make one for me and my old shirts that have been sitting in my closet for ages. Either way, blankets are a great thing to have in your room!
10. Extra Sheets
Last, but not least, is an extra pair of sheets. (I promise I didn't try to rhyme, it just happened) Heading into the dorms I for some reason thought it would be okay to only have one pair of sheets...it wasn't. When you go to wash your first set of sheets, you should have a backup to put on in the meantime! It keeps your sheets from getting dingy and gross, and it gives you more versatility in your decor. I love these flamingo ones from Macys!
Be sure to check out my previous post about 10 Things You Should Bring To College and How To Be A Great Roommate! Also if you have something to add to this list I would love to hear about it in the comments! I also love seeing everyone's dorm room, so tag me on Instagram @samimast and I'll check it out!