Heading off to college or university for the first time is a little scary and a whole lot exciting with so many new people and experiences to look forward to. One of the fun parts (because the physical moving is never fun) is furnishing and decorating that first apartment or dorm room and making it your own piece of home where you can study, hang out and sleep.
Dorm Room Essentials
I found a couple of fantastic checklists at Bed Bath & Beyond Canada that will come in very handy. They've even got separate ones for the dorm room and for an apartment as the needs can be a bit different.
There are a few stores that are great, nearly one-stop-shops for this type of preparation because the last thing you need is to be running from one store for sheets, another for towels, yet another for school supplies, and so on. My favourites are:
They've each got their own 'Back to Campus' sections where you can find just about anything you may need; from bedding to room accessories.
Speaking of essential accessories, let's get real: as fun as this experience can be, dorms are small, cramped, the beds are uncomfortable and there's no privacy! Here are some more of my personal recommendations:
Storage - a necessity! Dressers are usually non-existent and closets are tiny. Space is at a premium and, provided you have the option of storing things under the bed, you must take advantage. Use under-bed boxes for socks and underwear, extra bedding, anything! The best part? These Sterilite ones from Walmart will run you less than $9. Also consider Over-the-Door Organizers and Hanging Shelves for the closet, also for $9 each.
A Good Fan - surprise! Dorm window don't usually open so you need something for circulation. This Sunbeam 16" Stand Fan is height-adjustable, comes in three cool colours and is only $35.96.
Foam Mattress Topper - those beds are UN-comfortable! With a capital 'UN'. Take my advice and invest in a foam mattress topper like this one for better sleeps. It's currently on rollback at Walmart and the twin size will cost you less than $40. But, we all know, sleep is priceless.
A Sturdy Hamper - another necessity for lugging all that laundry to the laundromat (or home for mom!). These Tall Flex Laundry Baskets are perfect and just $13.
3M Command Hooks - you want to make your space your own but don't want to be making holes in the walls in a dorm or rental so these 3M Command Hooks are awesome. They're strong but, when you want to remove them, they come off without a trace. Perfect! There are different sizes but you're looking at less than $4!
For more deals and fun for back to school, don't forget to bookmark our Back to School page!
Do you have any other suggestions for dorm room survival?