Hey ya’ll, I’m back with some exciting tips to help keep your dorm organized, to show how to make a small space functional, and some general tips that would have helped me in my first dorm experience. Back in the winter I did a post on How To Live with Your Best Friend, I highly recommend giving that a read! Anyways lets move on with Your Ultimate Guide To Dorms:
- So I know last year when I was trying to prepare to move into my dorm, I had no idea what to expect. There was this form of anxious panic that sat in the back of my head all summer. I didn’t know what I could bring or how much space I’d have and that was stressful. So first things first: Talk to your roommate. Figure out who is bring the fridge, Keurig, microwave, T.V, lights, wall art, etc. This will obviously help in deciding what to buy and what not to buy.
- Find out what your school allows you to bring and what you’re not allowed to bring. This is pretty obvious, but make sure you triple check everything, because something you’d thing you’d be allowed to have, you’re not. Like for instance, my school has a certain measurement requirement for a mini-fridge. Keep this list on you anytime you go dorm shopping, it will help.
- Command hooks, strips, picture hanging, etc, will be your best friend. I literally use these for everything. More than likely your dorm will have concrete walls and you can’t very well poke a tack in it. Also there are policies each dorm has to make sure you don’t damage the walls, and command products don’t damage anything. So stock up, you will need them.
What you can use command products for:
- Original hooks: hanging lights, bath towels, hats, etc
- Picture hanging strips: any art work that you can’t hang, so anything you want to stick flat to the wall, tapestry, my best tip to be honest: take one of the strips that isn’t the “wall side” and stick it to the back of the tapestry, then once it’s stuck on the fabric you’ll feel that it’s not super strong, so to reinforce it, staple the strip to the fabric. This makes smaller holes and you can’t even see the staple when it’s hanging, because the bigger part will be on the side. So once its stapled, I like to take the “wall side” strip and connect it with the one already on the tapestry. I know the directions say to let it sit on the wall first, but I’ve honestly never had a problem. Putting the wall side directly on the tapestry first allows you to play with the tapestry to find out where exactly you want it. Once you find a place for it, simply take off the adhesive protector and stick it to the wall.
- Picture hanging hooks: These are different from the strips because these have a little hook that your picture frame hooks on, where as the strips are a strong Velcro. These are perfect for hanging pictures obviously, or if you don’t want huge hooks to hang your Christmas lights, you can use these instead.
- Keep in mind that some command strips won’t stick to certain surfaces. In my dorm we had built in closets that were made with a fake wood varnish and the command products would not adhere to that surface. I think we wasted a couple trying to get them to stick.
4. Use the space under your bed for storage. Whether your bed will be lofted or not, you can still utilize that space. Don’t invest in those “under bed” storage containers because, a) they’re a pain and b) the space under your bed is way larger that those containers. Seriously, don’t underestimate the things you can fit underneath your bed. I had a fridge, dresser, and multiple storage containers all under mine last year.
5. Fans. Window fans, box fans, tower fans. Whatever your fan choice, get one.
6. Closet organizers. They make tons of different kinds of these and honestly they’re super helpful. I used a five-shelf that hangs from my closet rod and it gave me so much more space for my clothes.
7. Try not to bring every single article of clothing you own. If you don’t wear it now at home then the odds of you wearing it at school are very slim. Also bring your winter stuff to school after you go home for break. That way all of your big bulky sweaters aren’t taking up your precious closet space.
8. Conair Oval Chrome Double-Sided Mirror. If you do your makeup daily then this a staple. Having this mirror or any mirror on your desk allows you to have your own space while getting ready, instead of taking up a mirror in your room. I prefer this mirror with the lights because dorm lighting is very unforgiving and overhead lights provide the worst type of lighting when doing your makeup.
9. Desk organizers. Three-drawer plastic containers can hold so much. I utilized mine for my makeup collection because I knew that I was going to do my makeup at my desk. My roommate used hers for normal office supplies. They’re pretty universal.
10. Storage Cart or Storage units. These are great and we had three in our dorm room last year. Its perfect to store, not only clothes, but also food or anything else you need to organize. They’re a perfect size to put under your bed or to use as a night stand. This one from Target is a bit too pricey. Walmart, more than likely, has them for a lower price FYI.
11. Extension cords and power strips. These are a must, especially if you rearrange your room in a not so standard way. The school has outlets and plug ins where they expect you to put your bed, so if you move it, there probably won’t be an outlet right next to your bed. Extension cords help so much. Power strips for all of your bigger electronics/appliances are super helpful as well.
12. Velvet hangers. To be honest I didn’t realize how great these are until I got them for school. These manage to grab on to every article of your clothing without fear of your clothes falling off. They also keep everything from getting wrinkled.
13. HDMI cable. Most laptops are going for the slimmer look and to do so, most remove their CD drive and replace it with an HDMI port. Most T.V’s have an HDMI port. So if you’re planning on watching Netflix on your dorm T.V then you’ll need this.
14. Be creative when decorating your dorm. Don’t hold back. This will be your living space for the next nine months so don’t hesitate to make it feel that way. Check out Pintrest for DIYs before spending a lot of money on already made decor.
15. After you and your roommate have moved in, talk with each other. Talk about who will take out the trash, when dishes need to be washed, how often ya’ll plan to vacuum and clean the room, and if ya’ll want to decorate together. I know my first roommate and I had very different styles, so we were content to sort of do our own things on our respective sides. But when Julia moved in, we knew we wanted to decorate everything together. Experiencing both types of roommates was fun and gave me a different perspective. Whatever type of roommate you have, the point is to communicate with each other.
16. Have low expectations for you roommate. Now, I don’t mean this in a negative way at all. Don’t expect your roommate to be your new best friend. Don’t expect them to be exactly like you. Don’t expect them to have the standards of clean as you. Don’t expect them to be anything other than a human being. Don’t put them on a pedestal before you even know them. Having expectations for you roommate will only lead to disappointment. Leave your future roommate judgment free. Having low expectations allows you to be completely excited when meeting them for the first time. I think we all know who Jenna Marbles is and she posted a video explaining this and honestly it has given me a new outlook on life. So I’ll share it because it’s really worth the watch.
A few pics of my dorm last year:
That’s all I have for ya’ll! I hope this helped and please please enjoy your first year of college.
p.s- Here are all of the posts I’ve done about college: My First Semester of College Taught Me, Ways to Eat Healthy in College, Best Shows on Netflix to Binge Watch, Study Tips, My Freshman Year of College Taught Me