If you have a graduating high school student who is heading to college in the Fall, you may be wondering what are the best items to purchase that will make dorm life easier? Although every campus offers different amenities, here is a list of 15 things you may want to bring with you to college based on feedback from the Hip2Save community.
1.) Shower Caddy with Holes
If you are staying in a dorm, you are likely sharing a bathroom with many other girls or guys. Place your toiletries in a shower caddy (like this one from Target for just $5.99) to keep your items organized so you can easily grab them when you need to.
2.) Foam Mattress Topper & Waterproof Protector
To make your dorm mattress more comfortable, consider investing in a Twin XL Foam Bed Topper (such as this highly rated Memory Foam Mattress Topper priced under $60 on Amazon) to provide extra cushioning and comfort. Also, consider purchasing a Twin XL waterproof mattress protector for under $20 on Amazon.
3.) Under-The-Bed Storage Bins
To add more storage to your dorm room, you may want to purchase under-the-bed storage bins or bags – perfect for hiding your belongings when parents or guests come to visit!😉 These bins are priced under $20 at most stores, depending on size.
*Keep in mind that you may also need bed risers or blocks if you’re wanting to purchase larger containers or are wanting to stack the bins under your bed.
4.) First Aid Kit
Be prepared! Create a first aid kit with all the essentials (a thermometer, band-aids, pain reliever, cough drops, allergy medicine, ice bag, facial tissues, hand sanitizer, odor absorber, etc.) for those months when mom is not around. Also, you can occasionally snag Free First Aid Kits at Target with purchase of select first-aid products.
5.) Laptop Desk
Bringing a laptop with you? If your dorm does not have a desk or if you’re looking for an easy way to study while lounging in bed, consider snagging an Adjustable Laptop Desk/Table (such as this highly rated Bamboo Laptop Desk/Table priced at $36.99 on Amazon). You can use it as a laptop table, reading desk, breakfast tray or desk.
6.) Reading Bedrest Pillow
If you’re buying a laptop desk to use on your bed, you’ll definitely want to purchase a comfy reading bedrest pillow to lean on. These pillows are usually priced under $20 (such as these Room Essentials Bedrest Pillows starting at just $14.99 at Target).
7.) 3M Command Hanging Strips & Hooks
If you’re looking for a way to hang picture frames, towels, blackout curtains or jackets without damaging the surface, be sure to bring a variety of 3M Command Hooks and extra Hanging Strips with you! These hooks and strips come off cleanly with no surface damage and come in all shapes and sizes with various weight limits.
8.) Portable Safe
Want to keep your valuable dorm essentials safe while you are away at class? Invest in a Portable Safe (such as this SWOL Safe – Portable Dorm Safe priced at $99.99) that will allow you to keep your valuables tucked away while you are gone. OR, if you’re going home for the holidays, simply bring the safe with you.
9.) Small Desk/Clip Fan
Because dorm rooms do not have personal thermostats (and because you and your roommate may prefer different temperatures), be sure to bring a small fan with you such as this 6″ 2-in-1 Desk/Clip Fan priced at $12.98. This fan can sit anywhere OR be easily clipped onto a small desk or table.
10.) Mini Fridge with Separate Freezer
If your dorm does not have a kitchen and if space allows, consider purchasing a small fridge with separate freezer compartment to store canned drinks, frozen meals, ice cube trays and more. As an idea, this highly rated 1.6 cubic foot Mini Refrigerator with separate Chiller Compartment is priced under $100 on Amazon.
11.) Surge Protector/Extension Cords
Laptops, appliances, electric toothbrush, electric razor…you can never have enough outlets in a dorm room! Consider purchasing this Surge Kit – 3-piece Power Pack that includes a 6-outlet surge suppressor strip, 5ft extension cord and nightlight with 6-outlet tap! Also, an HDMI Cable will come in handy when you want to connect various electronics and computers to your TV.
12.) Small Tool Set & Sewing Kit
Need a hammer or screwdriver for building a bookshelf or putting together a bike? Consider purchasing a small tool set (many are priced under $20 on Amazon) with the essential tools needed for most household projects or small repairs. When a button falls off, don’t wait for mom to fix it! Be prepared by taking a small sewing kit with you, such as this 20-piece Sewing Kit priced at only $2.95 or this set for under $100.
13.) Electric Water Kettle
Want to eat a hot bowl of soup or oatmeal OR just want to sip a cup of hot tea or cocoa on a chilly morning? An electric water kettle will come in handy for those days when you need something quick and easy to make but don’t want to leave your room. This highly rated Stainless Steel Double Wall Electric Water Kettle is priced under $40 on Amazon.
14.) Laundry Hamper with Wheels
Save your back – make carrying laundry easy by bringing a laundry hamper with wheels! This Extra Large Laundry Hamper with Wheels (priced under $30) features an easy-carry pull handle and two back wheels to take the frustration out of this chore.
15.) Quarters for Laundry & Vending Machines
Planning to do laundry on-campus? Or just want to hit up the vending machines for a late-night snack or in between classes? Be sure to stock up on quarters before leaving home so you’re prepared and don’t have to borrow from your roommate or make a special trip to the store or bank.