What do you really need for college? Well, I'm sure there are about a million different opinions and options, but we have put together a simple list of ten practical and affordable items for your new home. This is the perfect start as you begin to shop (because we all want to save a little when paying for things like college!), and gives you time to hunt thrift stores and places like eBay.
1) Bed Risers: These simple plastic items will allow you to settle your twin bed above the floor and give you extra space and storage underneath. Make sure your bed is secure on them before sleeping on it, and have a friend or family member help you lift!
2) Laundry hampers: Small and lightweight collapsible hampers will make your laundry days easier and simpler. Plus, a hamper that folds up will take up less space in your dorm room, and you can even toss some models right into the wash themselves.
3) Fabric tote or storage bag: You can never have too many reusable bags like this one. You can use them to bring along lunches, textbooks, or clothes when you have long days, and use them for grocery shopping as well.
4) Foldable ironing board: We know not many people iron anymore, but you'd be surprised how often you may end up needing one. One that can slide under your bed is your best choice for a dorm room, and if you can, negotiate with your roommate so you can share!
5) Over the door hooks: You can stash jackets, purses, towels and more on these easy storage solutions, but be sure your roommate and your dorm door agree. Some hooks don't allow a door to fully close when they are installed.
6) Shower caddy: If you are going to be using a shared shower space, a caddy is a must, especially one where it can hook onto the shower or somewhere else while you are pulling items from it. Get one with holes throughout so it won't hold standing water and become mildewy.
7) Magnetic calendar: A dual purpose item like this is best for dorm rooms because we all know that space is a precious commodity in those tiny spaces. A magnetic calendar can be used as a write-on/wipe off space (check to be sure it can be wiped off), and to display pictures of loved ones as well.
8) Under the bed storage containers: We recommend these for clothing, especially items like sweaters or swimsuits that will not be used for part of the year. Generally, you can fit 3-4 under a regular size twin bed. You can also use them for miscellaneous items that don't have a good spot, like cd's or books.
9) Small toolkit: Even if you're not very "handy", a tiny toolkit with basics like a hammer and screwdriver can be a real lifesaver. Check with your roommate since you'll likely only need one between the two of you!
10) A car vacuum: A tiny, handheld or car vacuum is perfect for a dorm room because it'll help you stay tidy but isn't as bulky as a regular one. You can also use it in your car if you have one on campus, or even store it in your trunk to save space.
These ten items should get you off to a great start as you prepare for your next adventure!