Whether you’re heading off to college this fall or sending your kid off for the first time, congratulations! This is an exciting time. Well, exciting and scary. Picking your classes, meeting your roommate, moving into a new space, and being on your own for the first time as an adult — all of these things can be nerve-wracking at first (for both students and their parents).
One way to ease this big transition is to make your dorm room feel like home. Bringing some favorite items from home like posters or pillows will help, but there are other creature comforts that might be just as critical to feeling at home.
Your dorm room will be everything to you: kitchen, bedroom, gym, study area and more — all in an itty-bitty space! You’ll be spending a lot of time there, so make sure to pack wisely, and bring along the essentials. You’ll be glad that you did.
Make every inch count with these 5 essentials for your dorm room:
Not only will a mini fridge save you money, but it will help keep you cozy (which means in your jammies for as long as possible). There’s no need to get dressed to pick up breakfast and coffee from the dining hall if you have a mini refrigerator in your room to store milk, yogurt and fresh fruit.
Most compact refrigerators are relatively inexpensive, and some of them even come with a small freezer compartment to store your ice cream, like this mini fridge from Kenmore. You could save big bucks by eating your first meal at home each day. It’s also a great place to store leftovers from your late-night pizza delivery craving.
Want to score some serious style points? Go retro with this chic mini fridge in mint, which will instantly up the cool factor in your dorm room while keeping your cookie dough chilled.
Early morning classes and late-night study sessions make caffeine a college student’s best friend. Sure, you could get dressed and go all the way to the dining hall or the coffee shop for your cup of morning brew, but the chances of running into someone and having to chat before that first cup of coffee might be more than your groggy brain can handle.
This 5-cup digital coffee maker from Kenmore is the perfect size for you and your roommate, and its pause and serve function lets you steal a cup before it’s done brewing without coffee pouring all over the place. Some mornings you just can’t wait — especially when you’re late for class! #coffeecoffeecoffee
Popcorn, easy mac, ramen — there’s so much you can make with a microwave. If you want to go a little more gourmet, make your own microwave-friendly dishes like pancakes, chocolate chip cookies and even meatloaf!
With the range of what you can make, and ease of use, a microwave is a worthwhile investment for your college years. This countertop microwave from Kenmore doesn’t take up much space and will help you cook meals both big and small.
Sure, this one might sound nuts, but go with us on this for a moment. You are a freshman living in a dorm for the first time. There is no cleaning service and there is no Mom. How exactly do you think those floors are going to get clean?
If you make friends (and you will), there will be people coming in and out of your room tracking in dirt. Not to mention your own dirt and that of your roommate. Yuck. Are you going to go the entire year without cleaning the floor?
Of course not! As your parents always tell you, you weren’t raised in a barn. Shop for a small, bagless vacuum cleaner to make the task of not being gross pretty hassle-free. And while we’re on the subject, don’t forget to wash your sheets and towels regularly, too. And brush your teeth!
We hate to break it to you, but don’t assume your dorm will be air conditioned. Some of those buildings are almost as old as the people they’re named for! Even if you’re lucky enough to have AC, you’ll have a new roommate to consider when it comes to temperature settings.
Stay in control of your own comfort with a table fan. As an added bonus, it also doubles as a quiet white-noise machine to help you block out all those weird noises coming from said roommate when it’s time to sleep or study.
Before you buy or pack anything, consider a few more dorm room essentials — and be sure to check with your school about what items are and are not allowed in your new digs. Some schools have restrictions, and rules may differ from place to place.