Your days at college will get extremely busy. From trying to make it to your classes on time, to participating in extracurricular activities, spending time with friends, and prioritizing huge amounts of studying, you might not have a ton of time to sit back and relax in your dorm.
Your dorm space should also be somewhere that you can unwind, and somewhere that you’re excited to go back to at the end of the day. Making sure you have your dorm necessities is essential to your creating that comfortable zone.
You’ll be living in your dorm as many as nine months out of the year during your college experience. So, it can be worth taking a little extra time and money to make sure that your space is homey and clean. While all of this will involve collaboration with your roommates, there are steps you can take to make your living situation the best it can be in your dorm.
Whether you’re going to live in a dorm for the first time, or you’re a senior looking for some “dormspiration,” check out our best tips for dorm living in 2018.
6 best tips for dorm living in 2018
Remember the essentials
There are plenty of resources available to you to figure out the dorm room stuff you need to bring to school. While it might be necessary to pack light in order to fit everything you and your roommates have in your dorm, don’t forget to bring the bare essentials necessary for ideal dorm living. Some of the essentials include:
- Your favorite bedding and pillow
- Storage containers (your under-the-bed space will be great for stowing away extra clothes, shoes, and other belongings!)
- A comfortable chair or couch, if there’s room
- Some photos of close friends or family from back home
- A lamp (if overhead lighting isn’t your thing)
- A mirror
Looking for more ideas on the best dorm necessities? Check out our blog where current students shared, “The best things I bought for my dorm.”
Decorate with your favorite quotes and more
It can be helpful to have some encouraging quotes, Bible verses, or other phrases on your wall or desk in your dorm. When you have a hard day, you will come back to a room decked out in encouraging words to lift your spirits and help you stay positive during finals and other test days. Amazon, Hobby Lobby, and other gift stores offer affordable quote displays that can be perfect for a dorm room. It can also be fun to make your own décor using a canvas and paint or pens.
Other dorm-friendly décor ideas:
- Christmas lights
- A wall tapestry
- A statement rug
- A patterned blanket or bedding
Bring cleaning supplies
Inevitably, your dorm room will get dirty. While some universities offer weekly or monthly room checks, others rely on your own accountability to keep your room clean throughout the year. Make a plan with your roommates on how to best keep your dorm clean throughout the school year.
It can be helpful to keep cleaning supplies on hand from the beginning of the year. Stock up on supplies like:
- Clorox wipes
- All-purpose spray
- Dust clothes
- Paper towels
- Febreeze spray (since candles are prohibited in most residence halls)
Stock a mini fridge
If your room does not come equipped with a fridge, it can be really handy to bring a mini fridge for storing any cold snacks you may have, leftovers from a dinner out, or ingredients for an on-the-go dinner.
Pack the right amount of clothes
Clothes are the most essential of your dorm necessities. It’s tempting to bring all the clothes you own to college. How can you know what you’ll need? It’s understandably tough to choose just a few clothing items to bring at once, but the reality is that your space in a dorm probably will not allow for you to bring too many clothes. If your college or university is close to home, or if you will be going home sometime during the semester, consider thinking seasonally as you pack your clothes to bring for college.
At first, bring some summer and fall clothes for going to class, and then exchange them partway through the semester for your heavy winter jacket, a few sweaters, and extra gloves and boots.
Here are a couple guidelines for different types of outfits to bring to your dorm:
- Athletic clothes
- A couple dressy outfits for going out with friends or to church
- Some everyday outfits including jeans, a variety of tops
- Something to sleep in
Bring organization tools
Finally, it’s important to stay organized in your dorm. Dorm room organization will allow you to be successful in your studies and your relaxation time during college as you share your space with roommates and work hard to stay on top of all your other activities.
Here are some of the best tools for dorm room organization:
- Under-the-bed boxes
- Shelving unit for food, small appliances, or even toiletries
- Felt hangers (these have less width than plastic hangers, so you can fit more clothes together in your closet.)
- Hanging storage for shoes or other accessories
Want to keep these tips in mind on the go, or while you pack for the fall semester? Download our free infographic.