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11 Things: 11 things you need in your first dorm


By Annika Tomlin and Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Moving into a dorm does not need to be hard to do if everything is ready to go by the time move-in day comes around. There are things the people think they need but don’t actually need, and then there are things that they should have brought and completely forgot about. Here is a list of things that are a must to bring into the dorm to make college life a breeze.


The last thing any student needs is carpal tunnel or stiff shoulders after sitting on a couch or in a bed with a laptop. The Bink laptop table by BDI will erase any chance of that. The durable, movable laptop table adds a flash of red (or “cayenne,” as BDI calls it), salt, pepper or mineral to a dorm room or apartment, and is just high enough to type comfortably. It costs $289 at BDI retail partners or e-commerce sites like Amazon.


We recommend the Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan with Bluetooth (T42905). The three speed/optional widespread oscillation provides maximum air delivery and full-room coverage especially perfect for stuffy dorm rooms. The fan can be set to automatically shut off after eight hours of use with an electric timer option. Operate the tower fan using a smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth technology. It’s $79.99 on Amazon.


It’s easy to get disorganized for anyone of any age. Dry erase calendars or boards make remembering homework assignments, due dates and other important events easy. Use various color markers for different classes or types of events to make things more organized.


Storage bins and towers are musts to keep everything tidy and tucked away. Purchase one that fits under the bed or into an empty corner. There is extra space around the room that is waiting for something to be placed there. Might as well make it a multipurpose item.


Not all dorm rooms come with a trash can. To cut down on the clutter and taking the trash out every other day, have a designated trash can for each room.


Dirty laundry needs to go somewhere—but not the floor or bed. Washers and dryers are

probably not going to be in the room. They are most likely down the hall or in another designated spot. Have a comfortable bag that can be lugged around or a basket with soft handles that can be transported back and forth between dorm room and laundry area.


There are limited outlets in a dorm room. More often than not it will come down to picking which device to charge first. Get a power strip with a surge protector so you can plug in all devices at once. However, safety comes first. If you lose power, you don’t want your electronics to crash.


Mom is no longer there to clean up your mess. Be an adult in college and purchase basic cleaning supplies: mirror/window cleaner, toilet cleaner, vacuum and duster. Don’t forget laundry detergent, because the college does not provide it. Dish soap is needed for the kitchen. Don’t be that messy roommate whom everyone complains about. It’s a shared space, so share the responsibility of cleaning.


This is an easily forgettable thing but is super important in the long term. Pack immune-boosting, pain and cold medications. Make sure to have a small first-aid kit that has all the basic necessities (bandages, gauze, antiseptic, etc.). It’s better to be safe than sorry.


Most dorms do not come with a kitchen area. A microwave will be a saving grace when it comes to making food when you run out of meals from your meal plan. Get creative. You make a lot more than popcorn in a microwave. 


Most assignments are going to be submitted on a digital platform, especially if classes are all virtual. Make sure you pick out a laptop that suits to all of your needs for college: note taking, streaming Netflix, writing papers and playing music. Make sure it has the right amount of storage and speed that you need as well. Dorms have slow Wi-Fi, so be patient while writing a paper or heading to the library, where it will be a lot faster. CT


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