5 Things NOT to buy for your dorm


Ok, High School Graduates! You are about to embark on the experience of a lifetime: The College Dorms!

This summer you will be shopping for all the wonderful things to make your dorm your new home away from home. There are lists galore out there, but as I found out when moving into the dorms, not all of the items are useful.  So I polled my old college friends to ask what they actually needed, and what turned out to be a total waste.   After a fun walk down memory lane, here's the list we made just for you!

Don't Buy: A Coffee pot.

Unless you are regular old coffee drinker already, don't bother. You will hit the library or student center coffee bar and Starbucks. You will learn to drink plain old coffee, the non-caramel fraps and mocha lattes in 24-Hr hour diners served by an older and much wiser waitress named Marilyn while you cram for finals.  This also applies to the Keurig. Those mini-Keurigs are adorable, but you'll be constantly filling it and the cups can be expensive on a college students budget. Not to mention, they die quickly and get all gross and moldy inside. 

Buy instead: An electric kettle. Good for Ramen, soups, instant potatoes, tea when you feel sick, and... pour over coffee.

Don't Buy: Plates & Bowls

You will use them, and then they will stack up to be washed and sit there for a few weeks before becoming a roommate/suitemate battle. Trust me, nearly every roommate battle in history is over dishes and dirty laundry.  Dorms usually only have one sink in the bathroom and trust me when I tell you, it sucks for washing dishes!  You will mostly be eating in the dining hall or student center anyway. 

Buy Instead: A couple of good, large cups or waterbottles.  You will use the heck out of them, but not too many. Buy one large coffee cup that can double as both a bowl or coffee cup.

Don't Buy:  A crock pot or hot plate

My friend Christy said she bought a mini crock pot for her dorm thinking she would cook a little but it was too small to hold more than half a small box of Velveeta for queso.  The hot plate fits in the same category as the plates & bowls. You'll have to buy a pot or pan, then you'll have to wash said pan, etc.  Skip it and go to the dining hall.

Buy Instead:  A small stick vacuum cleaner.  This will be especially useful if you have a carpet. The dorms rarely offer any cleaning appliances for students to use. It will also make you the most popular person in the dorm. Nicole, who lived across the hall from me, had a stick vaccuum. She was the most coveted friend in all the dorms.

Don't Buy: A bed bunking or loft kit

You think it will be cool like Step Brothers but with no ladder, a few jumps onto the hard floor will have your ankles cursing you.

Buy instead: Bed Risers.  There is lots of storage underneath those dorm room beds! Buy a few Rubber maid tubs to store sheets, laundry stuff, dishes, and food under there and give yourself space in the college for all those College T-shirts your going to collect. 

Don't Buy:  A laundry hamper.

You will never use it! Ever. and it doesn't haul easily.

Buy Instead: A laundry bag.  You can pile far more in a bag, plus it makes for easy transfer to the dorm laundry or home so mom can do it for you.  My friend Brittney suggests getting one with your name embroidered on it - the good ones are hot commodities and often get stolen or mistaken for someone else's. I suggest one made of a sturdy material or canvas. Chances are you are going to drag that thing all the way down the hall because it's too full to lift.

The items everyone forgets

 TWO alarm clocks
Your phone isn't always reliable, and you know you like to hit snooze.  Mom won't be there to wake you up.

An extra set of sheets
While one set is in the wash, you'll have an extra to sit on while you wait. Especially if someone is kind enough to take your clothes out of the dryer and use your time. (It will happen. A lot).

A broom and dustpan
And Toilet Brush

Cleaning supplies!
Comet Cleaner, Window Cleaner, and Toilet Cleaner are a must! Add a stain remover pen, and wrinkle remover

Dish towels & Hotpads
They will come in handy. We promise. That Ramen bowl is hot right out of the microwave.

A Desk Lamp
The built in desk may have one, but you'll need one near your bed. 

Power Strip & Extension Cord
Because two outlets are never enough for two people.

Business Casual Attire
You'll need this for class presentations, especially if you take classes in the business department. 

A throw Blanket
Because chills.

A trashcan
Don't forget one for the bathroom, too.