For many first-time college students, it’s their first time living alone and solely managing their living space. This thrill can also be nerve racking, but a few dorm room hacks can help co-eds maintain their domain without experiencing some common missteps.
More than 2.5 million people live in college and university student housing, according to the U.S. Census. That’s a lot of ramen, mini fridges and pint-sized beds. There are also a lot of useless gadgets and duplicative décor that sits in storage bins.
What to Pack for College – And What Not to Pack
When packing and assessing dorm room storage, it’s important to keep in mind some common household items might not be allowed due to fire concerns in tight quarters. Cooking appliances like hot plates or toaster ovens, space heaters, electric blankets and candles are generally on the banned list.
Most dorms have common-area amenities, such as stoves, ovens, microwaves, printers and televisions, which are already set up for everyone’s use. Rather than packing these appliances, you’ll want to stock up on shatter-proof dishes, silverware, mugs, water bottles and food storage bins. Don’t forget some basic all-purpose cleaner to keep everything neat and sanitized.
Break Down Dorm Room Hacks with Your Roommate
You and your new roommate have the opportunity to make your new space into whatever you want. Before you move in, connect with them to figure out what you both want to bring and share — televisions, throw rugs, speakers, game consoles, compact vacuums, microwaves, mini-fridges, a coffee maker or water kettle, for instance.
Once your list is made, split up costs and head to an outlet or second-hand store for the best deals.
College Student Storage Necessities
Beyond the basics, some subtle touches can amplify your student life experience. Check out these must-have items to ensure your private space is comfortable and welcoming.
Mattress top – Sleep is vital to productivity, but a standard dorm mattress can make getting shuteye a challenge. Bring a good mattress top to fit between your mattress and sheets for the best possible sleep in between classes, studying and nights out.
Air freshener –After a long day of studying, working out and meeting new people, coming home to a pleasant-smelling room could be just the right way to relax. As a bonus, the right air freshener can cover up the various smells that accumulate in small spaces and detract people from hanging out.
Extra towels – You may have a towel packed for showering, but do you have one packed for drying your hands and face, post-workout or to manage rogue spills? A variety of towels is certain to come in handy.
Cube storage – Cube storage is key for dorm organization. These compact, stackable boxes are low maintenance, highly convenient and provide every random item in your dorm with a neat and tidy home. Mix and match colors and sizes to customize your space while keeping it clean.
Lighting – Get creative with lighting. Colored LED strip lights are memorable or expressive. In fact, the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that different colors can influence people’s moods. So, think about the vibe you want to create and set the scene.
Self-Storage Options for College Students
Dorm room hacks can only take you so far. Many students can’t cram all their belongings into a dorm room, and parents may want to free up space for an office, craft room or man cave. Storage West has convenient options near many college campuses throughout the Southwest. Find a storage unit near your campus: Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas.