Starting college can be stressful—new friends, new classes, not to mention all the effort it takes to move your belongings from home to dorm room. How do you decide what to bring, what to leave, and what new items to buy?
These college students shared the items that they are SO glad they brought freshman year. Take a look and see if they're something you should pack in your suitcases when you head out to college this fall!
1. Framed family photos — you don’t want to forget what the fam looks like.
“It makes the room feel a lot more permanent and homey compared to pictures just tacked up on a wall,” sophomore Sarah Henry said.
You are probably excited to strike out on your own for the first time, but don’t forget your roots! When homesickness hits, you’ll have your favorite pictures of parents and siblings to make you feel a little bit better.
The frames do not have to be expensive—check your local Dollar Store, Target, or Wal-Mart for options that won't break the bank!
Click here for some photo frame options.
2. Blackout curtains — for those mornings that come too early.
After late nights spent studying or just hanging out with friends, you will be thankful for these extra-thick curtains that block out the sun’s morning rays.
Junior Jane White uses blackout curtains to enclose her bed.
“I used tacks to hang them from the ceiling when I had a top bunk, and command hooks on the bed frame when I had a bottom bunk,” Jane said. “The curtains block light, sound, temperature—it's like having my own cave to sleep in.”
Click here to check out some blackout curtains!
3. A dish drying rack and other cleaning supplies — those dishes are not going to wash themselves.
Many a college student wish for a dishwasher in their dorm, but until 2047 washing by hand will have to do. Do not forget to grab a drying rack, sponge holder, and dish towel when you pick up those extra cute bowls and plates!
“They will make your life easier,” said senior Sarah Jacob.
Click here to shop for dish drying racks.
4. Sticky notes — because you can’t remember everything.
Sticky notes come in a variety of shapes and colors. Keep them on hand, and you can leave an encouraging note for your roommate, mark your place in a book, and manage your to-do list.
Senior Thomas Siu said he used around 2,000 sticky notes freshman year, mainly for studying, but also for keeping track of who owed him money. Smart move!
Click here to find some sticky note options.
5. A clothes drying rack — because Mom is not going to be doing your laundry anymore.
Whether you want to keep your favorite sweater in pristine condition or just do not want to cough up the couple of bucks to dry your load of laundry, a clothes drying rack is handy to have around.
“I could dry my clothes for free in my room,” said sophomore Kenny Kisby.
Pro tip: if it snows (or just rains really hard) on your campus, you will have a convenient way to hang up your wet outerwear to dry.
Click here for some options.
6. A noise-blocking device — because there will be nights when you just want to sleep, and your roommate is singing in the shower.
Earplugs, sound machines, and small CD players are great ways to block out noise when it’s time to study or get some shut eye.
“I kept foam ear plugs next to my bed and used them to help deal with all of my roommates having different schedules,” said grad Mallory Faulkner.
Click here to check out sound machines.
7. Kitchen items like a blender, can opener, and chip clips.
They are the things you take for granted in your kitchen at home but you may find it hard to do without them once you are in your new dorm!
“My can opener saved most of the girls in the entire dorm on one occasion or another,” said grad Rachael Stahr. “It was a real blessing!”
Click here to check out blenders.
*Bonus item* A bread machine!
Toss in some flour, salt, and yeast, and your dorm room will smell homey and delicious. The smell might just waft through your entire dorm and make you some new friends, too!
Grad Aaron Mackey had a bread machine in his dorm room for two years.
“I made bread about once a week,” he said.
Click here to shop for bread machines.
Comment below with an item in your dorm room that you couldn't live without!