Dorm Room Help


<font color=00CCCC>The TF highly recommends the be
Mar 6, 2001
My daughter will be going away to colllege in August and will be staying in a dorm her first year. As I have not lived in a dorm in 20 plus years (oh no -- I just realized how old I am getting!!) I am not sure of things that she should bring. So, I am asking all my fellow DISers, especially those currently in college or perhaps those whose children are in or were recently in dorms, what should the average first time freshman female student bring. What items would you call must have? Was there anything you brought that you really didn't need or anything you really wished you would have had? She will be in an all girl dorm (which holds about 600 ). The rooms are really small and the bathrooms are down the hall. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated!!!


<font color=blue>New Mama to Baby Jacob!</font><br
May 31, 2000
Robe for going down the hall to the bathroom
Basket for holding bathroom stuff
Some type of storage system to put a lot of stuff in a little space
Bulletin board

This is just the stuff I can think of right now. If she has the phone number of her future roommate, she can call and see who wants to bring the microwave and who wants to bring the TV.


<font color=blue>Just call me Bella<br><font color
Nov 2, 1999
flip flops for the shower
A husband (pillow with 2 arms)
desk lamp
plastic stackable crates
lots of quarters
a mattress pad (you never know who or what was in that bed before!!!)
Thats all I can think of right now...Hope it helps!
  • bekkiz

    DIS Veteran
    Mar 15, 2001
    I'm graduating this weekend, and my sister starts next fall, so we've been through this a few times! And, I'll apologize in advance for this being long!

    Number one rule is to call her roomies asap to see which of the things they already have so there isn't any duplication.

    1) I don't know how far away she's going but DO NOT let her bring every article of clothing she owns. At the most she'll only be gone for the fall, and will be back at thanksgiving. She only needs clothes to last until then. Then she can swap them for winter clothes etc. That will save on the limited space in the room.

    2) A mattress pad is key, who knows where that thing's been

    3) Small appliances like mircowaves, coffee makers, fans come in handy and can help save money. You only need one tv and one vcr, so there's where checking in with roomies will help.

    4) Having her own computer w/internet access and printer will save so much time and energy. She won't be stuck at midnight typing a paper in the library

    5) A bucket for shower stuff is convient and keeps it off the shower floor.

    6) Dorms have notoriously bad lighting. Extra lamps for above her bed, her desk etc. will make it a better place to study

    7) Stapler. I cannot tell you how many times I had to beg neighbors or classmates so I could staple my papers!

    That's all I can think of that isn't completly obvious. A great book I got for my sister is "The Everything College Survival Guide" by Jason Rich. It has all kind of tips for kids before they get to college to learn about stuff they'll have to deal with in college


    <font color=00CCCC>The TF highly recommends the be
    Mar 6, 2001
    Thanks you guys. You are great. I knew this was the place to come for answers. A husband :D :D That is so cute. I had never heard of those called that before!! We had thought of some of the things mentioned but definitely not all. The mattress pad -- how could I NOT have thought of that!!

    Bekkiz - I am going to go out and get a copy of that book!! Congratulations on your graduation!!

    Any other ideas out there??


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 21, 2000
    My oldest DS starts his freshman year in August too, so I'll be checking back to read more tips.

    Keep 'em coming, please!


    <font color=coral>Howdy<br><font color=navy>Eats d
    Oct 14, 2001
    shower shoes, shower shoes, shower shoes!! I also brought a little basin to take my dishes into the communal kitchen to wash them. It's easier to get a little hot water than to wait for the sink to be open!
  • Erinappler

    Earning My Ears
    Apr 1, 2002
    Hi! I'm semi-new here ...
    I was a freshman living on an all girls floor this year at college. I had a roomate and boy do you learn how to stow away all your stuff well. Necessities I found great to have were:
    - a shower caddy for all your things, easier than carrying everything separate
    - flip-flops for the shower- old navy has really cute ones right now,- buy one pair for the shower and another for walking/lounging around in
    - extra long sets of sheets and esp!!-this was great- an egg crate to put on her mattress, it helped a ton
    -try and get in touch with her roomate about dividing up who's going to bring the phone, tv/vcr, stereo, and if both of them are bringing computers
    -TONS of quarters- at my school it was $1 to wash and $1 to dry but by the time your clothes got actually dry-it took $3
    -I had an extra long pillow that was great- you can find them everywhere- I got mine at bed bath and beyond
    -a big monthly calender that she can write her activities and assignments on each day- it feels great to cross stuff off after doing it- you can get them for a few $ at staples or wal mart
    -bring a couple of little lamps or desk lamps, sometimes the rooms dont have an overhead light and it gets real dark with just the two lamps they tend to give you
    -a folding drying rack for clothes worked wonders, fi in little space under the bed- esp good for a clothes and clutter holder when I didnt put my clothes away quickly eek :)- FunkyRooster can back me up on this one, she lived next door to me!!!
    - a fold up hamper- find at linens and things or walmart
    -AND MOST IMPORTANTLY--An open attitude and her wanting to get involved and meet and make awesome friendships with people.


    Jul 25, 2000
    Lots of pre-paid phone cards.....2 sons in college......called home alot just to chat as Sam's Club cards are 3.4 cents a minute. Also, had one son learn the hard way.....always lock the room door even if you go across the hall to the bathroom! He had watch stolen & roommate had money or something taken!


    <font color=blue>Lifes beachy<br><font color=deepp
    Mar 14, 2002
    Let me first tell you that I brought way too much stuff to school that everyone went to me when they needed something b/c chances are, I had it. Definatly make sure that if the school does not allow coffee makers and other appliances that you don't buy them. Some schools like mine and my hallmate erinappler go to, ban certain extension cords and have great microwave-fridge deals. Besides the shower sandals and quarters that you need, christmas lights and posters (with of course the tacky stuff for the walls) are great decorations. Def. bring chairs like those butterfly chairs and mini couches for the hallmates to sit on and for the overnite guests. Oh and for those who never know how much clothes your gonna need, the weather can be very iffy, there are these hanging shelves by Martha Stewart, that go in the closet and work extremly well.


    Chris Isaak fan
    Jul 13, 2000
    That's right - one of our sons' dorms had available for rent mini-fridges and combo microwaves & fridge. And, yes check and see what they'll allow as far as electrical appliances go - some won't allow hotplates or plug-in teapots in the room.
    There may also be a communal kitchen in her building where she can prepare her own food. Something else to look into!
  • SPAGo 98

    Do not ingest.
    Jan 19, 2000

    most colleges won't allow cooking devices (hotplate, water boiler, microwave), unless you're in a suite with a kitchen. my college only allows the microfridge, other than that, no microwaves. but you know .. those are the rules. ;) ;) nudge nudge.

    brita filter


    <a href="
    Jun 12, 2000
    Great ideas! Keep 'em coming!

    Our older DS will be a college freshman this year, and his dorm room will be 168 square feet -- appx. 11 feet x 15 feet. We've been told that the beds in the room can remain on the floor, or the beds can be bunked together on one side leaving more space on the other side of the room, or both beds can be "lofted" (i.e., both made into top bunks) leaving space underneath each for minifridge, TV, chairs (a lot of kids use beanbag chairs), etc. He'll have to wait until mid-July to get his roommate assignment and decide how to arrange the room.


    DIS Veteran
    Oct 11, 1999
    Rubbermaid tubs for everything.

    4 cinder blocks to raise the bed. You can fit several rubbermaid tubs underneath this way.

    Packing up and coming home was so easy with these tubs.

    From what I saw, the parents of girls had it much worse than the parents of boys. Girls need a lot of 'stuff', and boys are usually minimalists. My son still had too much stuff and brought a lot of it home Thanksgiving break.


    <font color=00CCCC>The TF highly recommends the be
    Mar 6, 2001
    Carol G - So you and I are going through the same experience!!
    My daughter's room is 16' X 12' so it is not much bgger than your son's. I love the cinderblock idea or the idea of making a loft out of the two beds but unfortunately in my daughter's situation the beds are bolted to the floor. The rubbermaid tubs are a good idea. I have started a list from these posts. We are going to start shopping soon. She likes to wait until the last moment and I am one who likes everything done now.

    Lucky4me I LOL when you talked about the boys vs girl thing. I have a friend whose son is going away and he is very minimalist. My daughter unfortunately would never be considered one. She is the only girl in the family and loves clothes and shoes. She has never had to share a bedroom or bath. This is going to be a learning experience for her.

    As Carol G said these are great ideas please keep them coming!!


    <font color=blue>beagle boy mom<br><font color=tea
    Dec 15, 2000
    Boy, this is a great thread. My son will start his senior year this fall and my dd will be a freshman.

    Best thing my son took to school was a comfortable computer/desk chair. He also took tubs to store stuff for underbed storage.

    Look for extra long sheets/mattess pads to be coming out in dept stores in July or August. Penneys is a good place to buy them.

    I was reading an article in our paper about what to college freshman should bring. The article stated that freshmen wre less lonely if they bring lots of stuff animals and have a pink blanket on their bed. Apparently, the color pink is comforting. However, not too many boys probably want pink in their room, LOL



    <font color=green>Resident Mariah Expert<br><font
    Sep 6, 2000
    I would die without my kettle to boil water, TV, VCR, computer, high speed modem access, CDs, stereo, DVD player (if possible), microwave, hot plate (if allowed), posters/pictures, photos, laundry hamper, coat hangers, thick blankets (you never know if the heat is turned down)....

    Best of luck!!! :)

    Oh yes, bring plenty of mac & cheese and packets of noodles! Quick and easy! :)


    <font color=darkcoral>I could not be happier with
    Aug 2, 2000
    Also, make sure to check if the beds are Extra Long Twin or regular Twin size. The ones here are XL Twin. That necessitated some hunting around for sheets when I was in the dorms. I know Land's End sell XL sheets (wish I had known that at the time).

    I second keeping her door locked AT ALL TIMES. Students get their stuff stolen all the time. Not only will people try to get in to steal, but I've heard of drunk students trying to get into the wrong room.

    Alot of the kids around here pick up little wallet/key chain combos. They fit their student ID (which they need to get into the dining hall & dorms), an ATM card & a few dollors. It's the perfect size to toss into their pocket.

    Also, remind her to NEVER leave her stuff unattended. It happens all the time in the library, dining hall, etc. I read about it all the time in our campus newspaper & I never ceases to amaze me that people will walk away from their stuff & leave it there for anyone to take. But, because they do, the criminals know that there are easy pickings on campus.


    <font color=green>Will work for travel ;-)<br><fon
    Feb 17, 2001
    Keep the great tips coming! I'm so glad for this thread's posts, I'm going to copy it for my DD who will be going off to college for the first time in Aug.:)


    <a href="
    Jun 12, 2000
    Thanks for the tip on Lands End XL sheets; I wouldn't have thought of checking there. The beds in DS's dorm are the extra long ones, so he'll be needing those!

    Anybody else?


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