By Sarah Wright
The dorm bathrooms are likely to be clean, but that doesn't make shower shoes pointless. You might not actually wear sandals into the shower (you should clean your feet even if you do), but the trip to and from the bathroom is a different story. Even though the halls are probably regularly vacuumed, they're still heavily trafficked, and that means there's going to be dirt and debris on the floor. Why dirty your freshly washed feet? Investing in a pair of flip-flops or sandals to wear to-and-from your showers is a worthwhile purchase.
You might be able to get whatever food you want from the school cafeteria and local restaurants, but you might not always feel like going out. This is particularly true if you're sick. A hot pot can help you boil water to make boxed macaroni and cheese, ramen and instant or condensed soups. You'll also be able to use the boiling water for tea, coffee and hot cocoa. They're not the most versatile cooking item, but they're great for dorm rooms. Microwaves and hot plates are probably forbidden in your dorm building, and space is probably at a premium, making the easily-stored hot pot a wise addition to your room. Plus, they're cheap, so you'll get your money's worth even if you use it just a few times a month.
Colleges are looking for thrift and efficiency, not comfort, when they make their dorm bed purchase selection. If you're used to a nice, fluffy mattress, you probably won't be too pleased with what is on offer in your new college bedroom. You can make the most of the situation by buying yourself a nice mattress pad, cozy sheets, fluffy pillows and a warm, snuggly set of blankets. The mattress itself might not be the nicest thing in the world, but you can make your bed feel like a million bucks with just a little bit of investing.
This won't be necessary in all rooms, but some dorm beds are relatively low to the ground, wasting some vertical space that could otherwise be converted into storage. Bed lifts are usually pretty cheap, and will add enough space under your bed so you can stow luggage, boxes of sweaters and other stuff that you don't need access to on a regular basis.
Multipurpose Laundry Storage
Dorm laundry accessories need to serve the dual purpose of storing your dirty clothes and transporting everything to and from the laundry facilities - all while taking up the smallest amount of space in your room. We're not suggesting you agonize over the decision, but before you purchase a hamper or laundry bag, consider how much space it's going to take up and how easy it's going to be to transport to and from laundry facilities that may require you to open doors and use stairs for access. If you're the type to leave your dirty clothes strewn about your room, you might also consider which type of storage you're most likely to use on a daily basis. Your roommate will thank you for taking the time to think about this.
You should also think about easy meals that you can make with the few cooking utensils available in a dorm room.