Announcement + Dorm Room Tips

Between work and wedding planning and the Etsy shop and the blog, the last thing I need is yet another ball to juggle, right? Except, what if that ball is super awesome and fun and is an amazing opportunity? Does that make it okay to say yes? I hope so. Because I did. You guys are looking at Domino Magazine's newest online freelance writer!

I've got a few more articles in the works, but my first one went up today! Click over to read it here: 

12 ways to cover up your horrifying dorm room floor

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In honor of that first post, I've gathered my four years of dorm room experience and curated a short list of the things you absolutely need (and the things you absolutely don't) to make your dorm experience an amazing one:

 
things to bring

1. Really, really comfortable bedding
Dorm rooms are pretty small, so seating is usually limited to 1) your desk chair or 2) your bed. (Guess which one you'll be using for studying, watching TV, Pinterest marathons...) With all the time you'll be spending there, you want it to be comfortable! Get yourself a mattress topper, invest in nice sheets, and make sure your pillows are comfortable (I recommend a minimum of 2).

2. Sturdy storage
Forget the flimsy cloth boxesโ€”they're cute, but who wants to be replacing them every single year? Get yourself some sturdy plastic crates (I still use mine to this day). These are perfect for storing cleaning supplies, snacks, shoes, winter clothes, or anything else you want tucked away and out of immediate sight. Next step: push them under the bed. See? Now you have everything you need, but you're clutter-free. Another handy storage item: an over-the-door shelving rack. I didn't have one of these beauties in college, but it sure would have come in handy for storing things like hair products, beauty supplies, snacks (what? I like my snacks), etc.

3. Thin hangers
Take it from me: the closets are never, ever big enough. To get the most clothing in there possible, invest in some nice, thin hangers. This is another item that should last you well past your dorm years.

4. A hand vacuum
Unless you're in an apartment-style dorm that's equipped with the beautiful rarity that is a hall closet, don't even bother with a full-sized vacuum. Just don't. Provided you aren't a walking tornado of crumbs and lint, a small, handy vacuum is all you'll need. (In dire situations, call mom for a visit, and ask her to bring the vacuum.)

5. A mini fridge
This is possibly the most important item your dorm room will hold. I don't care if you're in the tiniest of dorm rooms or an apartment equipped with a full-sized fridge; get a mini fridge and put it in your bedroom. It is the solver of all problems, including: Which Water Bottle Is Mine, Where Did My Leftovers Go, and my personal favorite, Secret Stash of Coca-Cola.

 
things to leave

1. Your pet fish
Learn from my experience. They smell terrible, take up valuable tabletop space, and cleaning the tank in a tiny dorm room sink is nearly impossible (and just plain annoying).

2. Extra reading
Leave it for summer. Whatever free time you think you'll have for reading will be better spent on making friends, trying new things, and just overall experiencing college. Plus, the space thing again.

3. Decorative items
This includes figurines, vases, paperweights, snow globes, canisters, trinkets, and other various knickknacks. They're just collecting dust and (repeat after me) taking up space.

And there you have it! Do you have any dorm room tips of your own to add? Let me know in the comments below!