Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to School: Dorm 101

College means many things: studying, partying, all-nighters, co-ed dorms, ramen noodles, etc.  But, you certainly cannot appreciate all of these until your dorm room is properly equipped. Sure you'll bring photos from home, posters and prints for your walls, and your trusty alarm clock and, if you're lucky like we were, your dorm will be fully furnished, leaving you to simply organize and decorate.  But, some people don't have the same luxury and will have to furnish their dorms or apartments themselves.  Whatever the case, there are some dorm room items that are essential to your survival.  Here are a few that we think really make the grade:

Don't get stuck airing your dirty laundry to your roommate or cute boys down the hall! This adorable ruffled laundry bag is the perfect addition to any dorm room, adding a bit of style, while secretly hiding your unmentionables, and serving as a great way to tote your laundry to the nearest washer!

Speaking of laundry, we remember all too well how expensive it was, how you could never fit it all in one load, and how terribly precious quarters became after just a few weeks.  Save your money (and your sweaters) by investing in a convenient, folding drying rack!

Living with another person means learning the importance of compromising and communicating.  Need to send your roommate a message or warning?  We like this dry erase memo board that you can hang on your doorknob!  It's much classier than a sock and can convey more than one message so you'll never be confused.

Reading, just jotting down some notes, researching...all these things would be much easier to do in bed if you had a comfy and practical lap desk to use.  These babies were essential for dorm room studying, making use of your bed and turning it into a functional study space!  Does studying leave you parched? No worries, this desk has a built in beverage holder!

While some dorms do come with desks, others might require you to supply your own. Now, even if you plan to do your work while lounging on your couch or bed, it is a still a good idea to have a desk and dedicated space for your studies. If you need to get your own there are plenty of affordable options from Ikea.  We like this simple desk with the built in shelves for extra storage!

Why not have a vibrant chair to go with your new desk?  Study or surf the web in style with this hot pink chair, from Ikea.  It might not be the most comfortable in the world, but it's pink so we'll just let that slide for now.

 If your dorm has communal bathrooms, like most do, then you'll need somewhere to hang those wet towels and bathrobes when you get back from your bathroom trip!  Some of the best storage solutions are over the door hooks and hangers and we love these brightly colored hangers, available at Modcloth.

While a coffee table probably is probably not something you'll see in a small dorm room, having a table by your bed to place your coffee or easy mac is pretty essential.  We love these colorful, foldable tables because they are fun and versatile (use the tray alone or on the stand as a table!) and they fold up so they are easy to store out of the way when you're in need of more floor space.

College is about being social, but what good is being social if you have nowhere for your guests to sit!  Make your dorm room comfortable and inviting with impromptu seating, like these floor pillows, that can be carefully stacked out of the way when not in use!

The micro-fridge is quite possibly the handiest thing for college students and while we hope your place comes with it many times it does not.  You may think this is an obvious one, but we figured we would just mention it because it is absolutely essential to dorm room survival.   It's space saving, compact, and convenient for those leftovers, healthy snacks, and beverages.

Fun, bright bedding is a must-have to liven up those boring flat white dorm walls. We think snuggling up with this Tiffany Blue duvet set would be a lovely way to add some of your personality, and a little color, to your space with minimal effort.

And, finally, the all important shower essentials!  No college student would be complete without these items.  First, there's the "shower shoe" because no one wants whatever crazy bacteria might be lingering on the floors of those communal showers.  Then, of course, is the plastic caddy so you can tote all your shower essentials with you. And last, but not least, the bathrobe.  Why? Because walking down the hall in a towel is never a good idea. Imagine carrying that caddy in one hand, unlocking your door with the other, and all the while trying to hold up your towel... that would be just asking for a disaster!

Jen & Saira

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