The time has come to gently nudge your college aged student out of the nest and into a dorm room of her own. Dorms are the perfect stepping stone between living at home with you and renting an apartment.
Dorm rooms come in all shapes and sizes. My son has lived in a spacious dorm room with nice natural light and also one that looked like a prison cell. His university has a dorm lottery and you get what you get. We make the most of any dorm assignment by making sure that he has the dorm essentials.
If your kid threw his laundry on the floor at home, he may continue to do that. You may be surprised, though, by how neat he becomes when it is his own space. I love this slim line laundry hamper and bought it for my son's dorm. It rolled neatly in the space between his desk and the wall and I was pleasantly surprised that he used it. When it was laundry day, he wheeled it down the hall to the laundry room.
Although your child will have a meal plan, they will not want to go to the food court every time they want a snack. Plus, university cafeterias are not open 24/7, but writing papers and cramming for exams happens at any time- day or night. I LOVE this set of canisters for my son's late night snacking. Dorms tend to have the occasional insect problem if food is not contained properly. These canisters kept bugs at bay while keeping snacks fresh and neatly stacked.
Dorm closets are very small. Hanging space is at a premium and everything else must be folded. Drawer space is limited, too, so we created our own clothes storage space. We used these closet organizer storage boxes to neatly store clothes that won't fit in the closet or drawer. We also used these to store clothes that are out of season. When my son arrived at school in August, this storage system contained winter clothes. Once the cool weather hit, he switched the clothes.
I have heard that some universities have a cleaning service, but my son's did not. I got him this wall mounted mop and broom holder so that cleaning supplies were stowed. He had a Swiffer, a broom with dustpan, and a duster wand secured by the latches. On the hooks, he had a couple of bottles of cleaning solutions. It worked perfectly because it hung on the back of the door where it was out of the way.
Dorm desks are fairly small so it is important to maximize space. These expandable drawer organizers work great for desk drawers, especially the front drawer that tends to be a junk drawer. The expandable compartments sort everything and remind you not to store junk in the drawer.
For the limited space on the desktop, my son used this super cool vertical charging station. It was the tidy way to make sure he had enough plugs for everything and also gave him a convenient place to charge his phone. Since it is a vertical tower, it doesn't use much desktop space.
Hanging Toiletry Bag
Most dorms do not have private bathrooms, so your student will likely be sharing a bathroom with at least one other person. A hanging toiletry bag is a must. We like this one because it is large and has lots of compartments. It holds all of the essentials and is easy to pack back up and store once they are done in the bathroom. He used a plastic caddy at first, but it was messy and when he came home for the weekend, he had to pack everything into a toiletry bag anyway, so he decided on this.
Protective Electronics Storage Bag
College students have laptops, tablets, smartphones, gaming devices, tons of cords, and even more chargers. Keeping them organized and safe from harm or theft is important. My son kept all of his electronics safely contained in this storage bag. It prevented him from losing cords and chargers and kept everything safe in his football duffle bag when he was on the go.
Bonus Must-Have Dorm Essential
No one wants to think that their college student could be the victim of theft while at college, but it is a possibility if your child's belongings aren't protected. I purchased this small digital safe for my son to keep his wallet, cash, watches, and other valuables. Dorm rooms are crazy places and people are in and out of each other's rooms. We figured it was better to be safe than sorry. (See what I did there? lol)
Knowing that my son had everything to keep him organized and comfortable was one of the only consolations when I dropped him off at college for the first time. I still cried as I drove away, but I felt comforted that his needs were met. Warm wishes for that first time dorm drop off- I promise that it does get easier with time.