Making a Dorm a Home––Part 1

Entering college means for many of us entering a whole new realm––dorm rooms. Whether you have a roommate or are on your own, a private room, or a suite shared with several girls, there are some things you want to consider before moving in. In this series, we’ll cover some of the basics of dorm living and what you’ll need or want to make it your temporary home.


There are several appliances you might want to have in your dorm room. However, before rushing out to buy any of them, check with your dorm policies regarding which appliances and such are allowed in the dorm. Some schools don’t allow hot plates or other like items, since they can pose a fire hazard.

Microwave––A microwave is a very handy appliance when living in a dorm. While many dorms may have a small kitchenette for everyone to use, which includes a microwave, it’s nice to have one for yourself when you need to heat up a late-night snack or cup of hot chocolate. Look around at yard sales or clearance sections for a good deal on one, or check with people you know to see if they’re getting rid of an old one. Try to keep the size small, as most dorm rooms are not that large to begin with.

Mini-fridge––A small refrigerator is a great asset to your room. It allows so many options. Having a small fridge means you can stock healthier snacks for late study nights––yogurt, string cheese, orange juice. Or even the occasional roll of chocolate chip cookie dough. There is also a small freezer inside to keep a frozen meal or two for those times you aren’t able to make it to the cafeteria for dinner before it closes. Mini-fridges are often on sale toward the middle to end of summer, as the school year approaches, so start looking now if you’re considering buying one.

Iron––If you have anything at all that will need ironing––and you probably will––you need an iron and ironing board. The iron doesn’t need to be top of the line––a simple one should do the trick. If your dorm room is very small, a white towel can be laid on a table or desk in place of an ironing board.

Remember that these appliances are not essentials––don’t go tell your parents you have to have them!––but they can be helpful. There are many other items you may want to take with you to make your dorm a home––toaster oven, coffee maker (cheaper than buying Starbucks every morning!), or electric kettle. Keep in mind the amount of space you’ll have and whether or not a roommate may be bringing that same item. Which leads us to our topic for next time––sharing a room.

By Lisa Grimenstein

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