10 Things You Need for Your College Dorm Room

10 Things You Need for Your College Dorm Room

July 24, 2017 – Hi everyone! My name is Hannah Vanourney, and I am a graphic designer at Randy’s Flooring. I graduated from Coe College in 2015 with degrees in Art and Public Relations. Throughout college and after graduation I have held a variety of positions in the field of graphic design. Being a creative person since birth, I knew this was the perfect career choice for me. In addition to graphic design, I’ve recently developed a love for interior design. So, when a position at Randy’s popped up that combined these two interests, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. On any given day you can find me working on a variety of projects for the Randy’s team. From calculating estimates for the sales team to tracing out floor plans and creating mockups, every day brings something different—and I am absolutely hooked!

Having graduated in 2015, I can still remember all the ups and downs of living in the campus dorms. For me, the hardest part about going off to college was deciding what to pack for my first home away from home. While I may have overpacked in the beginning, throughout my time living on campus, I discovered what was really needed and what I should have left behind. In order to help you avoid making the same mistakes I did, I put together this list of 10 Things You Need for Your College Dorm Room:

#1 Carpet
As the stomping grounds of countless students before you, your dorm room is going to be a far cry from the plush, cozy, carpet of your parents’ home. While some rooms feature cement or wood floors, most students end up with the drab, rough carpet that is standard in most dorms. After discovering the cold and uncomfortable aesthetic that is dorm room flooring, most students rush to the local big box store and spend way too much money on a tiny area rug. Trust me, I was one of these people. Buying a rug from big box stores can be expensive—especially if you’re a new college student on a budget. But, have no fear. It doesn’t have to be this way!

Since starting at Randy’s, I’ve learned a lot of information about carpet remnants, which actually would have been a savior during my college years. Due to the quantity of materials that come through the Randy’s warehouse, many carpet remnants are left unsold. Instead of going to waste, these high-quality remnants provide customers with the opportunity to create custom rugs at an unbeatable value. With options in all textures, colors, piles, and price points, you won’t have to sacrifice cash for comfort. Stop by our Cedar Rapids location to view our full selection of remnants. You know the plush, cozy, carpet of your parents home I was talking about earlier? You CAN have that in your dorm room. If only younger, college-aged Hannah would have known…

#2 Lighting
Typically harsh and fluorescent, the lighting in dorm rooms is less than desirable. Whether you’re cramming in a last-minute study session for your psych exam, hanging out with your newfound friends, or getting cozy for a Netflix binge session, you want to make sure you have cute yet practical lighting in your space. There are tons of great dorm room lighting options. In my dorm room I had twinkle lights, a desk lamp for doing homework, and a clip-on lamp that was perfect for late nights spent studying or reading in bed. Make the space your own. If you want to go crazy with string lights or have a gummy bear lamp, DO IT. Nobody (except maybe your RA) is holding you back.

#3 Futon
Dorm room seating shouldn’t be limited to your Twin XL bed. Between binge-watching Netflix when you should be studying and hosting your friends on the weekend, a futon is a MUST for any dorm room or college apartment. In my experience, any room with a futon was the place to be.

#4 Your parents’ old TV
Sure, you could use your laptop for streaming shows online, but nothing beats sitting around watching TV with your friends. I’ll never forget the Monday Bachelor(ette) viewing parties or Tuesday evenings spent anxiously watching Pretty Little Liars to see if we would FINALLY find out who A is. There’s no need to go out and buy a fancy schmancy TV from Best Buy. Your parents’ hand-me-down TV will do the trick.

#5 A personal touch—chosen by you, not your mom
The first few weeks—or even months—of college can be a lonely time. Between getting to know an unfamiliar campus and leaving your friends and family behind, it’s easy to feel lost and alone. Having pictures, meaningful knick-knacks, and fresh flowers is an easy way to put a smile on your face. Make sure to leave extra space on your walls and desk; in a few months you’ll want to fill those spaces with pictures and mementos from your new college life.

#6 Cleaning Supplies
Like most college dorm rooms, mine saw the good, the bad, and the ugly. Moving into your dorm room and being responsible for all the cleaning can be a big shock for someone who’s never been responsible for cleaning their own spaces before. Luckily, since most dorm rooms consist solely of a sleeping area, you won’t have to deal with the big kickers such as the kitchen and bathroom. Nonetheless, you’ll need a basic set of cleaning supplies. In my experience, disinfecting wipes and paper towels are a savior. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have dish soap on hand to clean dishes and a mini vacuum to clean up small messes.

#7 Microwave
As much as I don’t want to admit it, Ramen and Easy Mac basically make up their own food group in every college student’s diet. While not the healthiest, the ease of making easy microwave meals at any hour of the day makes them an automatic go-to when the dining hall is closed. However, in order to make these magical dishes you’ll need a microwave. If you luck out like me, your parents will have a hand-me-down microwave you can use. If not, you can buy your own—priced anywhere between $35 to $200.

#8 Personal Coffee/Tea Maker
Trust me. Your bank account will thank you later. While going to Starbucks on a daily basis sounds like a great idea, it can add up quickly. Instead of blowing away your already slim budget on coffeeshop drinks, I recommend brewing your own coffee and tea. While it may add a few extra minutes to your morning routine, it will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. So get yourself a coffee maker and/or an electric kettle—you will not regret it!

#9 Throw Blanket
If you’re anything like me, a cozy throw blanket is going to be a must for your college dorm room. I’m the kind of girl you can find wrapped up in a blanket in the middle of July. Even if you’re not like me, I highly recommend you pack a blanket (or 5) for your dorm room. You’ll thank me later. Especially when you’re stuck in your dorm room with a broken heater in the middle of January.

#10 Mini Fridge
Ahh mini fridges… This last one goes out to you. Thank you for keeping my beverages cold and supplying me with breakfast and snacks when I was too lazy to go to the dining hall or c-store. Every dorm room needs a mini fridge. No questions asked.