Move-in day is fast approaching, and the excitement is building! Perhaps you’ve already thought about the décor and the vibe you want your dorm to have, but before you get too carried away, we invite you to take a look at a couple of dorm room essentials.

What does your dorm look like?

Before you buy or pack anything ask yourself this, how big is your dorm? What’s the layout, and how much room do you have? Also, be sure to get in touch with your future roommate and ask what they intend to bring with them. Maybe they have a TV or game console they’re planning to bring so you may not need to bring yours, or vise versa. You two will have to work together to figure out how to utilize your space in the most efficient way possible. No matter what the layout of your dorm is, it’s not going to be a very large space—so don’t overpack and remember to be considerate of your future roommate.

The Basics

If neither you nor your new roommate have a mini fridge or microwave, you can rent one, or both (2-in-one microchill) from us at Door to Dorm! A mini fridge may not seem essential, but you’ll be wishing you had one when all you want is a cold drink while you study, or a place to stick your leftovers. Speaking of, saving money on leftovers is worth the investment- how will you heat up your leftovers without a microwave? Microwaves are a convenient thing to have, but we’ll let you make the ultimate decision. You’ll also have to bring a trash can. Ask your roommate if they would be alright with sharing one, kitchen-sized trash can. If you both have your own small cans, they will fill up too quickly and you’ll both find yourselves constantly taking out your tiny bag of trash. If you share a can you can make one garbage bag last longer and take turns taking out the trash.

Stay Organized

It can be a challenge to keep a small space clean and uncluttered—that’s why organization is key. More often than not, a dresser and a desk will be provided for you in the dorm. But if you find that the dresser doesn’t hold all your clothes, or the desk doesn’t hold all your school supplies—plastic storage drawers take up very little space, and can be used to store almost anything.

Cleaning Materials

If you’re living with someone else, you’ll have to tidy up from time to time (for your own sanity, you should even if you have a single). A handheld vacuum is a life-saver in the dorms, especially if your dorm’s floor is carpeted. A full-size vacuum would take up far too much space, but a small dust buster will definitely come in handy. If your dorm floor is tile or wood, be sure to bring a small broom and dustpan too. Some fabric freshener, disinfectant wipes and glass cleaner will help to keep your dorm tidy as well.

Bring the Power

Between your chargers and your snazzy decorative lights—you may find that you and your roommate are running low on outlets. Make sure to bring a power strip with you and encourage your roommate to do the same. Extension cords also prove extremely convenient when you realize your phone charger doesn’t quite reach from the outlet you’re using to your bed. Just make sure you’re following codes so you don’t accidentally start a fire- that would be bad!

Make Shower Time Easy

If your dorm has a community bathroom, make sure to bring a unique towel (you don’t want anyone mistaking your towel for theirs), shower shoes, and a shower caddy. Even if you have the luxury of having your own bathroom that you share with your roommate/suitemates, a shower caddy is still a good idea. If you share a bathroom with your roommate(s), it’s just polite to leave the bathroom clean and clear of all your stuff. A shower caddy will make it easy to get in and out of the shower with all your belongings.

Make it Cozy

Don’t forget to bring your favorite pillow and blanket from home. Everybody gets a little homesick every once in a while, so it’s important to always have a piece of home to comfort us when we’re feeling down. A framed picture of your family and pet(s) may help to make your dorm feel more like home as well.