Dorm Checklist for Girls

Hey ladies! How is your college search going? Stressful and tiresome? Oh, I bet.

Unfortunately, the tough decisions keep coming even after you pick a school. This includes the dreadful day you have to start packing up your entire single person bedroom to fit into a 10 by 12 (ish) feet space for two people.

Yes, that means leaving behind that old, adorable sweater that is sitting in the back of your closet with the tag still on it.

Yes, that means possibly downsizing from your platinum screen TV fully equipped with 2,000 channels to Netflix on your laptop screen.

Maybe that second one was a bit far-fetched.

Either way, allow me to let you in on a few secrets; a sort of dorm checklist for girls, if you will, that will guide you away from all the “What do I bring to college” and “What do I need for college” questions that keep you up at night.

A dorm checklist for girls ike this can only come from experience, usually a result of trial and error. Skip over that trial and error stage ladies, and check out these eight useful tips to beginning and managing your first year away at college.

1. Unique Storage Options

Do away with all those typical plastic containers that stow various amounts of items in your dorm room. Challenge yourself to find unique and creative ways that provide both excellent storage and décor. Great (and usually cheap) places to search are antique or thrift stores. Not only will you find something different, but there is a good chance the storage unit you find is significantly more durable.

The long rectangular black box on the right is the perfect place to put your purses/bags while, at the same time, using it as a coffee table or additional seating for your dorm room. Or, if you choose to get really crafty, take this idea on the left and use old suitcases to hold all your shoes, throw it at the end of your futon, and make it an end table.

2. Keep Rain Gear Handy

Whether you attend college in a wet and rainy environment, or are going to school in the middle of the desert, there is always, always, a chance for rain. As a woman with manicured and pampered hair, I refused from the very beginning to take my chances and hope for a dry school year.

Rain gear is an essential item for any dorm checklist for girls Keep your umbrella by your door so you don’t easily forget it on those questionably rainy days. Rain boots and rain jackets are also worthwhile to keep handy.

3. Different Forms of Lighting

Nothing makes a dorm room less cozy and homelike than fluorescent lighting. As women, we all know how unflattering it can be and how small it can make an area look. Avoid the fluorescent curse from the very beginning and bring your own lighting.

Floor lamps, desk lamps, or even stringing Christmas lights on the walls can set a different mood to the space, allowing for a relaxed and more comfortable feel. Different forms of lighting is another must-have for any dorm checklist for girls.

4. Spice up your Sweats

Fact: Determination for cute college fashion among women declines within the first month of attending classes.

Let’s face it ladies, this is college. At some point, we all put down the jeans, and pick up the sweats. When you’re a full time college student balancing tons of term papers, exams, readings, etc. it is only natural that your daily clothing choices get the shaft, and gradually become less effortful.

Obviously this does not apply to everyone, but there are some ways to spice up your sweats attire. Take that old, big comfy sweater and cut off one of the shoulders to bring back the 80s look. Purchase some colorful sneakers or tennis shoes and match them to your t-shirt. Even giving yourself one day out of the week where you force yourself to dress nicely can boost your mood. The choice is yours. Just make sure you add sweats to your dorm checklist for girls.

5. Multiple Mirrors

Most college dorm rooms will probably come with one full length mirror; if you’re lucky. Just to be on the safe side, bring one or even two mirrors, one long one and one short one. This way you are both fully stacked with mirrors, but you also won’t have to take a trip to the bathroom every time you need to use a mirror.

6. Laundry Detergent Packets vs. Bottles

I’ve heard both sides of the story. Laundry detergent packets take up less space, are less messy, and can be used for a great amount of loads. The laundry detergent bottles can often cause spills throughout the entire room; however, the cost of the packets can sometimes be the deal breaker.

Since laundry is such a vital necessity to college life, my dorm checklist for girls suggestion leans towards the packets. It might be an investment, but coming from a girl whose rug was covered in detergent stains, the investment is definitely worthwhile.

7. College ID Holder

It is not a myth; we girls carry a lot of things around with us. However, when you’re moving around campus, the inconvenient search through your cluttered purse for your dorm keys and college ID takes too much time.

Thankfully, the college ID holder exists and helps resolve this problem. These ID holders can be the size of a small wallet and usually contains a zipped pocket, allowing you to throw any change/money or small papers into. The ID holder also has a key ring to attach all your dorm keys to along with a slip for your ID to go into.

8. Bicycle with optional Basket

Why walk from one end of campus to the other when you can bike there?! Bicycles are a great investment for transportation in college. They get you from A to B in a timely fashion and finding a place to park is never a large issue. Throw a basket on the front, and you can store your phone and keys while safely riding around campus. Be sure to add this item to your dorm checklist for girls.

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Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson is a junior at North Central College in Naperville, IL pursuing degrees in journalism and interactive media studies. When she is not in the classroom, she balances her time playing for her school’s softball team and working at a local frozen yogurt shop. Jordan enjoys watching movies, thumb wars, and occasional trips into the windy city.
Jordan Johnson

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