Moving from your parent’s home and your familiar bedroom to a dorm room with roommates you may have never met before can be intimidating, not to mention just plain scary. But most college students and grads will be quick to tell you that the experiences they had and the memories they made with their college roommates in their dorms last a lifetime, and so do the relationships.
To help you prepare for dorm room living and to make the most of your college years, follow the advice in this guide.
Choose a college wisely
As you choose a college, consider your personal living preferences. This is very important to your success, as the space in which you live and study can affect your performance and influence your college experience. Do you prefer to have your own bathroom, or do you mind using a shared, community bathroom and shower area? How about a kitchen? Do you feel more secure with your pet coming with you, and need a pet-friendly living arrangement? All of these scenarios should be addressed as you consider the best living arrangement for your college success.
Study the paperwork FIRST
If you show up on move-in day without looking at the schedule, you may find yourself standing around or hiking up and down stairs unnecessarily. There is likely a schedule to allow each student convenience when unloading their belongings. Similarly, there are probably designated drop-off spots you should know about. Even before you pack, read through all paperwork to find out what furniture and appliances will be provided, and what items are prohibited. Get familiar with the dorm organization, taking note of the dimensions and room layout to make sure your furniture will fit.
Packing the moving truck
If you must provide your own furniture, be strategic about how to pack your moving truck. Consider the essential items you’ll need on move-in day, such as toiletries, chargers, and a change of clothing. Make sure to label your boxes to make your dorm room organization easy and quick. Remember that you’ll likely be limited on space, so you may need to purchase multi-purpose furniture that offers you more storage possibilities, like a headboard with a bookshelf built-in.
Collaborate with your roommates
Connect with your roommates in advance to coordinate shared items, such as a TV, ironing board, microwave, common area rugs, fridge, couch, etc. If possible, discuss the dorm room organization you’d prefer so you all agree on the layout and organization of your rooms and belongings. If there is a room or bed that is more desirable than the others, create a schedule so that you can switch for the next semester.
Get creative with space
Once you get moved in, you’ll probably realize that no matter how you tried to cut back, you packed too much. You may need to come up with some creative dorm storage ideas to avoid a messy situation. For example, using under-the-bed storage containers and bags is a great idea for shoes and clothing. Over-the-door hangers can also help organize shoes, jewelry, socks, and other items. Your roommates may have some good dorm storage ideas, so don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with them asking for their advice. It will help you get to know each other and work toward setting up the perfect dorm room for your college experience.