Saturday, June 3, 2017

Freshmen Frenzy: What To Actually Buy For Your Freshmen Dorm

Happy Summer, guys!

I know that by now most high school seniors have graduated and are excitedly preparing for their first semester of college in the Fall. This time full of shopping and anticipation is so much fun, especially the dorm shopping. I decided that I would share what I found I actually found useful in my college dorm in the hopes of helping you!


For my freshmen dorm I bought four large towels, two hand towels, and four wash cloths. I bought all of these from Target for super cheap and they stayed soft all year long! You can find them here in 10 different colors, which is awesome! However, my one tip for towels in college is to not buy white towels because that's the color most students have and they don't stay perfectly white. My freshmen year I went for the minty-blue and gray colors!


I don't know about you, but I prefer for my sheets to be fun and printed! I got two sets of sheets as a present for my high school graduation from TJ Maxx, and then I bought a set myself from Target that were just too cute not to have! Honestly, three sets of sheets were more than enough and I think two would have been just fine. Also, many colleges tell you that your sheets will need to twin XL, but I found that even normal twin sized sheets worked fine on my own. 


When you ask most college freshmen where their comforter on their bed is from you'll often hear "Oh, I got it from Urban Outfitters!" However, most of us don't have almost $200 to spend on a duvet and cover, so I suggest just buying one from TJ Maxx, Target, HomeGoods, or other cheaper alternatives! Another tip I have is to buy a simple comforter and buy printed or bright colored pillows and blankets to go with it. It's much easier to pick and choose accessories to go with a solid colored comforter than to pick accessories to match a crazy printed one. Also if you want a white comforter but your mom continues to say it'll get dirty, I can speak from experience that it will! I also found it worth it though because if you take care of it, you'll be fine!

Blankets and Decorative Pillows

I hate to sound like a broken record, but once again I think that Target and TJ Maxx are your best bet for finding pretty things for your bed! If you're wanting something unique or personalized check out Etsy shops for monogramed items or cute pillows with "Dorm Sweet Dorm" on them. Like I mentioned before, I went with a white comforter and used fun colored pillows to brighten up the space!

Bed Skirt 

A way to make your room prettier is to cover up the underneath of your dorm bed by having a bed skirt put up. My Mom made mine out of a set of sheets she bought from Target and a tension rod. These worked really well other than falling every once a while, which I didn’t mind too much since they hid the plastic containers I kept underneath my lofted dorm bed!


I highly suggest either buying a twin sized headboard or making one yourself for your dorm! My fantastic parents made one for me out of wood from Home Depot, they just stained all of the pieces and screwed them together on two stands that matched the height of my bed! They did such a great job on it, and it added so much warmth to my dorm room. I found a few online that were pretty like this white one, his upholstered one, and this tufted one!

Other Bed Things

The most important things your dorm bed will need are a bedbug protecting mattress cover and a foam topper. I went into my freshman dorm with a teeny-tiny foam topper and within two weeks I was going out and buying a thicker topper to put ON TOP OF the one I already had! So the thicker and nicer the topper, the better in this case! 


Please, please, please do not purchase a full sized vacuum for your dorm. A small hand held one will do the job for small messes and carpet clean up! I also suggest that you purchase a broom and dust pan for sweeping the floors, its saves a lot of space and money in the long run! My biggest tips would be to invest in a Swiffer to clean your floors. You and your roommate will drag in more dirt and grime than you expect! 


If you're lucky enough like Auburn students, you won't have a community bathroom to share with everyone on your floor. I happened to live in the Lower Quad at Auburn, so I shared a bathroom with my roommate and our two suitemates in the dorm next door. That means that we were responsible for the upkeep of our own bathroom. I brought all my normal cleaning supplies I was used to using so that meant toilet cleaner, glass cleaner, my Swiffer, shower/tub cleaner, and Lysol wipes! Since we all shared a bathroom, we also discussed who would bring what for the bathroom. I suggest discussing who will bring the plastic shower curtain, the decorative shower curtain, storage units, and a bathmat! 


Doing laundry is the worst part of living in a college dorm. Doing your delicates next to that cute guy that lives in the building next to you or having to worry about your things being messed with if you step out, is the worst! To make things easier I highly suggest getting laundry bag that isn't seen through. I got one as a present for my high school graduation. Also, instead of carrying around a huge bottle of heavy detergent I found that buying laundry pods were so much easier to use. Just pop one on top of you laundry in the bag along with your quarters and call it good!


A dorm room wouldn’t be a dorm room without string lights! I bought mine form World Market. You’re also going to want to buy a desk lamp for lighting that will just be on your side of the room. I went for a more fun, eclectic unicorn lamp from Target. I loved how it looked on my desk, and it also added to the uniqueness of my side of the dorm room!

Wall Art

Luckily in Auburn’s dorms students aren’t left with all ugly, plain white or beige walls, but we do have an accent wall that is colored! However, it’s still fun to put up photos or other things to make the space more your own. In my dorm I hung up a cork board with photos, stickers, and pretty quotes pinned to it. I also hung up a fun framed piece that said “Let’s Roll” with toilet paper on it! In case you know nothing about Auburn University or this went over your head, Auburn has a tradition and is known for rolling our Toomer’s Oaks with toilet paper after big wins! I thought it was just a funny way to incorporate something Auburn-ish into the room!


I don’t know how most dorms are, but my dorm had a very large window in it that let in a lot of natural light. While this is great during the day, it wasn’t so great during the mornings I wanted to sleep in! So, I put up thick burlap curtains in my dorm to keep out the light with one of those tension rods and it worked perfectly! 


Unfortunately, dorms don’t come equipped with nice hardwood flooring, so the best thing to buy to cover up old, ugly tiled floors is a nice rug! My best advice here is to make sure you buy a rug that will stay clean looking, covers a large amount of the floor, and is soft! I knew that I definitely didn’t want to try and keep a light colored rug clean, so I went for a taupey-brown colored one that went well with the rest of my dorm d├ęcor. This rug is actually so great that I’m now using it in the living room of the new condo that I currently live in!

Organization Pieces

Make sure you are listening on this one... are you ready? Plastic organizers are your friends. The best part about having a lofted bed in college is all the space you have underneath, so take advantage of it! For my dorm I used two plastic drawers that I already had to organize my towels, cleaning supplies, medical supplies, hair tools, etc. They store so much! I also had two large plastic boxes that I put things in that I wasn't using like extra clean sheets, beach/pool towels, and extra school supplies!


I've mentioned this before, but these things are definitely ones you'll need to discuss with your roommate on who's bringing what for your dorm! If you are like me and like to enjoy your coffee in the morning, a Keurig is definitely going to need to be on your list! My dorm only allowed single cup brewers, so check with your school before you purchase one. You are also going to probably need a mini fridge and a microwave, so keep that in mind too. I also brought along one plain white plate and bowl that I got for cheap at Target, and my own Brita Water Filter because no one wants to be extremely wasteful and pay for a ton of plastic water bottles.

Travel Necessities 

With the few long weekends and breaks that college students get, you tend to make the most of the few you get! With that in mind you'll probably want to keep either a weekender bag or a suitcase on hand. Since Auburn University isn't flying distance from home for me I just chose to have a weekender bag, but if you are flying distance away make sure you have your suitcase and a carry on bag for traveling home!


Here I wanted to include random things, but things I definitely used often in my dorm. During move-in one of my most used items were Command Strips! I used them to hang up my string lights, my cork board, and my framed pictures! I also recommend to anyone who is even a somewhat light sleeper that they invest in buying a fan. Dorms can be loud sometimes and nothing is worse than your roommate or suitemate coming in late and waking you up, so having a fan to drown out the noise is great! Also a fun fact about most college dorms is that there are hardly any plugs, so bring at least one power strip with you, maybe even two! Lastly, one thing that every college student should have in their dorm is a first aid kit. I never had any “medical emergencies”, but it was nice to have plenty of Band-Aids when needed!

So there's my long list of what to actually buy for your freshman dorm! To make this a little easier, I compiled this list into a printable document for you to take with you shopping! Let me know in the comments below if this was helpful, and enjoy your shopping! 

The Messy Typewriter

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