dorm essentials .jpg

Even if one forgets to bring certain items when moving in, there's a bus that goes to Walmart, Target and the nearby mall.

When one is packing up to live on their own for the first time, it’s easy to remember the basics. Every freshman remembers to purchase a comforter, pack their favorite clothes and, of course, prepare decor for their dorm. Unfortunately, it’s the items people have grown up with easy access to that are usually forgotten. To properly prepare for one’s first year, it’s important to get a head start on packing or purchasing these items. 

1. Doorstop

Typically, nobody needs to have a door stop at home. In a college dorm, however, the doors are heavy and close if they aren’t held open. A doorstop is important from the first days of living in a dorm to the very end. Not only is it helpful for move-in when one’s family is fumbling to bring their whole life into a small room, but it’s also nice to have when everything finally gets settled. With a doorstop, one can show their neighbors that they’re willing to talk to them and want to get to know their hallmates. Later in the year, it’ll be helpful for when a person and a hallmate are having a conversation but both don’t feel like leaving bed. And, toward the end of the year, they’ll be able to easily transport all of their things out. 

2. Mini Vacuum 

Freshman year, one will encounter new challenges while living in a dorm. One of the most notable is having to be responsible for cleaning up after themselves. A mini vacuum is essential to have in order to clean up crumbs after eating in the room, to clear away random dust bunnies and most importantly, to get rid of bugs. Growing up, many people have someone else dispose of insects for them, but when they move into college, it really is every man for themselves. With a mini vacuum, one can easily target these creatures and feel less squeamish about removing them.

3. Extra hangers

Being a first year opens up new opportunities for getting involved on campus. Throughout freshman year, one may attend events and join clubs. When packing for school, most don’t realize how many T-shirts and various types of apparel they’ll add to their wardrobe in just the first few months. Additionally, one will most likely need to purchase new clothing throughout the year, whether it be business casual outfits, a uniform or coats for the cold and rainy months. To store this new influx of clothing, it’s crucial to bring extra hangers. Laundry is a grueling process itself, and not having enough hangers after cleaning one’s clothing is frustrating. 

4. Steamer

Oftentimes one will need to give a presentation for class, apply for a job, attend a job fair or go to a formal event. In any of these events, it’s important to look professional and put forward the best version of oneself. In a business casual setting, wrinkly clothes give off a careless first impression. To avoid this image, pack a mini steamer. It’s easy to use and improves an appearance quickly.  

5. Clorox Wipes

Throughout the year, one will probably spill things, cause a few stains and the dorm will most likely accumulate a lot of dust. Clorox wipes are an easy remedy to all these situations. They’re a great option for quick cleaning and get the stain out of almost everything. They’re also helpful when sicknesses start spreading around the dorm and are perfect for cleaning the door knobs and various other shared surfaces to avoid coming in contact with those germs. 

Contact Emily Lambert at For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.