I feel like when you hop onto Pinterest, there’s about a million and one articles referring to the things you’ll need for your college dorm. But the reality is, colleges send out thorough packing guides, friends can give great recommendations, + online articles provide some great insight. Last year while I was living on campus in the dorms, I really didn’t need all that much. I had my bed, my books, + my laptop and I was great. Well, I was great considering the campus’ largest dining hall was right outside my window, haha.
This year, however, was a little different since it was my first time living in an apartment. Things are different, you need SO much more stuff, and it can be a little complicated considering you most likely have a roommate or two to coordinate who’s bringing what. However, there are some things that might not be that obvious to bring but are actually a really great idea. Some I just happened to bring at the beginning of the year while others I learned lessons when I didn’t have them. So now, as the end of the semester is not even a week away, I can tell you with certainty how useful the below items were to me this past semester.
1. A Slow Cooker. I don’t care if you think I sound like a Grandma when I say this, but seriously, a slow cooker became my best friend this year. There is nothing more fulfilling than coming home after a long day of classes only to realize that I put dinner in before I left that morning, and it has been just cooking away all day long on the lowest setting, and it’s ready for me to eat. Also, PSA, using the slow cooker also makes your apartment smell all kinds of wonderful, so you should jump at the chance for basically a free air freshener. I’m not kidding.
2. Batteries + Lightbulbs. I’m not joking here, bring an arsenal. For example, when you’re leaving for an Economics exam and suddenly the batteries in your calculator die and you have to run and beg your neighbor to borrow his calculator for the exam (holla at you, Jared for saving my life last month. You da real MVP…I hope you like the brownies I baked you in return!).
3. Reusable food containers. This one has been a game changer for me. Money saving and easy? Count me in. Since I’m not living in the dorms anymore, I’m making a whole lot less microwaveable food and a whole lot more nice dinners. My nightly dinners now consist more of salmon, pasta, and casserole dishes rather than Pizza Rolls or Ramen noodles. So, I just make a slightly larger portion of dinner than I would eat, package up the leftovers, and bring the container to school the next day for a great meal that all I have to do is warm up.
4. Tapestry or other wall hangings. Living in a dorm, I thought my neighbors were loud. However, I was in for a rude awakening once I moved into my apartment this year and discovered that the walls connecting to our neighbors’ house were absolutely paper thin. I could hear my neighbor’s every move, even the little clicking noise that iPhones make when you text! I looked into some solutions to make my room a little quieter, and to my surprise, one of them was very practical and chic. I redid the wall between apartments and hung an American flag and a tapestry on the wall, to block some of the sound. While the sound still is there, it is much more muffled than it was before. This was an effective solution to me, because I was able to keep my room looking super cute, all the while solving a minor problem!
5. Containers on containers on containers. So, I am most definitely a neat freak. I like everything to have its place and look organized. The one way that I have been able to successfully do this in my apartment this year has been because of containers. This year was the first time in my life where I had a walk-in closet, so I took full advantage by purchasing different tubs and bins to keep scarves, purses, craft supplies, paint, school supplies, and printer paper in. It was wonderful.
These were definitely some things I really appreciated having this semester, even though some of them didn’t arrive at school with me during the beginning of the semester and had to be purchased later. However, I would highly recommend each and every one of these to make that transition to an apartment as seamless as possible!