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Moving out of your parents’ house and into a dorm is an exciting experience for any college-bound guy. Soon, you’ll be free from bedtimes, chore lists and your annoying little brother. However, living on campus also has its fair share of challenges, including cramped quarters and difficult roommates. Therefore, you must plan accordingly by packing dorm essentials for guys.
Step one? Make a list of all your dorm room must-haves. Space is limited, so you must prioritize what you need.
1. Mattress Topper
There’s no telling how many guys have slept on your dorm room mattress, but we’re willing to bet at least a few. So, if yours feels more like a wooden board than a cozy cloud, don’t be surprised. Luckily, you can soften the blow and get a better night’s rest with a mattress topper. Choose one that contains gel or foam and offers multiple thickness options. Then, simply slip it under your fitted sheet and get to napping. Still too stiff? Layer two toppers for maximum comfort.
2. Lap Desk
Most dorms come with a desk or at least room enough for one. However, if your bed is super soft, you may never want to leave, which is why you need a lap desk. Lap desks are a dorm essential for guys and girls alike. This item will support your laptop — and study habits — no matter where you are. Work from the floor, your bed, the car or even a hammock without worrying about neck, back or shoulder strain. Some even come with device ledges, mousepads and cell phone holders so you can stay organized and productive.
3. Convertible Furniture
Convertible furniture is a must when you’re living in a tiny dorm because space is limited and you need all the storage you can get. Plus, you can always use extra seating when friends come over. Invest in quality pieces that can work double duty without taking up too much room. For instance, futons provide a place to sleep or sit depending on your needs. Meanwhile, couches, benches, stools and footrests often feature hidden storage compartments for blankets, books and other items.
4. Bedside Caddy
If there’s little room for a bedside table, opt for a bedside caddy instead. This innovative solution saves tons of space, minimizes clutter and keeps all your essentials within arms reach. All you have to do is slip the pocket in between the mattress and frame and use it to store everything from charging cords to snacks. Some even feature a folding design so you can use the caddy as a small desk or shelf if you need to.
5. Utility Hooks
Most college dorms prohibit students from drilling into walls to hang decorations or secure shelves. Instead, you must rely on adhesives like stick tack and utility hooks. The latter is especially versatile as you can hang everything from curtain rods to plants with them. Plus, they’re super easy to remove and won’t leave a trace when you move next year.
6. Daily Planner
Sure, you already have a calendar on your phone, but you’ll need something a bit more tangible to keep track of due dates, exams and group projects. Get yourself a daily planner and use class syllabi to fill it out. Add to-do lists, assignments and deadlines as they arise and consider using a color system or sticky index tabs to organize tasks by class. Utilize the full calendar pages to maintain a big picture perspective and plan ahead, too.
7. First Aid Kit
College is the perfect time to step outside your comfort zone and try new things. However, if you’re more of a daredevil and like to take risks — boys will be boys — having a first aid kit on hand is one of most crucial dorm essentials for guys you won’t want to leave behind at home. In fact, it might be wise to purchase two — one for your dorm and one for your car. This way you always have bandaids, antiseptics and other medical supplies with you in case of emergencies. Better to be safe than sorry, right?
8. Shower Shoes
Whether you share a bathroom with your roommate or all the guys on your floor, you’re going to want a pair of shower shoes. That’s because shower floors can harbor 60 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Plus, they’re often home to gram-negative rods, a type of bacteria that is harmful to humans and resistant to antibiotics. So keep your feet — and the rest of your body — clean by donning some plastic slides or flip-flops.
Make a List of the Dorm Essentials for Guys
You know what they say, One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Thus, your definition of “essential” may very well differ from your friend’s or roommate’s, which is why it’s important to make a list. Write down everything you think you’ll need and narrow it down to necessities only. Then, if you still have space after the move, you can pack another box of personal items or decor.