Big dreams and high hopes collide with small spaces and tight corners for the college-bound. With so many gadgets and goodies, what contraptions actually make the grade for being both fun and functional? We turned to some Charlotte-area “experts” for guidance and counsel.
Abbie Reich is gearing up to head back to Appalachian State University this fall for her sophomore year. “Dorms have a single overhead light that is really annoying and makes you feel like you’re in an institution,” she said. Simple solutions include a floor light in addition to a clamp-on desk lamp.
Our collegiate crew’s input was unanimous on definite necessities: floor lamps, an area rug, shoe organizers, organizational bins and/or shelves and some punchy pillows and sheets to suit your style. Oh, and don’t forget something cute to store your laundry (or to tote it home). Don’t spend your money (or precious space) on dishes, games, extra towels or a shower caddy that isn’t vented at the bottom.
For decoration, UNC sophomore Jill Lindsay Euchner had friends from home paint canvases, which she displayed on her walls. Simple strings of fun lights from Target added some pops of color.
And then there’s technology. Notable items worth toting are an iDock or iHome. Reich also suggests an ethernet cord – a long one. “Even though dorms promise speedy Wi-Fi, with hundreds of other students connecting to it, it’s actually quite slow,” she says. A basic printer also saved her from late-night trips to the library.
UNC Wilmington student Nicole Sabo offers this advice: “When you’re shopping for stuff, it can be easy to get swept up… (so) take a minute to ask yourself if you are really going to get much use out of it. If you’re not sure, you may be better off waiting until you get to school to decide.”
And finally, avoid sticky situations by purchasing Command Brand strips and hooks. The non-permanent stick tools don’t damage dorm room walls and provide lots of ways to maximize space. Hang towels, purses, strings of lights, keys, mirrors and more. Numerous sizes and versions; prices start at $2.17 per pack.
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