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Eight Things Your College Freshman MUST Have

If you have a fledgling getting ready to fly out of the nest and land in a college dorm this fall, then you are likely going through a lot of mixed emotions right now. Added to this stress is the LONG list of items that you need to pack to ensure that your student has everything they need for success. You probably already have a pile of shopping bags and boxes taking up a corner in your home, filled to overflowing with the all the “stuff” a teenager needs for their first long-term foray away from home.

So instead of rehashing the list of things you have probably already checked off, we thought it might be a good idea to share some of the “must haves” you may NOT have thought of. These convenience items, while seemingly innocuous, have the potential to make your student’s dorm life more liveable.

Ultra-slim velvet-covered hangers

Your student may be accustomed to their own walk-in closet, or at least, a nice big wall closet, so they may experience a bit of shock when they arrive in their dorm room to discover the TINY space that needs to hold not only clothes, but bedding, extra towels, cleaning supplies, and various other things that need a home. So stock up on this handy item: ultra-slim hangers. You wouldn’t believe the amount of space you save getting rid of the bulky plastic ones. Plus, the velvet covering keeps clothes in place so they don’t fall off the hangers.

Foldable chair

Let’s face it…whether your kid is hosting study sessions in her room (you hope!) or watch parties for the latest HBO series or America’s Got Talent season, extra seating is a must. Most dorm rooms will only have desk chairs, and all other visitors will have to sit on the bed. So invest a one or more foldable chairs, which can be tucked away behind or under the bed when not in use. The foldable saucer chairs could offer some color and style to otherwise bland decor.

Chair and mattress covers

Speak of dorm desk chairs…you never know whether the last occupant sat up late at night in his underwear playing fortnight or what. Gross. So pack a chair cover that is adjustable to fit desk chairs. You’ll add some color and style, and you can hide that suspicious beer stain.

If you think the chairs are gross, don’t even bother looking at the mattresses. Who knows what’s been spilled or otherwise seeped into that mattress from previous occupants. So, pick a good memory foam or eggshell mattress topper (for comfort and added protection) and an ANTI-BACTERIAL mattress protector. Don’t mean to scare you parents out there, but let’s face it. College kids are gross…especially the first time they don’t have mom to pick up after them and make sure everything is clean.

Forget the top sheets

You may have read that Facebook article citing a study that Millennials have done the unthinkable, and have completely abandoned the top sheet. A travesty! But, for your college fledgling, this may actually be a good thing. Leaving the supply of top sheets at home will save on a ton of storage space. And don’t forget – the most common size of dorm mattress is Twin Extra Long, so make sure you get the right sized fitted sheet.

IKEA bags

Whomever thought of this is an outright GENIUS! IKEA Frakta bags will make your live SO much easier. First they are huge and sturdy, and can hold a  lot of stuff. And let’s face it, if you can eliminate a few trips to the car on moving day, everyone will be happier. So don’t be afraid to stuff them.

Next, the straps on the IKEA Frakta bag are big enough to wear the bag on your back like a backpack. This is SO much easier than lugging suitcases or moving boxes up five flights of stairs. The bags then fold flat when not in use, so they don’t take up much space. They can double as laundry bags for those trips home to Mom’s Laundromat, and they can be shoved under a bed to hold out of season clothing. These versatile, zippered bags are a LIFESAVER. So get two..or six.

The best part? They are only $5 per bag, or you can get a pack of 10 from Amazon for about $20.

A clip-on personal fan

Dorm rooms can be notoriously stuffy, especially if the windows get a lot of afternoon sun or if the dorm is not air conditioned (yes…those still exist!). Due to space constraints and personal temperature preferences between roommates, a box fan is not a good investment. So get a clip-on personal fan that can be clippd to the bed or to a shelf on the desk to direct a cooling breeze exactly where it’s needed.

A book light

Lighting is another one of those issues that may cause contentious arguments between roomies. Often, the overhead light and desk light are the only lighting options in the room, and invariably, one roommate will have trouble sleeping while the other burns the midnight oil studying for exams. So a book light provides direct light where it’s needed, without illuminating the whole room.

Noise-cancelling headphones

How did we ever live without these? That chatty roommate or the one that likes to blare thumping music late into the night can really impact your student’s college experience. While not cheap, the noise-canceling headphones will really make a difference for tuning out distractions.

We hope your transition to empty-nester goes smoothly, and your student has wonderful start to the college career! When it is time to sell or buy a home, having a local team you can rely on will make the process a smooth one. Call the Realtors® who love where they live and understand the local real estate market. ADMC Realty Group happily serves the communities in and around the Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia areas. From start to finish, we’re here to help with all your Real estate needs. Give us a call at (202)596-8101 or email us at [email protected].

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