Dorm Essentials

The Hoya’s Guide to Freshman Living

The average dorm room for a Georgetown University freshman runs just under 200 square feet — and that’s if you’re not shacked up in the charming confines of Darnall Hall. A few smart investments, however, can go a long way toward making effective use of your limited space. As you move in, add these products to your dorm essentials list and make the most of your new, modestly sized abode.

Command Hooks and Command Strips

Command Strips and Hooks are a college student’s best friends. The easy-to-use, removable adhesive strips are perfect for hanging up posters to give your sparsely decorated dorm room a personal touch. The convenient hooks also allow you to maximize every bit of wall space: Consider investing in several hooks to hang your shower caddy — yes, you’ll need one — towels, jackets and even accessories like belts and purses.

Under-bed Storage

This one’s a must. Under-bed storage — even if it’s just the spare suitcase you used to move in — is key to fitting all of your prized possessions or snacks into your new home. It’s also perfect for storing things you’ll rarely use but probably need. Pro tip: Check out your room before you buy storage.

It’ll help you get a sense of the amount of space you’re working with and what types of storage will work best in your new digs. Bed Bath & Beyond typically sets up a pop-up tent on campus during move-in.

Spare Bedding

Every college student — and, probably, every functioning adult — needs a spare set of sheets. Your parents probably told you so already and you may have scoffed, but they were right: Bring spare sheets. You will eventually spill an entire cup of coffee on your sheets at 4 a.m. during finals; plan ahead rather than be the kid doing laundry in the middle of the night just so they can get those four hours of sleep.

Mirror

Small desktop mirrors and full-length mirrors alike are good additions to your new pad, especially if you don’t have your own bathroom. If you’re thinking about a full-length mirror, coordinate with your roomie to make sure they’re not already bringing one — one is enough!

Save some space by hanging it on your door or closet or using your handy Command Hooks. If you’d prefer something more compact, desk mirrors are perfect for helping you get ready in the morning.

Dishes

You won’t have your own kitchen in your freshman dorm, so you might think you won’t need any dishes. Nevertheless, having just a few dishes can make all the difference when it’s pouring rain outside and you’d rather not trek to O’Donovan Hall.

Consider stocking up with a bowl, a plate, some utensils and a quirky mug. Some pots and pans will also come in handy, and you’d be surprised how often you might be in need of a disposable baking foil pan. You’ll want to be able to cook for yourself in the common room when navigating Leo’s weekend hours or when you just really want to try that mug cake recipe that you keep seeing on BuzzFeed.

Vacuum

Though the Residence Hall Offices do carry vacuum cleaners, you’ll be competing with hundreds of other residents to get ahold of one. Even then, they can often be unreliable.

Having your own vacuum can come in handy when your friends spill popcorn all over your floor or if you break something fragile. Be warned, though: You might end up as the only one of your friends with a vacuum, in which case, be prepared to loan it out. For the especially fastidious, buy a vacuum with a detachable hand-held component to help you clean hard-to-reach spaces.

Photo: Kiki Schmalfuss/The Hoya

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