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Freshman Dorms 101 - Survival of the Fittest

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College is creeping up on a lot of students at this time of year and we're here with a few tips on surviving your first year on residence. Dorm rooms are pretty bland with the cinder-block walls and concrete floor; but they have so much design potential to make it your second home. 

We've got the tips for you to make these rooms feel cozy like a second home.

SEEK SPACE IN UNLIKELY PLACES

You have to be creative with your room. Turn all the hidden spaces into storage. This is key when you're trying to unpack all your clothes. Here's a few things that'll help you keep your clothes organized and tidy.

  • Hangers. This is pretty obvious but so many people forget these on the first day. The Attrito Hangers are great with their non-slip shoulders; holding any piece of clothing in place.
  • Get Hanging Closet Bags. You'll have a limited amount of horizontal space so create some space. These are perfect for storing sweaters, shoes or even your towels.

THE BATHROOM

The dreaded communal bathroom. If you've never shared a bathroom in your life; get ready to change your morning routine. Here's a list of items you might need to help out with that transition --

  • Buy a Shower Caddy. Of course you'll need to bring your normal list of toiletries; but you can't just leave it in the bathroom like you do at home. Dorm life will be easier if you had a giant plastic basket to carry your stuff in. The Blumz Shower Basket and Zia Shower Basket is perfect for this.
  • Cover your Feet. Flip Flops will be your best friend in the bathroom; you don't want to be walking around in the gunk people just washed off. 
  • Rush Hour. Every bathroom dorm has a specific time where it just seems like everyone's showering. Avoid these times so you don't have to wait an hour before you can use the toilet or shower.
  • Bathroom Hook. These doesn't really have to do with the bathroom itself; but you're going to need a place to dry your wet towels. The Cambridge Over Door Rack is great in these situations.

LAUNDRY DAY

Laundry is the last thing people want to think of when they're at college; but it's has to be done. Unless you want to be wearing the same underwear for 4 days here are some tips to take a load off your chest. 

  • Find a good time. The weekends will obviously be the day EVERYONE wants to do their laundry. Be smart and schedule laundry day around your schedule
  • Separate your darks from your lights. The most obvious tip; however a lot of students want to cut corners to get through this chore faster. The Pop n' Fold Laundry Sorter is the perfect way to keep your colours separate before washing. 
  • Get a hamper with wheels if the laundry room is a mile away. This will make life so much easier since you don't have to lug around a laundry bin around
  • Don't lounge your laundry in the dryer unless you want to see it sitting on top of the machine. Even worse you might lose a few clothes here and there (clothes gets stolen often)

FOOD

If you're going to be living in a dorm you're going to have a meal plan. This doesn't mean you can't cook for yourself or have snacks in your room. Here are some tips to help keep your appetite calm.

  • Shopping. You'll more then likely have a mini-fridge; make sure to stock on foods that you can make without a kitchen: bread, peanut butter, jelly, dried fruit, oatmeal, almonds, canned food and more.
  • Silverware. Keep a couple of plates, utensils and can openers on hand.
  • Buy Food Containers. This a biggie. If you have food in your rooms keep them in plastic containers to keep meals safe and away from pests. These avocado pods and tomato pods will help keep your fruit safe.
  • Keep Clean. This is a big one a lot of the guys won't understand. Keep all your dirty utensils and plates in a plastic tub. You can easily bring the tub into a bathroom and make your own makeshift sink.
  • Sharing with Roommates. Decide with your roommate if you're open to share certain foods that are sold in portions too big for one person: bread, jelly, milk or more.