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14 Dorm Room Essentials For Going Off To College

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Arguably one of the most exciting things about preparing for your freshman year at college is shopping for your dorm room. You already have your room at home, but now you get to decorate a whole new room with brand new things. It’s quite easy to get overwhelmed and carried away, trust me. As important as it is to show off your unique style and personality with your new decor, it’s even more important to ensure that you have all the dorm room essentials as well. Although you have an entirely new room to decorate, you must not forget that you are also significantly downsizing in space and that you’ll be sharing this new space with a roommate. Exciting, right?

To say college is expensive would be an understatement, but freshman year is by far the most expensive year, since you are basically buying everything you need to pick up and start a new life in some foreign place. Each year after that, you’re pretty much just adding onto what you already have. Coming from someone who got way too carried away with dorm room shopping (sorry, Mom!), I’ve made a list of some affordable items that you’re probably going to want in your dorm room or to have with you on campus. It’s inevitable that you’re going to burn a hefty hole in your parent’s pockets, but let’s try not burning one in their life’s savings. 

  1. Shower Caddy

Ah, yes, this one is bittersweet. You’ll now be sharing a bathroom with several other people and you’re going to need one of these to carry with you to and from the shower, keeping all your toiletries and shower supplies in one place. 

Attmu Mesh Shower Caddy Basket, $10.99

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This is the more traditional shower caddy that most people will get, and there are 17 different colors/patterns to choose from. The mesh is nice to have because it dries fast and prevents any mildew buildup in the caddy. 

TERRA Home Portable Shower Caddy, $24.97

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This is another great choice, just a bit more expensive. The metal hook makes it easier to hang while in use to avoid it getting wet on the ground. 

  1. Shower Shoes

Again, you’ll be sharing a bathroom with a lot of other people and you’re most likely going to need some waterproof shoes to wear to and from the shower and possibly even in the shower with you. These have an anti-slip sole to ensure you don’t slip and break your neck in the bathroom, and they have drainage holes which help keep your feet clean and also prevent water from getting stuck inside them. 

Finleoo Shower Sandals With Drainage Holes, $11.99-$19.99

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  1. Bedside Caddy

A bedside caddy is a good idea for freshmen, especially those with lofted beds. It provides a little more storage space, which you’ll need, and if your bed is lofted, it prevents you from having to climb out of bed to grab something. It comes in handy a lot more than you’d think; I personally used mine for the first three years of college. This one comes in 29 different colors, so it’ll be easy to match with your other bedroom decor. 

Surblue Bedside Caddy Hanging Bed Organizer, $13.99

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  1. Closet Hangers and Organizers

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but your closet is going to be quite small, so you’re going to have to get creative with your space. Below are some space-saving hangers and hanging closet organizers that will help increase the limited space you have. 

Zober 5 Shelf Hanging Closet Space Saving Organizer, $16.99

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HOUSE DAY 6 Pack Metal Magic Space Saving Hangers, $12.99

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DOIOWN S-Type 3-PackStainless Steel Clothes Pants Hangers, $17.89

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Kootek 2-Pack Over The Door Shoe Organizers, $17.99

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  1. Lap Desk

You’ll have a desk in your room and of course there’s always the library, but you will inevitably find yourself doing homework or studying in bed at times, so a lap desk will come in handy no doubt. You can get as boujee as you’d like with this or you can keep it simple for just $20.

HUANUO Portable Lap Desk, $20.23

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  1. Laundry Drying Rack

Trust me, you’re going to need this

Honey-Can-Do Collapsible Clothes Drying Rack, $26.99

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  1. Eye Mask

The chances that you and your roommate have the same sleep schedule are slim to none. So, having a sleep mask will be very useful when your roommate is pulling an all-nighter 5 feet away from you or when they forget to turn off the lights before bed. This will also come in handy whenever you want to take a nap because trust me, you will. 

Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask, $5.94

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  1. Water Bottle

Ok, yes; $50 for a water bottle is a lot. However, you will want a quality water bottle to carry around with you everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. You’ll be running around all day on campus like a madman, and you’ll need water to keep you hydrated. Without your own water bottle, you’ll end up buying plastic water bottles all the time and this will not only add up to be more expensive than just buying a reusable one, but it’s also bad for the environment, and we are not about that. Hydro Flask water bottle is by far one of the best out there and if you take good care of it, it’ll last you years. 

Hydro Flask 32 oz. Wide Straw Water Bottle, $49.95

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  1. Pepper Spray

Colleges do everything they can to keep everyone safe on campus, but it’s not guaranteed that you’ll always be safe. Walking back to your dorm room alone from the library at 3 in the morning can be a little scary, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can clip this pepper spray onto your backpack or keys, just always make sure you have it with you and that it is easily accessible.

SABRE Pepper Spray Keychain, $9.99

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  1.  Power Strip

There will only be so many outlets on your side of the room, so a power strip is definitely something everyone should have in their dorm room.

GE 6-Outlet Surge Protector, 10 Ft Extension Cord Power Strip, $13.13

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  1. First-Aid Kit

You’re used to your mom having everything you could possibly need in case of an emergency, but you’re on your own now. It’s always a good idea to have just the basics lying around, you know, for good measure.

Be Smart Get Prepared 100-Piece First Aid Kit, $8.99

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  1. Planner

Staying organized is the key to being a successful student. You will get overwhelmed; that is inevitable. So, having a planner to keep track of all your assignments and deadlines will help immensely with the stress of college. 

Blue Sky 8.5″x11″ 2021-2022 Academic Weekly & Monthly Planner, $10.99

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  1. Calendar

Although you’ll have a planner to help keep track of all your assignments and exams, you’ll still find it easy to forget about something. Therefore, a wall calendar is also a good idea to make sure you don’t forget any important deadlines. You can either get a paper wall calendar for the year or a whiteboard calendar that you’ll never have to replace. 

2021-2022 Wall Calendar, $10.99

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Quartet Combination Magnetic Whiteboard Calendar & Corkboard, $18.99

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  1. Handheld Vacuum

You’ll find that it is quite easy to get a small room dirty, even if it is just a few crumbs. Handheld vacuums are great to have in general, but they are especially useful for students living in a dorm since they take up such little space.

BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, $43.99

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Start The Spooky Season Off Right With These Halloween Decorations

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Spooky season starts in September. That is the official rule. Maybe it’s just me, but Halloween is more fun as an adult. I mean sure, we can’t go trick-or-treating anymore, but personally I’d rather be sipping on a spooky spritzer than stuffing my face with candy anyways. Spooky season is one of the few times of the year that everyone (literally, everyone) can have fun for the sake of having fun. From the Halloween decorations, haunted houses and scary movies to the costumes, cocktails and parties, it’s almost impossible not to have fun. So, let’s get this party startled

First thing’s first, you have to decorate. Not only is this just fun, but it will undoubtedly get you into the spooky spirit in no time. Now, whether you want to keep it simple or you want to turn your entire front yard into a graveyard is entirely up to you, but if you need some inspiration, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve picked out some of the best Halloween decorations on Amazon to help get you started (and they’re budget-friendly!). Creep it real and have a fang-tastic Halloween!

  1. 5 Piece Halloween Table Decoration Set, $17.99
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This spooky spidery set comes with a fireplace runner, a table runner, a table cloth, a lamp cover AND bat stickers for your wall. Talk about all-inclusive.

  1. Happy Halloween 18 x 18 Pillow Covers Set of 4, $16.99
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Four festive pillow case covers and four decorative coasters? This is a steal for sure. Take good care of them and these pillow cases might just last you a lifetime.

  1. Black Creepy Cloth 196 x 39 inches, $7.99
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It wouldn’t be spooky season without a creepy cloth. Throw it up in the corner somewhere and the room automatically looks spookier.

  1. Drink Up Witches Banner Gold Glittery- Halloween Party Decorations, $9.99 
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The banner every COVID-safe Halloween party needs. Cheers, witches!

  1. KAF Home Pantry Halloween Dish Towel Set of 4, $13.99
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These dish towels are adorable and they are the perfect addition if you prefer to keep your decor simple and minimal. 

  1. AISENO Halloween Decorations Scary Giant Spider Virtual Realistic Hairy Spider Outdoor Indoor Party Supplies Decor, $11.98 
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An iconic piece of Halloween decor. Put it inside or put it outside, you’re guaranteed to make a few people jump either way. Place it on top of a fake spider web, and you’re all set. 

  1. KAILEDI Halloween String Lights, LED Pumpkin Lights, Holiday Lights for Outdoor Decor, $14.98
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Keep it lit with these adorable pumpkin LED lights.

  1. Pretex 19″ Posable Halloween Skeleton, $14.99
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The perfect trick-or-treater greeter.

  1. 17.7″ Halloween Hanging Ghosts (5 Pack), $12.70
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Boo-yah! These hanging ghosts are perfect indoor or outdoor Halloween decorations that everyone will love. You can even bend the arms to pose them however you’d like. 

  1. TGOOD Halloween Decorations 3 Pcs- Hanging Grim Reapers and Hanging Flying Skeleton Ghost, $14.99
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These will put the “spooky” in spooky season.

  1. JOYIN 17″ Halloween Foam RIP Graveyard Tombstones, $25.95
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These foam tombstones are affordable, easy to set up and the kids will love them! They also come with metal stakes to keep them secure in the yard.

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Find The Perfect Caddy To Attach To The Wall Of Your Shower

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You know what is annoying? Cleaning your shower. No matter how diligently you try to keep grime from building up around your tub, you are simply no match for the twin forces of time and gravity. The hardest stains to get out are rust and those pesky pink spots caused by bacteria.

This is especially a problem if, like me, you tend to keep all sorts of rust-prone hygiene accessories in and around your shower. Specifically, I am thinking about my razor and nail clippers. The best time to clip your nails is right after you shower, when they are moist and easy to trim. Yet, keeping nail clippers in your shower is a surefire way to end up with rust. This is true even with the so-called “rust-resistant” stainless steel nail clippers.

The only solution, I’ve found, is to invest in a shower caddy and attach it somewhere on the tile that is not exposed to water. This is the one I bought:

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TAILI Shower Caddy Drill-Free with Vacuum Suction Cup Removable Shower Shelf Storage Basket for Shampoo & Toiletries, Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Organizer — $23.99

All of a sudden, keeping my shower clean is no longer a herculean effort. In addition to my metal grooming products, I keep all my shampoos, soaps, and body washes in the caddy, which I attached directly under the shower head. This keeps it from getting wet. It has the added benefit of putting everything I need to access while showering within easy reach.

This shower caddy is incredibly easy to attach to the tile: It has these nifty suction cups you simply stick on. Then, if you need to take it off for any reason, you just push the buttons, and it pops right off the wall. Despite being very lightweight, it is also very sturdy. I loaded it up with pretty much anything I could find lying around my bathroom just to test its durability, and it held up under any and all pressure.

Your shower may already have some sort of shelf designed to store the aforementioned items. Even so, in most such cases rust and buildup is inevitable, and it is incumbent upon you to be proactive in improving your shower’s cleanliness. In other words, it is incumbent upon you to install a shower caddy.

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Organize Your Tea Bags In Preparation For Fall

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What is the autumnal version of spring cleaning? Whatever it is, it tends to happen right around Labor Day weekend each year. The summer is over; the kids are back in school; and if you are lucky the weather may even start to cool down. This is when you look around and reorganize your belongings in preparation for the colder seasons ahead.

This is obviously why tea bag organizers are suddenly selling like hotcakes. Dedicated tea and coffee bars have become popular in recent years, and if you missed the boat in 2020 now is your chance to catch up.

Most tea bag organizers that I’ve seen on Amazon are of the plastic variety, like this one:

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2 Pack Large Stackable Plastic Tea Bag Organizer – Storage Bin Box for Kitchen Cabinets, Countertops, Pantry – Holds Beverage Bags, Cups, Pods, Packets, Condiment Accessories Holder —$20.99

The appeal of plastic tea bag organizers (besides being, well, plastic, and therefore cheap) seems to be their transparency. Because they are see-through, you can intermingle a bunch of varieties and always know what your options are. By extension, these tea bag organizers do not take up very much space.

If you do have a little more room, however, I believe a wooden tea bag organizer has much more to offer in the way of aesthetics. Just imagine how nice this one would look in a small alcove adjoining your kitchen area:

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THEODORE Vertical Tea Bag Organizer. Bamboo Tea Bag Holder – Holds 180 Tea Bags. Elegant and Practical Wooden Tea Box for Tea Storage for Home, Office or Café. Can also Hold Sugar Packets and Creamers — $44.99

There is something warm and welcoming—almost “hygge”—about the bamboo version. To borrow a phrase, I do not think it is possible to take a look at the plastic one and feel that it “sparks joy.”

At the end of the day, no matter what popular Netflix hosts might say, how you organize your home is up to you. These are just two general styles of the many tea and coffee holders available for you to choose from.

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