Things to take, furnishing dorms and apartments

Before furnishing dorms and apartments, always check out your prospective dwelling to find out what's provided.

Living in the dorms:

Bring anything from home that works.

Joint purchases you'll want to discuss with your roommate so you buy (bring) only one of these items:

  • Area rug

  • Curtains

  • TV

  • Microwave

  • Mini-refrigerator

  • Phone and answering machine - depending on dorm set-up

  • Memo board

  • Fan, depending on AC, or not

  • Coffee pot if allowed

  • Wastebaskets


  • Ironing board, if needed You can use the floor, (fire risk), kitchen counter (fire risk). Some dorms have built in ironing boards.

  • Mirror if needed

  • Mobile furnishings

    You can take it with you.

    Suggestions for temporary, unfurnished living quarters:

    If you purchase curtains, consider unhemmed ones. They adjust to different windows in different apartments.

    Use colorful sheets for curtains, bedspreads, table cloths. Think mixing and matching for versatility and practicality.

    If you use sheets for curtains, use nice ones, and don't just hang n old white sheet sloppily on the window. You can also drape sheets over the rods. For your moral's sake, make it look nice. (I am speaking to women here; I doubt my comments resonate with guys.)

    If you have to supply a bed, you can use beds for couches as well, extra sleeping space.

    If you can't hang pictures in your rental, place them along the walls, or prop on tables against the walls.

    Furniture: try thrift shop items. Old bookcases and dressers abound at these places. A fast coat of paint, sometimes creatively applied, can create a masterpiece.

    I went to a party in college where the hosts used th sink as a sort of a punch bowl. I never felt compelled to have any of the contents of the "bowl."

    For what to pack, visit: Personal Items to take to College.

    Things not to take:

    The following are generally not allowed when furnishing dorms and some apartments

  • Candles - for obvious reasons they are not allowed

  • Illegal drugs

  • Hot plates or anything with open burners

  • (Ask about) coffee pots

  • Waterbed

  • Weapons or firearms of any kind

  • Alcohol - increasingly colleges are not allowing alcohol in the dorms

  • Halogen light bulbs

  • Fireworks or explosives

  • Anything you can't hang with a sticky tape

  • Pets - sometimes fish are allowed

  • Anything valuable including jewelry, keepsakes, heirlooms

  • A word about apartment life and pets

    Many apartments allow pets, or students keep them anyway.

    One of the most insensitive practices of apartment dwelling college students is the practice of acquiring a kitten or a puppy at the beginning of each school year, and then abandoning the animal(s) when they leave the apartment after school is out in the spring or when they graduate.

    A pet is a life-long commitment, and it is cruel to make one your pet for nine months, and then just drive off and leave it, sometimes to be killed (and it is not a humane killing) at a local shelter.

    Don't call yourself an animal lover if you engage in this cruel practice.

    Stuff/Joint purchases for apartment living:

  • Organizational items for extra storage, underbed, overhead, closet

  • Extension cords

  • Couch

  • Table, chairs (thrift shops)

  • TV

  • Cleaning supplies

    • Sponges

    • Dishwasher detergent

    • a mop

    • Bucket

    • Dishtowels
  • Cooking utensils and supplies:

  • Four ingredient cookbooks

  • Pots, pans - thrift shop

  • Plates, glassware - thrift shop

  • Mugs for coffee and tea - thrift shop

  • Airtight storage containers for flour, sugar, etc. (flying bugs like these ingredients as incubators for their offspring. Yuk)

  • Storage Containers for leftovers
  • My advice is to buy very little "Jointly", you and your roommate may not live together after the first semester, or even the first week!

    Have agreements about what you will share, and what is strictly your own, so each can duplicate if necessary.

    If beds and mattresses are supplied, spray the mattresses with a good disinfectant, and let it site for a day or two.

    Apartment and Campus Security: rape, date rape, burglary, assault, theft...STAY SAFE!

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