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It’s July, which mean it’s time to think about the upcoming school year. Okay, so it’s not quite time to start thinking about school again, especially the academic parts, but you can start thinking about the fun stuff if you want. Fun stuff like decorating your dorm room or apartment when you get to school. Decorating a new space is exciting but can also be a little stressful. Especially if you are moving into a dorm room with a random roommate you haven’t met yet.

Standard questions include “who will bring the microwave?” “do you have a TV?” “do we have room for a TV?” and other related topics. You chat and chat with your new roommate over Facebook or email for weeks trying to nail out specifics and yet no matter what you always forget something. It is just the curse of being human. But we created a list of things you may not realize you want for your dorm until you actually get there. Check it out and keep it in mind when you are planning with your roommate.

1. Lamp

All dorm rooms come with lights. It’s a standard thing that you can pretty much count on. So you may think you don’t need another source of lighting. But you could be wrong. The harsh overhead lighting can get really tiring after a while, and if you need to stay up later than your roommate working on a project, they will not appreciate falling asleep to the fluorescent lights. Getting an inexpensive floor lamp or desk lamp can do wonders for a dorm room, making it cozier and a friendlier living space.

2. Rug

Just like overhead lighting is a guarantee in a dorm room, your dorm will also definitely have a floor. You can count on that. You can also count on it being pretty awful. Linoleum tile is a popular choice as well as paper thin, sandpaper-like carpet. Say goodbye to the plush carpets in your parent’s house or the classic hardwood floors. Dorm floors are pretty grim. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your dorm room, and you may even take your shoes off once in a while. An area rug can not only brighten up the room but also just make it more comfortable to walk on. Especially if you are going to school in an area that will get cold in the winter. Your toes will thank you later.

3. Dishes

“I’ll be eating in the dining hall, I don’t need a plate in my room!” Is a pretty common thought when you first get to school. The dining hall food is new and the options are endless. After a few weeks, months, semesters though the options start to get a little old. You also may have a class schedule that clashes with dining hall hours. No matter what the case you will most likely be faced with an incident where you need to eat in your dorm. Eat more than just a bag of popcorn or a cold poptart. It’s a good idea to have a set of dishes on hand. A plate or two, a bowl or two, and some silverware. You never know!

What other advice do you have for dorm room shopping?

Featured photo credit: ofeverydaylife via photopin cc