Roughly 20 million students will be heading to college this Fall. For first-year students, thinking about the upcoming semester is exciting — and stressful. You'll be moving on and living on your own. If you're moving to an apartment, it means you'll need to buy various items so you can live comfortably.
Along with the main essentials like bedding and kitchen supplies, there are lots of little things you'll want that you might not initially think of. Instead of stressing out about the little things, here's a list of other college apartment essentials to help you get ready.
Although your main diet will probably consist of ramen noodles in a styrofoam cup or a quick bowl of cereal, you'll have some type of plastic storage container for food.
You'll want to save any and all leftovers you have because food is expensive and re-heating a meal is way faster and easier than cooking a whole new one.
Most college apartments have few outlets in every room and some of them aren't easily accessible. On top of that, if you're sharing those outlets with a few roommates, it reduces the number available for your use.
To avoid a fight to the death with your roommates for the last open outlet, get a power strip with many outlets. Make sure it has a cord that's at least three or four feet long so that you can plug it behind any furniture while still having easy access.
For those sweaters that need to air dry or those days when you don't have enough quarters to pay for a dryer, you'll need a place to hang-dry your clothes. Your roommates probably won't want a load of your laundry laying on the couch and kitchen chairs to dry.
Instead, invest in a foldable drying rack that you can store under your bed or in your closet and pull out when needed. It only takes up a few feet of space, so you can easily dry all of your laundry in your room without anyone else seeing it.
Apartments usually have bare walls for a reason — students usually aren't allowed to put nails or tacks in them or use heavy tape. You'll definitely want to hang things on the wall, whether it be a painting, lights or your keys.
Grab a pack of command hooks to make this happen. They don't make holes or ruin paint and you can remove and reuse them when you move apartments.
Most college apartments with TVs in them don't always have cable or even a DVD player. Instead, you'll likely be stuck crowding around a laptop with your roommates to watch your favorite Netflix show.
Make it easier for everyone with a streaming stick. It's better than using a regular HDMI cord because nobody needs to give up their computer to plug into the TV and everyone can enjoy watching movies on a bigger screen.
Washing clothes can be expensive at your college apartment and you don't want to wash something if you don't need to. If you've only worn a shirt for a couple of hours, it doesn't necessarily need to be washed, but it might be a little wrinkled. Or if you've put off doing laundry for weeks on end and you run out of pants to wear (we've all been in this situation), you might start to panic.
A fabric steamer will come to the rescue in situations like this and save you time and money. Plus, it has other handy uses besides steaming clothes, so it's an all-around winner.
Depending on where you go to school, it can get pretty cold in the winter. Not all of your roommates will want to keep the apartment at the same temperature as you, so get yourself a space heater than you can use in your room when you get cold. You'll be nice and toasty and no one else will complain the apartment is too hot.
College apartments don't usually have ceiling fans and, in some buildings, the AC doesn't work too well. Pick up a small fan to cool you off when it gets too hot and to keep the air flowing in your room.
Like we mentioned earlier, some apartments have outlets in weird places. You might have one at the foot of your bed, which means your phone won't be sitting on your nightstand when charging at night — it'll be down at your feet. Invest in a long charging cord (one that's six or 10 feet) to keep your phone in an easy spot to reach.
Unless you're really lucky, you'll probably only have access to tap water in your apartment at college. It doesn't taste great, but you gotta do what you gotta do to stay alive!
Instead of drinking water that tastes funky, get a water pitcher with a filter. It will make your water taste 10 times better and as a bonus, you can keep it in the fridge and always have cold water. Some water pitchers even have filters that add flavor so you can drink delicious water all the time.
You never know how many people have sat on the couch in your apartment and you don't know who's slept on your mattress. Sometimes, items like this can smell strange as they've been used by many people over the years.
Grab a bottle of fabric refresher and spray it on all of the fabric-covered furniture in your house to keep things smelling fresh.
If your bed is on risers so you can store more underneath, you might have a hard time getting onto it. Instead of learning to do bionic jumps to get into bed, just use a step stool. No matter how tall or short you are, it will make your life so much easier.
Wi-Fi in college apartments is being used by hundreds of people, so it can be slow and frustrating to use at times. With an ethernet cable, you can avoid the long loading times and upload your homework assignments quickly. Or stream a TV show. Whatever it is you want to do.
Although cleaning isn't fun, it's definitely necessary. Disinfectant wipes make it so much easier to wipe down your desk, kitchen counter or even your germ-ridden laptop quickly and keep them clean.
Follow this list and there'll be no need to sweat the small stuff. Getting ready to live on your own can seem intimidating, but if you're prepared, you've got nothing to worry about!
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