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College 101: Setting Up Your Dorm Room

Move-in day is right around the corner and NJ students are busy packing books, blankets and other necessities. As the pile of boxes is mounting, you might be wondering whether it will all fit in your dorm room. Fortunately, you’re not in it alone. Your roommate is probably staring at the same mountain of possessions and thinking exactly the same thing.

So how do you decide which items make the cut and which get left home? And how will you set it all up once your arrive? In today’s College 101 feature, we offer some useful advice that will help you set up the perfect home away from home in no time.

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Know Your Amenities

Dorm Room
The resources you’ll have available vary school to school but there are certain amenities you can count on having access to. Laundry, dining and bedding are often on the top of everyone’s mind, especially for students living away from home for the first time. On move-in day, staff and student volunteers will be on hand to offer an insider’s perspective on how to take advantage of the services your school provides. With many schools going digital, you might find mobile apps to help with everyday tasks. They can do everything from notifying you when laundry machines are available to providing up-to-date menus at campus dining halls.

Many larger institutions also offer linen and carpet sales on move-in day to save you the trouble of hunting down those twin extra-long sheets and finding space for them in your overloaded car. These essentials, along with appliances like refrigerators and microwaves, can be purchased through your school, leaving you and your family with less heavy lifting. Cable, internet and phone service are usually provided by the school, removing the hassle of setting up these services.

Maximize Storage Space

Dorm Room
Storage space is typically limited in most dorm rooms. You’ll either have access to a closet or an armoire, complete with hanging and shelf space. Coming up with the most efficient wardrobe is not as daunting as it might seem. Reducing the amount of clothing you bring not only creates valuable space for your guitar or sports gear, it can actually lower your stress level. Take note of the local climate at your new school and pack for only the next three months. You can switch out your clothes for winter items when you’re home for the holidays.

Still don’t have enough room for your stuff? You might want to consider lofting your bed. Arrange to have it raised either just a few feet or fully lofted (think bunk bed with empty space underneath). Raising grants you ample storage under your bed for extra items, while lofting provides a cozy nook for your desk.

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ProfilePicAnthony Muccio is a former college admissions professional and education researcher currently advising students one-on-one with his private practice. After years working at large state and small private schools, he decided to spend time focusing on helping unique learners reach their full potential.