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Lately with Layne: Dorm must-haves

Moving out of my bedroom and into my dorm was easily the most laborious and stressful task I had done in a while. Leaving your comfortable bed and roomy bedroom back at home and compiling all of your things into a seemingly small space is daunting; however, there are many ways to make it easier for yourself. From space savers to cute decorations, here are some of my favorite dorm essentials that improved my freshman-year dorm.

If you are planning to loft your bed or if you are on the top bunk in a triple-style room, a bedside caddy is a necessity. The top bunks come with a base for the caddy so you’ll just need one with straps. However, for the lofted beds, I would recommend getting a bag or tray-style one that you can tuck under the mattress. Be sure to also get a 10-foot phone charger that will reach your bed. Getting out of bed is more of a hassle than you would think—having a holder for all of your essentials is worth it. 

Having friends over to your dorm is so convenient and fun, but sometimes seating becomes an issue. Desk chairs and beds (so long as you’re OK with outside clothes on the bed) are always available, but I recommend investing in some extra seating. My roommates and I had an ottoman, which doubled as a storage unit, and a beanbag chair, which added some more fun to our room. Even if you have a comfortable area rug, these pieces can elevate your space. 

The reason why leaving my dorm was so difficult: a mattress topper. The day before move-in I was anxiously scrolling on TikTok when I found a list similar to this one that said the number one necessity was a mattress topper. Long story short, I found a way to deliver one to my house in under 24 hours. There are different kinds that are tailored to your sleeping style and preferences – it is worth the research to find a good one. 

Your desk is where most of your stuff will be. Honestly, I spent more time at my desk than I thought I would between getting ready, doing homework and eating. Your desk—especially if you plan to do homework there—should be an organized space. Desk organizers and drawer organizers can help with that. You have plenty of space to make your desk a place at which you enjoy being. 

Lighting is a big thing for me. I love the sunlight and we almost always had our blinds open, but the sun isn’t out when you’re doing that project you procrastinated. As an avid hater of the big light, I recommend getting a lamp with a twisty neck so that you can adjust how bright you want it. This is useful too if your roommate(s) are sleeping, but you need light. 

I love decorations. One thing I loved having was fresh flowers on my desk, but that got out of budget pretty quickly so fake plants became a staple. Hanging up or framing pictures of people from back home is always an easy decoration and it can bring a sense of normalcy to this new life. Honestly, everyone craves something different in their decorations so I can’t tell you what to get specifically, but making a Pinterest board or looking up inspiration for whatever look you are going for is definitely a good idea. 

Remember: your space is what you make it. Try not to stress about how jail-cell like the rooms look during your overnight stay. Once moved in and decorated, you won’t believe that it’s the same room. 

Layne Rey is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Let Layne know by tweeting her @laynerey12.

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