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Getting ready for life in a college dorm and being ready for it are two different things when it comes to what to take with you and what needs to be left behind. For dorm or apartment life, ten essential items always come in handy.

1. Non-permanent wall accessories

Student dormitories frown upon permanent wall accessories. In fact, they consider it damage to their property, which will eventually come out of the resident’s pocket. So, pack a good amount of double-sided tape, removable wall hooks, and magnetic hooks to stick on anything that is metal for a convenient place to hang items.

2. Additional under-bed storage

Whether there are bunk beds or twin-sized beds, most storage containers that are designed for underneath beds are long and flat enough to comfortably slide under most types of beds. If not, bring along bed risers for more space. This alleviates piled boxes or crates in the dorm room that spill over onto study areas or your roommate’s space for sleeping. It makes a room more organized and accessible.

3. Sleeping accessories

Having a sleeping mask on hand and ear plugs will help to alleviate any unforeseen noise and intrusive lights for dorm mates that feel the need to study well in the wee hours of the morning. For the possibility of a not-too-comfy mattress, bring along a foam mattress pad just in case.

4. Cleaning products

Many a dorm dweller, whether it is in a high rise in New York or student housing in Austin, has to take on the responsibility of cleaning their own space. A hand-held vacuum will work for minor dust and dirt, but having a spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner and some dedicated sponges for cleaning these areas is a fast and efficient fix for cleaning.

5. Linens and Towels

For health reasons, linens should be changed every week since dust mites and other bacteria that the human eye cannot see may breed on these items. Towels also can become a health hazard if the same towel is used to shower for weeks at a time. If it does not fully dry, mold could actually form on it and cause illness.

6. Garbage bags

There are a multitude of uses for garbage bags. You can buy scented bags that will minimize odor instead of throwing clothes in a hamper where they are open to the air and can become extremely smelly. In emergency situations, items can be quickly removed from the dorm and thrown into plastic garbage bags.

7. ID tags

With so many people living in a dorm room as well as visiting, it is always important to label as many personal items as possible. This includes laptops, lamps, clothing, notebooks, textbooks, and any other items deemed “valuable” by dorm dwellers that they may be enticed to “borrow” without your knowledge.

8. Fan

The weather in the first few months of school can be extremely unpredictable in many regions. A fan can be the difference between being able to focus on studying instead of the sweat dripping from your brow and even getting a good night’s sleep.

9. Microwave

In those late night study hours when the cafeteria is closed, it is nice to have access to a hot cup of coffee or a warm snack. This also means keeping a healthy stock of microwaveable food items handy.

10. Refrigerator

Just as scorching temperatures can affect the temperature of a dorm room, so can not having a cold beverage on hand to cool down and re-focus on studying. Many stores have them on sale right before the fall semester begins. 

These are some of the things that you might need if you’re moving in to a dorm or an apartment in Austin. However, the items on the list may vary based on where you live. So, doing a little bit of research about Austin would help you prepare better.