College Lifestyle and Product Blog for Dorm Room Living | DormSmart: Dorm Living

Showing posts with label Dorm Living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dorm Living. Show all posts

June 23, 2017

College First Aid Kits...

LIVE DORM SMART TIP: How To Make The Perfect First Aid Kit For College Students 

Build The Perfect College First Aid Kit For You
College is a long-term commitment so students need more than the typical over the counter first aid kit that contains only one or two doses of medications and a few bandages. They are costly and do not provide adequate medical supplies for a college student living away from home for an extended period. The best solution for college bound students is to stock their own first aid kit and stow it away in their dorm room for minor medical emergencies such as the flu, cuts, burns, headaches, cramps...

After extensive research, one of the best sources Team DormSmart has come across on how to make a first aid kit for college students is They have a great article that helps parents and students build a first aid kit for college in their teen health guide (content reviewed by their medical review board for accuracy). Additionally, their guide provides a wealth of helpful information about teen health and wellness... perfect for college students living away from home for the first time.

Using's Guide, combined with a student's knowledge about their own personal medical history and needs, should help students to build the perfect first aid kit to take to college for the long term.

Live Dorm Smart!

July 24, 2015

List of Items Not to Bring to College: Dorm Room Contraband

Dorm Room Contraband
Dorm Room Contraband

Since we are always writing about must have college dorm room essentials, we thought it would be a good idea to create a list of those items students should not bring to college, otherwise known as dorm room contraband. These items, listed in random order, made our top ten list at DormSmart:

#1 Pets

We realize there are a few colleges out there with pet friendly housing, and we applaud these trend setters. Unfortunately, the vast majority do not allow students to bring their family pet so do Fido a favor and leave him at home.

#2 Hot Plates and Toaster Ovens

Although we've noticed several retailers advertising a cute toaster oven and hot plate combo appliance this year, most schools consider any form of these items a fire hazard and have banned them from their dorm rooms. Don't waste your money, just use your dorm room microwave or residence hall kitchen.

#3 Weapons

Leave your guns and knives at home please, including paint ball and stun guns! Check with your campus police to see what security products you can legally use for protection on your college or university campus. Some schools even ban pepper spray and the average kitchen knife on campus 

#4 Expensive Jewelry

We all like it and want to keep it! If you choose not to heed this advice and bring it, at least invest in a good  dorm room safe.

#5 Large Sums of Cash

You may as well donate it to charity and take the tax deduction because if it’s stolen, how do you prove it was yours? "Duh, it had a picture of Benjamin Franklin on it officer, honest."

#6 Large Screen Television

We hear about this a lot. Not a great idea in limited space.  Even if it is not contraband on your campus, it is smarter to dorm room size your electronics.

#7 Full Size Appliances

Attempting to hide a stocked full size refrigerator in a college dorm room is not the best idea and could be unsafe on the existing circuitry. We have to wonder how students manage to get one past their RA. Even if you're a caffeine addict, a 24-cup coffeemaker is out of the question. Can you really drink that much coffee before your 8:00 a.m. class? Live safer and dorm room size your appliances.

#8 Illegal Drugs or Alcohol

Seriously, do we need to say more?

#9 Candles or Incense

Keep your dorm room fire free. Opt for air freshener and soft lighting.

#10 Boyfriend or Girlfriend

While you may miss each other and we feel your pain, it really isn’t appropriate or fair to your roommate to move your boyfriend or girlfriend into your college dorm room, especially when they aren’t enrolled.

    Just a few more tips to live smarter on campus from DormSmart. Good luck this school year!

    November 25, 2014

    How to Prepare Your Dorm Room for Winter Break…

    "...Fall semester is coming to an end and winter break is just around the corner so be sure to prepare your dorm room for winter break before heading home for the holidays, read on..."

    10 Things College Students Should Do to Prepare Their Dorm Room for Winter Break
    1. Lock Up Your Valuables… If you cannot take them home with you, it is important to remember to lock up your valuables in a secure place such as your dorm safe or college trunk.

    2. Insurance… Make sure your insurance policy is up to date to cover potential theft and prepare an itemized list including serial numbers of your valuables, snap a photo or two. Take this information with you.

    3. Defrost & Clean Your Dorm Room Micro fridge... before leaving campus for winter break. Dispose of all perishable items. Unplug your unit from the wall, leaving the door slightly ajar to prevent moisture buildup and smells. Hopefully, you have an auto defrost unit. However, if your mini fridge freezer is manual defrost, be sure to check your manufacturer's user manual about how to defrost your freezer; or has a great mini fridge defrosting guide to assist you.

    4. Unplug All Electrical Appliances

    5. Clean & Organize Your Dorm Room… You will be busy with Spring Semester upon your return to campus so get your dorm room in order before you leave for winter break. Clean and organize your desk, closet… your entire room.

    6. Wash Your Laundry… Wash your clothes and dorm bedding prior to leaving campus, unless of course, you are taking your laundry home to mom. You will be tired from all the excitement and travel when you return to campus so a clean bed will be welcome.

    7. Take Out Your Trash… Do not leave a future science experiment in your dorm room! No one enjoys returning to a smelly moldy dorm room after winter break.

    8. Lower Your Thermostat... Your housing office should have a recommended temperature to save on heating costs without damaging your valuables while you are away.

    9. Secure Your Windows

    10. Lock Your Dorm Room Door

    Just a few tips to live Dorm Smart! Happy Holidays!

    April 13, 2014

    Bed Bug Basics for Students Moving into College Housing

    Many students moving into college housing are concerned about bed bug infestations. While it’s smart to buy bed bug protection, students also need to be prepared to react appropriately if they suspect bed bugs in their dorm room or campus apartment.

    Basic Questions and Answers About Bed Bugs

    Basic Questions and Answers About Bed Bugs

    What are bed bugs?

    Bed bugs are small nocturnal insects that live by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. Bed bugs are generally active only at dawn, with a peak feeding period just before sunrise. After feeding for a few minutes, the bed bugs return to their hiding place.

    What do bed bug bites look like?

    Bites consist of a raised red bump or flat welt, and are usually accompanied by intense itching. Often times bed bug bites may appear indistinguishable from mosquito bites, although they tend to last for longer periods of time. Bed bug bites may not become immediately visible and can take up to 9 days to appear. Bites are often aligned three in a row.

    Do bed bugs spread disease?

    No. To date, there has been no proof of bed bugs passing disease from host to host. Bed bugs are actually considered less dangerous than some more common insects such as the flea. However, while bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous, some students may develop an allergic reaction to several bites and need medical attention.

    What students SHOULD DO if they suspect bed bugs?

    Notify their school housing officials IMMEDIATELY and COOPERATE. Colleges and universities are prepared to deal with a bed bug outbreak.

    What students SHOULD NOT DO when they suspect bed bugs?

    • DO NOT PANIC! Although bed bugs are annoying, they can be safely eradicated if students cooperate with their school housing officials.
    • Students SHOULD NOT attempt to apply pesticides on their own. Rather, allow your school officials to hire professionals to confirm and eradicate the infestation.
    • Students SHOULD NOT move their mattress or any furniture to prevent further infestation. Moving items into the hallways, other dorm rooms or suites, commons areas, or outside can spread bed bugs. Infested furniture can be cleaned and treated so be smart and keep the infestation contained.
    • Students SHOULD NOT go to sleep in a friend’s room or in places off-campus if they suspect bed bugs; doing so will actually spread them to others.


    August 8, 2012

    How to Set Up a College Dorm Room Using Smart Dorm Room Essentials

    Join Megan, your DormSmart Studio Host, for's 2012 Dorm Room Reveal. Megan provides students and parents with a practical dorm room tour to give them an idea of how to set up a college dorm room using smart dorm room essentials when they move to campus. Our dorm room tour covers the essentials college bound freshmen need to settle into their dorm room from bedding, shower supplies, dorm size appliances, eating supplies, storage solutions, and wall decor to those often overlooked accessories like a tool kit. Enjoy the video and remember to live Dorm Smart!

    February 3, 2012

    My Residence Hall Community Bathroom Gets So Disgusting Between Scheduled Cleanings… What Can I Do To Clean It Up?

    Many colleges such as the University of Michigan provide housing custodians to clean and disinfect residence hall common areas daily such as kitchens, lounges, and community bathrooms. If this is the case with your college, it may be a staffing issue that your resident advisor needs to address with housing officials.

    My Community Bathroom Gets So Dirty...
    It's Gross!
    If your residence hall community bathroom is not cleaned daily, ask your RA to speak with your college housing officials about increasing the frequency of cleanings. If budget becomes an issue invite housing officials to your next residence hall meeting… be prepared to take a proactive stance, show housing officials how cleaning the community bathrooms more frequently benefits the college. For example, the overall cost may not increase because the bathroom does not take as long to clean or overall maintenance and remodeling costs may decrease because more frequent cleaning extends the life of the facility.

    If more frequent cleaning is not an option for your community bathroom, ask your RA to schedule a mandatory meeting to brainstorm possible solutions with students living in your residence hall.

    For example, consider:
    • Posting creative signs that encourage students to keep the community showers clean (i.e., While it’s important to wash your mane, don’t let it clog the shower drain or Remove your stray hairs from the shower or we will all be waiting on maintenance for hours…).
    • Creating a reward system or contests to inspire residents to help maintain the property. With the proper approach, you may be able to convince retailers, restaurants, even concert promoters to donate prizes in exchange for the free publicity… make it count!  
    Just remember the meeting should be positive not negative so no whining, complaining, or finger pointing allowed… ONLY SOLUTIONS for keeping your community bathroom clean.

    Live Dorm Smart!

    January 16, 2012

    Underbed Storage Trunks Option For College Students ...

    LIVE DORM SMART TIP: Turn Your Small Rhino Trunk Into An Underbed Trunk. 

    Rhino Trunks For College Students
    If you need an underbed trunk for your small dorm room, just grab a set of bed risers, raise your dorm bed, then slide your small Rhino Trunk under your bed. Small trunks by Rhino make the perfect underbed storage trunk for raised dorm beds.

    All Rhino trunks come with a Lifetime Structural Warranty.
    Options for Rhino trunks include:
    • 2 finishes Rhino Sticker Trunk  Finish (vinyl like finish) or Rhino Armor Trunk (fabric type finish) Finish
    • 16 Sticker Trunk Colors and 19 Armor Trunk Colors
    • Easy Glide Removable Wheels (wheeled trunk when you want it... stationary when you don't)
    • Hardwood Tray (organize your dorm stuff)
    • Wordlock (much easier to remember than a combination lock)
    • Nameplate (personalize your trunk)
    • Laptop Safe (secure your belongings)
    • Secure Anchoring Cable System (secure your trunk in your dorm room)
    Live DormSmart!

    December 31, 2011

    Things Your Student's Dorm Room Doesn't Need or Do They...

    Just My Opinion: "I read an article recently about 10 things your kid's dorm room doesn't need... It made me chuckle because they used the word kid which would send my student off the deep end. The author then proceeded to generalize about college students and universities as if they are all the same. I think the author's intent was to caution parents about overspending on dorm room supplies and encourage them to save space. I agree, parents and students need to be practical. That's why at DormSmart, we always tell students to make their checklist... shop at home first then go shopping.

    Unfortunately, the author seemed so focused on short-term cost savings that they overlooked an important point... a dorm room is a student's first step toward independent living so it needs to be their home away from home. Their dorm room should create an environment that promotes student success and makes the transition to college life easier. After all, college is a huge investment and we want to do everything we can as parents to protect that investment, ensure our student's success. Let's face it, we won't save money if our student fails to adjust and has to repeat classes

    As a parent and specialty retailer, I found a good portion of the author's advice to be impractical for college bound students. Read on..."

    Impractical: No college student irons clothes so don't bring an iron, use the dryer touch up button...

    Really? My daughter is a business major and some activities actually require ironing. Her friend is ROTC and wears uniforms that must be pressed. When your student is 12 hours from home, it may be a little difficult to iron their clothes for them. So if your student needs to iron, you are better off packing a 1200 watt (or less) 3-way auto shutoff iron and a dorm size ironing surface that is safe and easily stored. As for suggesting students use the touch up/wrinkle free option on their dryer. Actually, I don't think commercial dryers in the dorm laundry rooms have a wrinkle free option and it certainly is not FREE, especially over four years!

    Impractical: Most dorms supply perfectly good desk chairs so don't waste your money on furniture... 

    It really depends on the school. When we moved our daughter into her dorm room, we secretly went up and down the halls of her residence hall, room by room, trying to locate two desk chairs that were still intact for her and her roommate. Afterwards, we spent days trying to find the right cushion to make it more comfortable. Bottom line, don't assume the furniture provided by the university will be right for your student. You know your student better than anyone. Do they need a comfortable chair?

    Impractical: If you find your student cannot live without a coffeemaker allow them to plunder your kitchen appliances during Christmas break... 

    NEVER send your student to school with your regular size kitchen appliances (i.e. 12 cup coffeemaker). Pack dorm size appliances that auto shutoff, contain no hot plates, operate on a standard 110/120v plug, and are UL or ETL listed. And because regulations vary from school to school, always check with the university housing office before investing in any appliance.

    Impractical: Send your old television to school with your student or give them their uncle's old tube television... 

    Isn't that like sending your student to their dorm room with an old mainframe computer instead of a laptop? A dorm room is a small space so electronics need to be dorm sized. I purchased an inexpensive 15" LCD/DVD television for my daughter and it fit perfectly in her small dorm room. Bottom line, sending your student with an old tube television is not a good space saving idea at all. If you are concerned about theft or accidental damage, consider purchasing student property insurance. It is relatively inexpensive.

    Impractical: College trunks are out of vogue because they do not fill a purpose...

    College trunks have changed a lot and are more popular than ever. They come in many shapes and sizes to fit in the smallest of dorm rooms while providing a wealth of storage space. College trunks are also available with options such as easy glide removable wheels and locking systems to secure a student's laptop, phone, and food... Additionally, a good quality trunk can be multi purposed,used as a night stand or extra dorm room seating and storage.

    Impractical: Matchy matchy dorm bedding is too pricey. Save money, just pack the bare essentials... 

    Because a good night's sleep is a must have for college students and we are yet to visit a college campus with a comfortable dorm room bed, parents should consider investing in a comfortable mattress topper and bedding. In addition, many dorm room beds are twin XL in size, longer than the standard twin bed found at home so your twin fitted sheet from home will not fit a twin XL bed.

    Bottom line... if you find yourself shopping for comfortable bedding to fit your student's twin XL bed properly, take the opportunity to brighten up their bland dorm room and chase away those freshman blues. As for pricey, there are many affordable quality bedding options for students in today's dorm supplies marketplace, including duvet sets (much easier and cheaper to launder than the typical comforter set). If your student can find affordable bedding (dorm decor) that makes their dorm room look like Pottery Barn then good for them. After all, it is their first home away from home!

    Good luck getting your student off to college! Live Dorm Smart!

    December 17, 2011

    DormSmart Product Review - Twin XL Dorm Room Essentials & Extra Large Dorm Trunk Package ...

    You won't hear any complaints from your college bound student when you purchase a Twin XL Dorm Room Essentials & Extra Large Dorm Trunk Package, read on...

    Product Review

    The Twin XL & Extra Large Trunk Package has all the basic essentials your college bound student requires for an easy move into their campus dorm room (i.e., storage, eating, sleeping, shower supplies, and more...) and all at a substantial savings.

    Bottom line, these aren't your typical cheap bedding and trunk packages advertised for a few hundred dollars. Rather these packages contain more than 55 quality dorm smart tested and approved supplies by reputable manufacturers such as Saltwater Canvas, Bentley, Honey Can Do, Picnic Time, Rhino Trunk & Case, Thermos... Students even get to pick their colors, customize these packages to reflect their unique sense of style!

    A Dorm Essentials & Trunk Package Deal is an ideal holiday, graduation, or birthday gift for college bound high school seniors, any student preparing for dorm room living.

    Available in Twin, Twin XL with multiple trunk sizes!

    Live Dorm Smart!

    August 10, 2011


    With campus move in day fast approaching for many college bound students, it’s important to prepare BEFORE leaving for college. Here’s a few quick tips from Team DormSmart to make campus move in day go a little more smoothly…

    TIP #1: Shop before Campus Move In Weekend

    Campus move in weekend is INSANE! Many colleges have mandatory orientation sessions scheduled for parents and students over move in weekend leaving little time to unpack, let alone shop. It is best to shop for dorm supplies prior to move in weekend and pack them so that they can be easily located and unpacked. Grab  a copy of our Dorm Supplies Checklist to help you prepare and pack.

    TIP #2: Check University Housing Regulations

    Before shopping, check your university housing regulations for your dorm room. Let’s face it, everyone is feeling the budget crunch so you don’t want to waste money buying non compliant dorm appliances … any dorm supplies that may be considered contraband and confiscated.

    TIP #3: Measure Your Dorm Room 

    Every inch counts when planning and organizing your dorm room. If you have access and can get actual measurements, be sure to measure the room at the floor level to account for any base moldings or trim; meaning it may not seem like much but floor moldings and trim can take inches off an already small dorm room.

    TIP #4: Know What Furniture You Need to Bring

    What furniture does your school provide? Are you able to bring your own or required to use theirs?

    TIP #5: Know the Shape and Size of Your Dorm Bed Legs

    The one recurring problem we hear about from college students at DormSmart… the bed risers they picked up at the discount store don’t fit! If you are planning to raise your dorm bed for additional storage know the size and shape of your dorm bed legs to ensure your bed risers will fit properly.

    TIP #6: Count the Outlets

    Know how many outlets are in your dorm room so that you can purchase the right amount of surge protector strips with overload protection; make all your electronics work.

    TIP #7: Get Ready for Campus Networking 

    Don’t forget networking cables! While wireless access generally works in most common areas in your residence hall, many dorm rooms require wired access… at times the signal strength inside your dorm room is just too weak.

    TIP #8: Get Familiar with Your Closet Space

    Does your dorm room have a closet? If so, check the configuration of your closet. How many closet shelves are there? Measure the distance between shelves to ensure your storage containers will fit easily.

    TIP #9: Coordinate with Your Roommate

    Some dorm room supplies such as an iron, ironing board, coffeemaker, dorm rug, television, and printer can be shared. Sharing sounds a little scary at first but remember if sharing isn’t working out, you can always bring your own supplies over a break OR have mom and dad bring them over parent weekend. Just remember to make a list of who brought what if you're sharing dorm supplies... you'd be surprised how many roomies forget by the end of the school year!

    TIP #10: Pay Attention to the Little Details

    You’d be surprised how annoying it can be to overlook a small detail when it comes to dorm living! For example… Do you have a sink in your dorm room? Does it need a plug? Is there a medicine cabinet for toiletries in your dorm room or do you need a storage caddy?

    Just a few tips to help you prepare for your dorm move and live dorm smart! Good luck!

    August 8, 2011

    Dorm Decorating: Review of by Mal Pearson, Style and Beauty Guide ... Get the Dorm 411!

    The review below was posted on August 3rd, 2011 by Style and Beauty Guide, Mal Pearson.  Check out and catch her on The Daily Buzz!
    Packing up and moving to college is one of life’s most unforgettable moments. Emotions run high! You’re excited to enter a new stage with new friends and places, nervous about academic challenges, and (admit it!) a bit sad to be leaving home.

    Let’s get real—no dining hall food will ever replace Mom’s home cooking. But you can make your dorm room as homey as possible: after all, it will be your place of residence for almost a year. Finding those perfect pieces to decorate your dorm can get tricky, since everything has to be a triple threat: functional, miniature, and stylish! Shopping for dorm furnishings can be just as tricky and stressful. (Not to mention hauling your purchases home, and then moving them to school!)

    After doing lots of back-to-school research this month, I found an absolute gem: You can find virtually any dorm necessity on the site, from bedding to lighting to tool kits. And the best part is that your purchases ship right to your dorm door at school, which makes your back-to-school move about twenty times easier!

    The site has more than just products, though, so make sure you check it out! You’ll find a supplies checklist, packing tips, an award-winning dorm-living advice blog, and you can even rent textbooks! can make your transitioning to an exciting new stage a bit easier so you can focus on fun and not on stress! (Except for any homework stress… that’s up to you!)

    May 27, 2011

    Staying Healthy on a College Campus...

    It's time for college bound freshman to get immunized for fall semester, the perfect time to talk about staying healthy on campus.

    According to the American College Health Association, approximately 100 to 125 cases of meningococcal disease occur on college campuses each year, and five to 15 students will die as a result. That's 15 deaths too many that were preventable by having the proper vaccinations and living healthy on campus.

    Meningococcal disease is contagious and progresses very rapidly. The bacteria are spread person-to-person through the air by respiratory droplets (e.g., coughing, sneezing). The bacteria also can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, such as oral contact with shared items like cigarettes, hookahs, straws, drinking glasses... and through kissing.

    In addition to meningitis students are also susceptible to a host of other illnesses such as mono or swine flu, so it's important to get plenty of rest and take the necessary precautions for healthy campus living.

    Tips For Healthy Living At College
    • DO see your physician to discuss the vaccines required for college. (Be sure to provide a copy of your immunization records to your school.)
    • DO put together a college first aid kit specific to you.
    • DO keep your dorm room and surroundings clean.
    • DO get plenty of sleep and eat right.
    • DO carry hand sanitizer at all times and use it.
    • DO make sure your shared lab equipment is clean before using it. My own daughter was exposed to swine flu via her campus lab equipment. It was scary.
    • DO NOT play drinking games, especially those that require you to share germs. I've noticed one online dorm store selling connectible drinking straws to college students saying how fun they are and another selling beer bongs... Seriously, this is NOT a good idea!
    • DO NOT share food, cigarettes, drinks, hookahs...
    • DO NOT ignore symptoms of an illness. If you are feeling ill, seek medical treatment right away.
    Stay healthy and live Dorm Smart!

    May 15, 2011

    Dorm Laundry Supplies Giveaway Announcement...

    Win our "DORM LAUNDRY SUPPLIES GIVEAWAY" so taking your clothes to the campus laundry will get a whole lot easier! Our dorm laundry supplies prize includes:

    • Sort-A-Sack Dorm Laundry Backpack, Dorm Laundry Bag & Dorm Laundry Sorter Combo (All in One) in Black & White; and
    • Purex Complete 3-in-1 Pure & Clean Laundry Sheets, 22 Count. Enough for a month's worth of laundry!

    ENTERING TO WIN is so simple, read on...

    STEP ONE: Join DormSmart on Facebook. If you are already a subscriber, leave us a message on our fan page saying "I am entering to win the Dorm Laundry Supplies Giveaway at!"

    STEP TWO: Browse and while you are browsing join our mailing list (left hand column of page).

    STEP THREE: Follow on Twitter. Tweet about this giveaway 'Enter to win Dorm Laundry Supplies at'

    STEP FOUR: Return to this posting and tell us one product that you liked at! (This will help us to select products for our next dorm store giveaway!)

    STEP FIVE: Send an email to confirming you have completed the entry process.
    Contest closes on June 15, 2011 at 11:59PM PST. A winner will be randomly selected and notified via email on June 20, 2011. Winner must respond within 72 hours! Good luck!

    NOTICES: At this time our giveaways can only be shipped to addresses within the 48 Contiguous US States.

    About SORT-A-SACK Dorm Laundry Backpack:

    The perfect dorm laundry backpack, dorm laundry bag, and dorm laundry sorter combo (all in one) for the busy college student on the go! The Sort-A-Sack has two compartments to sort both whites and colors, saving time and making laundry day a whole lot easier. Like a backpack, the dorm laundry sort-a-sack can be comfortably carried by two shoulder straps to lighten your loads, up to three, on the way to the dorm laundry room or campus laundromat! This great looking and uniquely designed laundry bag is roomy enough to carry your laundry supplies and zips closed to prevent embarrassing spills, don't lose your underwear on the way to the dorm laundry! Even better, the sort-a-sack contains an inner pouch to store a sheet of fabric softener to help keep those smells away between laundry days! For the novice, the durable sort-a-sack dorm laundry backpack, laundry bag, and laundry sorter combo has step-by-step washing instructions permanently printed inside, making the sort-a-sack the next best thing to sending laundry out or home to mom! Sort-A-Sack!

    About PUREX Complete 3-in-1® Laundry 22 Sheet Starter Kit:

    Each sheet contains a load’s worth of detergent, softener and anti-static, all in one powerful sheet. Simply drop laundry sheet into washer, the detergent is released during the wash cycle. Once wash is complete, transfer the laundry sheet with clothes to dryer. The stripe is heat activated by the dryer to soften and remove static. It’s that simple. No more heavy bottles. No more messes. It’s Laundry. Simplified.® New Repel Stain Blocker™ technology helps protect against dirt and stains. Purex Complete 3-in-1® Laundry Sheets is a 2010 Edison Awards winner!

    Live Dorm Smart!

    April 9, 2011

    Top 10 Dorm Essentials...

    Check out our list of the top 10 dorm essentials most requested by college bound students. If you are a college bound student heading to the dorms, add them to your dorm checklist. If you are a family member or friend looking for high school graduation gift ideas, look no further! Live Dorm Smart!
    1. Bed Risers
    2. Dorm Trunk
    3. Essentials Compact Tool Kit
    4. Laundry Hamper or Backpack
    5. Micro / Fridge Appliance
    6. Noise Cancelling Ear Buds
    7. Security Supplies
    8. Storage Bins
    9. Twin XL Sheets
    10. Waterproof Shower Bag

    April 1, 2011

    How to Shop for the Best Dorm Fridge...


    When purchasing a refrigerator freezer for your dorm room, keep this in mind…

    Invest in a compact refrigerator freezer manufactured to run on a standard 15 Amp Circuit, a dorm sized appliance that cools with a compressor and has a separate true zero degree freezer. While those cute little box minifridges may be a cheap alternative, many cool with a fan not a compressor. The fan models tend to burn out more quickly and do not cool as efficiently. Bottom line, you want to invest your money in the best dorm fridge, a micro version of mom’s fridge that is efficient and can hold up to dorm life!

    In addition, when shopping for and selecting the best dorm fridge for your college dorm room, ignore ads from manufacturers touting their product as the only game in town or trying to scare you into purchasing their product. Do your homework... read the fine print on the product specification sheets and manuals. (Beware of retailers that do not make product information readily available to you...  just keep shopping!) You'll find that there is more than one brand on the market that:
    • operates safely on standard 15 Amp circuitry;
    • offers a **true zero degree freezer for ice cream, frozen pizzas, and frozen dinners;
    • holds 2 liter bottles of soda;
    • provides an ample warranty on the compressor;
    • respects the environment - Energy Star® Qualified (30% below the Federal Standard = CEE Tier 3); and
    • is UL Listed.

    **NOTE: If you come across a dorm fridge that includes a "separate true freezer compartment" ... you may want to keep shopping. This is not  a true zero degree freezer so if you are planning to save money by storing frozen foods for more than a few days then this is probably not the best dorm fridge for you. Here's a quote directly from the Haier Compact 2 Door Refrigerator Freezer 3.3 cu. ft. model's Use and Care Manual that best describes the intended use of  Haier's separate true freezer compartment:
    "...This compartment is designed for making ice cubes and for short-term food storage (a few days at most)..."
    Happy dorm fridge shopping and live Dorm Smart!

    Dorm Living Tip: Avoid Circuit Overloads...

    One Plug Appliance
    Available at


    Avoid circuit overloads in your dorm room... DO NOT plug high wattage appliances such as a blow dryer, iron, flat iron, or power strip into the same outlet as your dorm microwave refrigerator freezer combo appliance, even if you have an appliance that is manufactured to work on a standard 15 Amp Circuit.

    It's best not to use the second plug at all. However, if you must use the second plug... use it only for low wattage electronics such as an alarm clock or small desk lamp. Your university housing office will appreciate it and everyone will be a little safer!

    Live Dorm Smart!

    November 16, 2010

    Sewing Kits for College Students ...

    By Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of
    Creator of Dorm Smart Living

    LIVE DORM SMART TIP: How To Make The Perfect Sewing Kit For College Students   
    Sewing Kit for College Students
    Let’s face it. The vast majority of college students just aren’t into sewing. However, from time to time, we all need to make small repairs, such as tightening a loose hem or replacing a button. So instead of purchasing a cheap sewing kit that really doesn’t do the trick or a more expensive sewing kit that you may never use, consider purchasing a few basic sewing supplies and storing them in a decorative box or container in your dorm room.

    Basic Sewing Kit for College Students contains: 
    • Decorative box or container for storage
    • 1 spool each of black, white, navy, red and neutral color polyester thread (polyester thread is a good all purpose thread for repair projects)
    • Package of sewing needles
    • Sharp scissors (You’ll need a good pair for sewing repairs, school projects…)
    • Assortment of safety pins
    • Assortment of buttons
    • Straight pins
    • Pin cushion
    • Thimble
    • Measuring tape (Great for taking measurements if you like shopping online for clothes.)
    If you have never sewn, take a quick lesson from an experienced friend or family member to learn the basics about how to thread a needle, repair a hem, or sew on a button... before moving to campus.

    Just another tip for living Dorm Smart!

    November 13, 2010

    Cold and flu season is upon us! Take precautions to stay healthy...

    by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of
    Creator of Dorm Smart Living


    Cold and flu season is upon us! If you haven't figured it out yet, college is a breeding ground for germs! The close quarters, small spaces, common bathrooms, computer labs, library... so be smart and take the right precautions. It's best to carry hand sanitizer with you at all times and keep your dorm room, bedding, and laundry clean! At the very least, consider purchasing disinfectant such as Lysol.

    In addition, make sure you have a themometer and are stocked up on cough drops, cold and flu relief meds, liquids to stay hydrated, tissues... because you won't feel like going shopping if you get sick.

    Remember... if you are running a high fever or are not getting better... SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. Better safe than sorry!

    Stay healthy and live dorm smart!

    November 6, 2010

    It’s too noisy in my residence hall to study or sleep! What can I do? Get the Dorm 411!

    by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of
    Creator of


    Let’s face it! Unless your family is the size of the Duggar family, it’s probably a whole lot noisier in your residence hall than at home, making it difficult to study or get a good night’s sleep.

    Consider investing in a quality set of noise cancelling headphones or ear buds to reduce the noise.

    Other options to consider:
    • Use ear plugs.
    • Take cat naps during the day (not during class).
    • Consider studying in the library or if weather permits, a quiet place on the campus grounds.
    Live Dorm Smart!

    September 2, 2010

    Cheap isn't all it's cracked up to be! Cheap College Dorm Essentials, Cheap Dorm Buys... Cheap Cheap Cheap! Get the Dorm 411!

    by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of
    Creator of

    OMG! We seldom vent at Dorm411, but every now and then we just have to cut loose.  We've been reading and hearing about how college bound students should buy cheap dorm products, cheap college dorm essentials, cheap dorm buys, cheap dorm supplies, cheap dorm trunks, cheap dorm appliances, cheap dorm rugs... cheap cheap cheap... seems to be today's popular buzz word, catch phrase... So we decided to go to and provide our smart dorm shoppers with the definition of cheap (see below).

    Seriously, does a tough economy mean that retailers should pass cheap dorm supplies off on unsuspecting student shoppers? Obviously, we are all budget conscious, shopping for bargains, great values, but cheap? Would you put your child in a cheap car seat? Would you drive across a cheaply constructed bridge? Would you fly in a cheap airplane? Would you ride in a cheap elevator? Would you jump with a cheap parachute or cheap bungee cord? Seriously, would you? And, have you seen some of the price tags on those cheap college dorm essentials?

    Remember these sayings:

    "You get what you pay for."
    "Nothing in life is free."
    "Quality over quantity."
    "A cheap price is a short cut to being cheated."
    "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is."

    At Dorm411, we are not saying you shouldn't shop for a bargain, but you need to be careful when it comes to buying certain college dorm essentials such as dorm bedding for a good nights sleep (important for student success in college), electrical appliances such as coffee makers, irons, computer equipment (don't want to burn down your residence hall)... and safety products (take campus safety seriously)... need we say more? Maybe we'll say a little more... why would you choose to buy a cheap knock off iron without auto shutoff then buy a separate auto shutoff outlet to turn it off instead of choosing to buy a quality auto shutoff iron and having it shipped to your campus for the same price? Hello?  How is that dorm smart? OK... that's all we are saying on this matter! Thanks for listening!

    Let us know your thoughts on the matter...


    cheap   /tʃip/ Show Spelled [cheep] Show IPA adjective, -er, -est, adverb, noun


    1. costing very little; relatively low in price; inexpensive: a cheap dress.

    2. costing little labor or trouble: Words are cheap.

    3. charging low prices: a very cheap store.

    4. of little account; of small value; mean; shoddy: cheap conduct; cheap workmanship.

    5. embarrassed; sheepish: He felt cheap about his mistake.

    6. obtainable at a low rate of interest: when money is cheap.

    7. of decreased value or purchasing power, as currency depreciated due to inflation.

    8. stingy; miserly: He's too cheap to buy his own brother a cup of coffee.


    9. at a low price; at small cost: He is willing to sell cheap.


    10. cheap at twice the price, exceedingly inexpensive: I found this old chair for eight dollars—it would be cheap at twice the price.

    11. on the cheap, Informal . inexpensively; economically: She enjoys traveling on the cheap.



    bef. 900; ME cheep (short for phrases, as good cheep cheap, lit., good bargain), OE cēap bargain, market, trade; c. G Kauf, ON kaup; all < L caupō innkeeper, tradesman; see chapman

    —Related forms

    cheapish, adjective

    cheap·ish·ly, adverb

    cheaply, adverb

    cheapness, noun

    o·ver·cheap, adjective

    o·ver·cheap·ly, adverb

    o·ver·cheap·ness, noun

    un·cheap·ly, adverb


    1, 4. Cheap, inexpensive agree in their suggestion of low cost. Cheap now usually suggests shoddiness, inferiority, showy imitation, complete unworthiness, and the like: a cheap kind of fur. Inexpensive emphasizes lowness of price (although more expensive than cheap ) and suggests that the value is fully equal to the cost: an inexpensive dress. It is often used as an evasion for the more specific cheap. 4. paltry, low, poor, inferior, base.


    1. costly, dear, expensive. 8. generous, charitable.