With the end of the semester approaching, many students are getting ready to leave Binghamton University’s campus housing for good. Though it seems like tossing out everything in your tiny dorm room is a smart idea, some of it might be perfect for your new room off campus. Whether you’re going to be moving into an apartment or a house, these tips will help you stay organized and ready to tackle the “real world” on your own.
First, go through everything in your room. If you have your own nightstand and desk lamp, keep those. If your carpet is still in decent shape, then keep that and steam clean it over the summer. Also save small organizational bins,, as they will be helpful to store miscellaneous items such as sunglasses, portable chargers, spare change and all those hair ties you need to wrangle on a daily basis. Keep all of your photograph collages and wall hangings so you can put them up in your new room. You also might want to keep a mini refrigerator in your room, so don’t sell your campus one just yet.
All BU dorm rooms have twin XL beds, whereas most apartment buildings and houses have full or queen beds, so you can get rid of your campus bedding and start fresh. Remember to buy new mattress toppers and mattress pads because your new bed might be just as uncomfortable as your campus one.
Coordinate with your future roommates on what to bring for the common areas. Discuss who is going to bring items like a television, vacuum, kitchen appliances and common area decorations.
Your parents are going to bug you about buying cleaning supplies, laundry detergent and cooking supplies — listen to them. Those yellow dishwashing gloves, Lysol disinfecting sprays, Clorox wipes, jumbo bags of paper towels, measuring bowls and fabric softener are going to be a blessing to have the night after a sticky pregame.
As soon as you move in, disinfect your place with the brand new cleaning supplies you bought — you never know who was living there before you. If there is any damage, notify your landlord before you move all of your stuff in, so you don’t end up with charges at the end of the year for things that you had nothing to do with. Take photos of your rooms and common areas, so that if something is broken, you can prove that that was how you found it.
Once you set up all of your decorations — tapestries, decorative lamps, wall hangings and photograph collages — it’s time to talk about grocery shopping. It’s important to stock up on certain items such as cereal and oatmeal, because they won’t go bad and you will no longer be able to roll out of bed and go to the dining hall. Buy easy snacks to have lying around, like small packs of pretzels and protein bars. These are great when you’re in a rush to class. You can buy meat in bulk and freeze it and fill your pantry with pasta for quick meals without a trip to the store. Although eating at a dining hall is super convenient, you will be able to learn how to cook new dishes and choose the food you actually want to eat, so the trade-off will be worth it.
Even though you’re off campus and will have many restaurant options, make a habit of using your kitchen. Not only will you save a lot of calories by eating in, but you’ll be saving money, too. Just don’t forget about doing dishes because you can’t just leave them on a conveyor belt for someone else to clean anymore.
Although it may be a hard transition leaving the dorms behind, having your own room, bathroom and kitchen will be worth it, and keeping some of your dorm supplies will ensure you have the best of both worlds.