7 do-it-yourself dorm room essentials

There are many cool items college students need and want for their dorm room.

Find exactly what you need for your dorm room here. (Credit: Michigan Daily)

Find exactly what you need for your dorm room here. (Credit: Michigan Daily)

Here are some college tips for a few of the inexpensive essentials for a fun, safe and clean dorm, many of which are do-it-yourself for less money.

1. Office and desk supplies

Credit: Dormify

Credit: Dormify

Make up your own kit of various office supplies and keep it handy on your desk. Include: notepaper, pens & pencils, eraser, tape (scotch, masking and duct), ruler, paper clips, Post-It notes, highlighter, markers and stapler. Also keep on hand a box of tissues, power strip for electrical devices and extra AA batteries.

2. Dirt Devil or mini vacuum

Credit: Kubitz

Credit: Kubitz

You won’t want a full-size vacuum in your dorm. It’s likely too big and cumbersome to get into the nooks and crannies. Instead, get a small hand vacuum like a Dirt Devil or other brand. They are cheap and easy to use. Just grab it, plug it in and give your floor or rug a quick once over to suck up crumbs and dust. A clean dorm without bits of food strewn around will prevent the appearance of bugs and rodents.

3. Sewing kit

Credit: Pinterest

Credit: Pinterest

“Buttons fall off. Clothes rip. Costumes need jerry-rigging. So much stuff can be fixed with a needle and thread,” noted a contributor to College Candy in “10 Essential Dorm Items (That You Probably Didn’t Think Of)” posted August 13, 2010. “If you don’t know how, find someone who does and get a quick lesson before you head off to college….Hell, it might even be a form of income; the guys next door to me would pay me to fix their stuff for them.”

You can buy small sewing kits already packaged up, or you can do-it-yourself. Pack: needle, small scissors, different colors of thread, safety pins of different sizes, some white and black buttons (neutral colors for any occasion) and straight pins.

4. First aid kit

Credit: Rebecca Hale, National Geographic Staff

Credit: Rebecca Hale, National Geographic Staff

For serious injuries, see the campus nurse immediately. But for scrapes and cuts, keep on hand a small first aid kit. Stock it with different sized bandages, antiseptic spray or cream, gauze, medical tape, cold pack, Pepto-Bismol, an EpiPen if necessary and a pill box with aspirin and ibuprofen. If you regularly take medication or an inhaler, keep your supplies handy and always have extra on hand in case of emergency when you can’t refill your prescription on time.

5. Alarm clock

Credit: M Student Life

Credit: M Student Life

Yes, you must get up in time for class. Your mother isn’t here to wake you up. So get a cheap yet reliable alarm clock. “And while your roommate might bring her own alarm clock, I’m sure you guys will have different class schedules. You might want to look into an alarm clock that doubles as an iPhone dock (great for playing music in those speakers during your late-night hangouts or study sessions),” suggested a writer in “Get Inspired: 15 Dorm Room Essentials,” posted on HowToNestForLess.com July 24, 2013.

6. Air freshener

Credit: Rheney Williams

Credit: Rheney Williams

With people living in cramped quarters, you’ll need to get something to keep your dorm smelling fresh. Sweat, dirty laundry, food, smokers and alcohol can all make a dorm room smell ripe really fast. Choose from: Febreze, air freshener (plug in or spray can), incense, potpourri or even just an open box of baking soda (put it somewhere where it won’t spill) with some slices of lemon in it.

You could also make your own essential oils air freshener. “Simply boil a pot of water, take it off the heat, and add a few drops of essential oil, such as lemon or eucalyptus. The scent of the oils will infuse the whole room,” suggested Karen Peltier, a green cleaning expert in “Top 12 Green DIY Air Fresheners.”

7. Laundry duffle bag

Credit: OwnHomez

Credit: OwnHomez

Don’t look like a slob by carrying your dirty laundry to the laundromat in a pillow case or plastic garbage bag. For as little as $10 you can buy a heavy duty laundry duffle bag that keeps laundry collected until you need to wash, then just carry it to the laundromat. You can get plain ones or fancy fabric ones, or sew up your own using durable fabric.

What are some items for your dorm you think are essential?

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