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School’s back in session: Dorm room essentials for college life

School’s back in session: Dorm room essentials for college life

As summer winds down, eager college freshmen start to think about the adventure they’re about to begin. It’s time to get ready for college and move out of Mom and Dad’s house. Planning and organizing are essential, with an end goal of making the dorm room feel as homey as possible. Here’s a checklist we’ve created, thinking of you:


You’ll probably spend many hours studying late after dusk; be considerate towards your roommate and don’t disturb with the harsh overhead glow of the fluorescent lights. Take two lamps – one for your desk and one for your bedside. You can create a cozy environment with their gentle light.


A full-length mirror is a must have; you need to check your look before you leave the room, no?


Unfortunately, not all dorm rooms have pretty carpet or healthy hardwood flooring, especially the older ones which have cold, worn out tile. A rug can save the feel of the room by adding style and warmth. Make sure you check with the dimensions of the room, as well as with your roommate, to make sure yours fits.


Among the less glamorous aspects of life in a dorm room is the fact that you cannot control the temperature of the respective room. It is very likely that at some point during the year, the room will be freezing, and you’ll have your blanket to keep you warm.

Dorm Trunk

Remember that dorm rooms have limited storage space, choosing a stylish trunk will firstly help you carry your stuff in, but also will provide storage for bulky items, extra seating for friends, and even a lounge table.


Nothing says relaxation more than your bed. Need I say more?


You’ll discover that hooks are your best friends in the dorm room. Towels, backpacks, clothes, you’ll find plenty uses for every hook you’ll own.


Your parents’ homeowners insurance typically offers coverage away from home, including the dorm room. However, you should check what the policy entails: an HO-3 policy covers all perils not specifically excluded, while HO-2 covers 16 specified perils. Furthermore, the insurance agency should be notified in writing that you’re a student and are moving to a college room. Have your parents follow up on the written notification with a telephone call as the agent can provide valuable information.

It helps to know that off-premises coverage is usually 10 percent of the liability coverage. For example, the homeowner policy may show $300,000 coverage, but there may only be 70 percent of that in contents coverage – this is $210,000 on a $300,000 policy, thus the student will have $21,000 coverage, subject to a deductible. Once you’ve done the math, you’ll know if there is need for a rider for your student’s belongings, or a separate insurance.

Should you need a separate insurance, renters insurance may be the ideal solution. The advantage of the HO-4 policy is that a claim on the student’s renters policy won’t affect the rates of the homeowners policy. Furthermore, renters insurance will cover more of the student’s loss than the homeowner’s off-premise coverage, and also cover more.