12 February 2014

Moving into a Dorm: What Should it Cost?

If you're planning on staying at a dorm when attending college, you don't want to just show up empty handed.  While a dorm room does have the basics like a bed frame, a desk and bathroom, you're going to find out that you're going to need a lot of things to feel like you're at home.

Depending on what you need to survive, here are the basics that you're going to need, along with the price --
To make your dorm room feel like home, you're going to need a lot of little items that you may have never thought of in the first place.  These items include:  a floor lamp, area rug, fan, wall art and even speakers to play music.
Depending on what you need to make your dorm room feel like home, plan on budgeting at least $200 to buy your lamps, rugs and art.
Most dorm rooms will have a community bathroom on each floor.  While you're not going to be keep your items in there all the time, it's recommended to keep a duffel bag filled with your belongings to make your showering as easy possible.  In your bag, you should have a few towels, a sponge, toothbrush, hand dryer, robe, shaver, soap and shampoo.
 Most of the time, you should be able to buy all of your bathroom materials for less than $100 or so.
Even though most dorms won't have a kitchen, it doesn't mean you won't be able to cook.  Basic eating items that you should have will include: plates, cups, eating utensils, a travel mug, water pitcher, coffeemaker, microwave, electric kettle and refrigerator.   However, before you buy a microwave or refrigerator, make sure that your college allow these things inside the dorm.  Many colleges put restrictions on what's allow in the dorm.
Most of your kitchen necessities, such as utensils and plates, can be found at the local dollar store.  Your microwave and refrigerator, on the other hand, could cost around $150 to $300 each, depending on your personal tastes.
decorating a dormroom cheaply
Decorating a dorm cheaply. Photo: Flickr borman818
Like the bathroom, most dorms will have a laundry room on designated floors.  Your laundry supplies should include: a laundry basket, hamper, detergent, drying rack, iron and ironing board.
With your laundry supplies, plan on budgeting around $150.
Since you won't want a messy dorm, you're going to want the right tools to keep your room organized.  Basic organization tools that you should consider are underbed storage containers, shoe storage, hangers, closet organizers, a storage trunk, duffle bag.
Depending on how much storage you're going to need, plan on spending at least $20 to $30 per storage container.  Usually, $100 to $200 should be more than enough for your storage needs.
Most dorm rooms will have a bed frame, but some won't include the mattress.  If you're unsure, call up your college to see what's included in the dorm.  When it comes to sleeping, you will need pillows, a mattress pad, a topper, covers, sheets, a blanket and don't forget the alarm clock.
Depending on your personal tastes, it will cost anywhere from $200 to $300 to buy most of your sleeping supplies.
Since most of your time is going to be related to school work, it's important that you have everything you need to study properly.  These items will include:  a desk lamp, wastebasket, laptop desk, a book light and a dry erase board.  Like the mattress, some dorm rooms may already have desks built in the dorm.  Again, if you don't know if a desk will be in your room, check with the college ahead of time.
Most of the time, your basic study items will cost up to $150 or so.
Final Costs
As you can see, moving into a dorm isn't going to be cheap.  By using our estimates alone, you should be prepared to spend up to $1,500 to $2,000 to buy everything that you need to successfully move into your dorm.  If this number sounds high to you, there are some things that you can do in order to save, including:
·       Talk with your roommate and see what they are bringing.
·       Go to your local dollar store.  Many of these items can be found here.
·       Buy used.  Check out Craigslist or eBay for good deals.
Stephanie Lynch works with How Much Is It? -- a resource that has more than 4,500 cost helping guides.  If you need to know the price of anything, you can find it here.  Feel free to reach out to her on Twitter @howmuchforit


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Eva Green said...

I think that dorm is a good alternative for the apartment rent. It is more cheaper but you have to share often your room with the other student. If you don't have enough money this variant is for you. Of course, you can take instant loans online with low rates on payouts and rent an apartment but are you sure that it's worth it?

Teresa Hamilton said...

I think living in dorm is a interesting experience :) But I hope my dorm allows me to re-decorate my room also T.T Maybe they want to tell me "no where like home"
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