We recently highlighted five items that college freshmen would likely forget to pack for school to make their lives in a dorm easier. That list contained a lot of essentials like a first aid kit and duct tape, but nothing that would really enhance the college experience. So this week I scoured the internet to find the hottest products that will set your dorm room apart from the rest of your classmates’. And while some of your friends will drop hundreds of dollars on mini-fridges and flat screen televisions for their dorms, you can spend just a little and still be as popular as a 21-year-old freshman. Here is this year’s edition of the Fill The Steins’ “5 Must-Have Products for Your College Dorm Room!” Place your orders now, operators are standing by.
Powered Bed Riser (Set of 4, $30, Bed Bath & Beyond): When products take care of one problem that’s great, and when they take care of two problems at the same time that’s even better; the latter is the case with the 7″ Power Bed Riser from Bed Bath & Beyond. With little to no storage in dorm rooms most students use blocks to lift their beds higher and slide bins underneath, so this product isn’t groundbreaking in that regard. However, tiny dorm rooms mean that almost every wall outlet is blocked by a piece of furniture or just out of reach of where you need it. This product has two 110 volt standard outlets along with two 5 volt USB outlets meaning you can charge your iPhone laying in bed or plug-in a blender for mixed drinks. I wouldn’t be surprised if your friends came over just to charge their mobile devices and that is why this is my top pick for your college dorm room.
Dormitory T-Shirt (Starting at $17, CafePress): If you are heading up to Orono this fall you’ve probably received at least one UMaine t-shirt or sweatshirt from a forward thinking relative. Frankly, you can never have too many pieces of UMaine gear, but you will look just like every other first-year on campus. Each dormitory at school has its own unique flavor and style, so why not show up to school with a shirt sporting the name of your new home for the next year in the classic UMaine colors of and lettering? The Fill The Steins Store at Cafe Press has a design for every dormitory at Orono along with a bunch of other logos that will make you the big man or cute girl on campus.
3-in-1 Breakfast Station ($24, Amazon): If you are an incoming freshman you will probably have a dining plan and there are plenty of good options on campus for food, from the dining halls to the food court at the student union. But at some point you likely will be running late to class and won’t have time for breakfast; the 3-in-1 Breakfast Station from MaxiMatic is like having an entire kitchen in your dorm room. Make a cup of coffee, toast a bagel, and grill an egg all at the same on this little beauty which I think most of us never knew existed but would have wanted for our college experience. Of course, having access to a mini-kitchen will probably mean your friends will want to use it all the time, but that’s what college is all about.
Rapid Ramen Cooker ($12, Amazon): A staple of any healthy college diet is having a pallet of Ramen Noodles available for a snack at any given time. While you will learn many techniques for cooking the noodles in microwaves and hot pots, nothing beats having a fool-proof method to make perfect ramen in no time. The Rapid Ramen Cooker is a reusable container that cooks a single packet of ramen in just 4 minutes with markings for just the right amount of water. The best part of all is that it doubles as a bowl and is easy to clean for the next time you need to make ramen which will probably be five or ten minutes later.
LED Color-Changing Light Strip ($16, Amazon): Lighting is the difference between a cool dorm room and standard issue student housing. Here is an option to get that high-end look on the cheap. LED Strip Lights are used in bars and clubs as accent lighting, but now they are so affordable you can use them in your dorm room. This particular unit comes in a length of 16 feet, perfect for framing out a window or running along a couple of walls. You can use the remote to select from dozens of colors or set it to cycle through a bunch of preprogrammed light settings. The best part of all is that it is LED so it uses less power than the giant ceiling light in your room while helping to set the mood for the weekend.
So that rounds out Fill The Steins’ top products for 2014 to make life in the dorms that much more enjoyable. Do you have any recommendations for products? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.