College Freshmen: Alternative options to items that are prohibited in your dorm room

Soon you will be heading off to college for the first time, and you will have to decide what items to bring.  A lot of times, we get so wrapped up in bringing all of the comforts of home, that we do not stop to consider there are items that are strictly prohibited in a dorm room.  Below we will list some of the top items people want to bring to their dorms with them but will not be allowed, and some alternative options.

Prohibited Item: Space Heaters

There is an old trope where the father of a household is the one that controls the thermostat.  You may be thinking that because you are now technically an adult who is going off to college for the first time that you will be able to have a space heater to bring some warmth to your dorm room, well think again.  Space heaters are a serious fire hazard and as such are banned from most college dorm rooms.

Alternative Option: Heated Blanket

If you can’t have a space heater in your dorm room, a heated blanket is the next best thing.  You will want to make sure that your heated blanket has a timer on it so that even if you accidentally leave it on your way out the door, it will turn off automatically.  A good habit to get into if you have a heated blanket that plugs into an outlet, is to unplug it when you are not using it.

Prohibited Item: Portable Air Conditioning Unit

The only thing worse than being cold during the winter, is being hot during the summer.  Most dorm halls do not come equipped with air conditioning units, but that does not mean you are free to bring your own portable air conditioning unit.  Since you are not technically paying for utilities in a dorm room, there would be no way to charge every single person for the amount of energy they use when operating individual air conditioning units.

Alternative Option: Oscillating Fan

A good alternative to an air conditioner is an oscillating fan.  You can buy an oscillating fan at most retail stores for around $20-$30, and then your roommate will be able to enjoy a breeze as well.  You may want to pair your fan with breathable bamboo or cotton sheets and a reusable ice pack that can be stored in the freezer portion of a mini-fridge.

Prohibited Item: Candles

If you thought you would be bringing candles to freshen up your dorm room, or set the mood, unfortunately, you will have to do without.  Candles are an obvious fire risk, and as such they are not allowed in college dorm rooms.

Alternative Option: Battery-Operated Candles and a can of Air Freshener

In response to the no candle policy on most college campuses, you can bring in battery-operated flameless candles and a can of air freshener.  Just keep in mind that you are in a tight space, and your roommate may not appreciate your attempts at ambiance, so be prepared to have a conversation about that!

Prohibited Item: Iron

If you own a lot of clothing that needs to be ironed, you may want to rethink the clothing that you will be bringing to college because you will not be allowed to have an iron.  The reasoning behind banning irons is that they are a fire hazard, so be sure to leave it at home.

Alternative Option: Steamer

Hope you didn’t leave all of those clothes that need to be ironed behind!  Dorm rooms allow steamers, with which you will be able to get rid of wrinkles in your blouse or dress pants in no time!  You may also be very popular in your dorm hall for those students who may not always hang up their clothes or have them neatly folded.

Prohibited Item: Anything that needs nails or tacks to be hung on walls and wall decals

In case you are unaware, you will not be the first person to live in your dorm room, nor will you be the last!  For this reason, using tacks or nails to hang things on the wall is strictly forbidden. Can you imagine the amount of holes that would be in a dorm room wall if everyone who has ever lived there put posters all over the place?  If you thought that you could use wall stickers, otherwise known as decals to display pretty designs, you were also wrong. Anything that could be a pain to get off the walls will not be allowed to go on them.

Alternative Option: Pictures from home that can be displayed using tape

Scotch tape is generally acceptable when hanging things on your dorm room wall.  The reasoning behind this decision is that it really can’t hold too much or too heavy of items, and the adhesive is not powerful enough to pull paint off the walls.  The good news is, scotch tape is perfect for hanging a few pictures of friends and family on your wall.

Whether you are heading to college for the first time and moving into the dorms or an upperclassmen moving into a new apartment or house, we can help you with all of your local or long distance moving needs into or out of Tucson.  We can help you prioritize and pack, and then safely transport your belongings to your new home. We offer inexpensive moving services as well as group rates, so if you are moving into a sorority or frat house, gather your sisters and brothers and take advantage of our deeply discounted group rates!

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