Electrical appliances are among the most useful accessories for dorm rooms. The more common dorm room appliances are described below:
Refrigerators for the Dorm Room
The refrigerator is the largest appliance you are likely to want in your dorm room. The most sensible type of refrigerator for dorm rooms is the Bar fridge. These are small enough that they won’t take up huge amounts of space, which is very important in a dorm room. They are used primarily for keeping small amounts of food and drink cold. Some have a freezer area, but many do not have space for such things as ice cream.
If you’re living in a true university dorm, you’re probably eating in a cafeteria and this fridge is likely to be used mainly for storing leftovers and possibly alcoholic beverages. A refrigerator is not a true dorm room essential, but they are very useful.
Many college and university cafeterias are not open all the time and are completely useless for midnight snacks. You may also not want to go trekking through the dark out-of-doors in order to find your midnight snack. At this point, your refrigerator comes in handy.
If you choose not to have a refrigerator it is a good idea to keep some snacks on hand that do not need refrigeration such as granola bars, cookies or fruit because you probably are going to get hungry at some point when you can’t get to the cafeteria or it isn’t open. You don’t want go hungry just because you don’t have time to go to the cafeteria.
Stoves, Hot Plates and Other Food Preparation Items
You are usually expected to eat in the cafeteria, and there’s often a microwave and sometimes a toaster in the common room of dorm buildings. Cooking appliances are not dorm room essentials – in fact, many universities and colleges do not allow cooking appliances in the dorms. This is because cooking in your room increases the likelihood of causing a fire alarm for your entire building which will make your neighbors and Housing annoyed with you.
It’s possible that your university or college may have different rules regarding cooking in dorm rooms, but these rules should definitely be checked before you consider bringing anything with you.
Cluster, family or other less traditional types of housing run by the university are a different situation entirely and often have their own cooking facilities.
Washer and Dryer
There are usually washing and drying facilities either in your building, or in a nearby building. Ask Housing or your residential adviser where these facilities are if you cannot find them.
In most universities you can get a phone line installed. You can also use a cell phone. Many people find a cell phone more versatile than a land line. It is possible to do without a phone of any kind, provided that the university has not gotten rid of all its pay phones and you have a computer with internet, so that you can use Skype to keep in touch. This is inconvenient, but it is much cheaper than having a phone.
There’s usually a TV in the dorm common room, but it may be being used by others when you want to use it. If you follow certain shows, or if you like to have TV whenever you want it, you may be happier with a TV in your dorm room. However, if you find it easier to get work done if you don’t have a TV in the room, you may want to avoid bringing or buying one. It all depends on what your priorities are.