Jeff Flowers on August 7, 2013 0 Comments It’s that time of year again. The pools are starting to close down. The neighbors are all getting back from their family vacations. The sun doesn’t seem to be as intense as it was a few weeks back. Unfortunately, this all means one thing — summer is coming to an end… and a new school year is about to start. For the early school years, stocking up for back-to-school was pretty simple. All you had to do was walk down the school aisle at your local grocery store, picking out the most basic supplies. If you were lucky, you might even get a new backpack. But leaving for college is a little bit different, especially that first year. You still need those basic school supplies, but you also need a few compact appliances to help you get by in the dorm. While you’re busy registering for classes, don’t forget about these essential back-to-school appliances for your dorm room. 1. Mini Fridge & Compact Refrigerator The obvious appliance that every dorm needs is the mini fridge. Every college student needs one of these. Even if you’re on a meal plan and don’t plan on preparing your own meals in your room, you need a dependable mini-fridge just to keep your drinks and snacks cool. Compact refrigerators usually consist of 1 to 2.5 cubic feet of space. They are small enough to put in a corner or underneath your desk, but large enough to hold your basic foods and drinks. If your school allows it, you should look into getting a mid-size refrigerator. These are not only small enough for a dorm atmosphere but usually have more cubic feet of space and a separate freezer compartment for your frozen foods. For the price and the features, this will be your best value. 2. Microwave Having a dependable microwave is another must-have dorm appliance. Sure, your dorm will probably have a microwave in the common area, but most likely, it’s going to be an old model that probably doesn’t work as effectively as the one you bring yourself. Plus, it’s likely that somebody will be using it when you need it. Avoid the drama, and bring your own microwave. A small countertop microwave are easy to bring with you and don’t take up much space. You’ll have the luxury of heating up your leftovers or making a bag of popcorn, all without having to leave the room or wait in line. It’s almost a guarantee that any microwave you buy and bring with you, will be better than the one that is in your dorm and used every day by countless amounts of students. Just be sure to check if your dorm allows microwaves beforehand. Some do, and some don’t. Another possible option is to combine the two most needed dorm appliances into one. A combination refrigerator and microwave may just be the perfect solution for you. 3. Space Heater On most college campuses, dormitories usually tend to be hot and dry places to live, but many don’t take into consideration that most of the school year also takes place in the winter and fall. Bringing along your own heater will not only help make your room more comfortable to live in but also ensures that you won’t have to study under the weight of a mountain of blankets. Staying warm in those winter months is not just about being comfortable either, letting the chill in is a good way to catch a cold. Nobody likes being sick, and that’s especially true when you have to cram for a big test Don’t miss any more classes due to the sniffles, and pick yourself up a portable heater. They operate almost silently, even the models that include fans, and they’re also pretty small, so they won’t take up much space. This is precisely why they rank as one of the best dorm appliances. 4. Coffee Machine Whether you have early morning classes or plan on studying late into the night, you’re probably going to need to have access to a ready supply of fresh coffee. This is why a reliable coffee maker is an essential for your dorm. Most dorms won’t have a coffee machine readily available to you, and if they do, you can bet that it’s been there for many years and the coffee it makes will be terrible. Or, you can keep it classy with an espresso machine. This is an easy way to make friends in the dorm. If coffee isn’t your speed, then you can pick up an electic kettle. They are great for tea, instant soup, or a cozy night in with a cup of hot chocolate. 5. Portable Air Conditioner Keeping cool is important, and while most of the school year takes place in the winter and fall, those late summer days before it cools down can make it hard to get back into the school groove, not to mention the spring semester when it starts to warm back up around finals. Why make studying any harder than it has to be when you can pick yourself up a portable air conditioner to ensure your room is comfortable year-round. Moving away from home and living in a dorm isn’t going to be easy for most students, at least not at first. Bringing along these appliances is a great way to make the transition into the dorm easier, so you can concentrate more on your studies. What’s your list of must-have dorm appliances? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.