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Maximizing the minimal

CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Summer Wildcat
Pre-education sophomore and Yuma Hall resident Renee Delp plays games on her computer. Delp has her room decorated with live plants.
By Elizabeth Thompson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
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Decorating tight quarters on a tight budget

See if you can solve this riddle:

I carry heavy objects in 100-degree heat.

I have spent the past 24 hours in a car, hotel room or airplane with an irritated parent.

I just met someone I'll be living with for nine months and his hobbies include online dating and pit bull breeding.

Who am I?

If you answered a pitiful wretch condemned to the fifth ring of hell or a freshman on dorm move-in day, you're right.

Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but moving into a dorm can be really scary and annoying.

All of the good parking spots are taken.

You're being bombarded by confusing information from frazzled hall directors.

You're still pissed about that dirty look someone's mom gave you in the elevator.

Don't cry. It'll be all right.

Except the worst part isn't over.

Now you have to go shopping for your new, depressingly small dorm room.

But this is not fun shopping.

You will stumble upon the dorm room section, which, by the looks of it, is being inhabited by angry pigs.

The full-length mirrors are where the three-pack plastic hangers should be.

Somebody ripped open the packaging for the last dry erase board and took the marker.

Now it's OK to cry.

Putting together a dorm room can be a bit daunting and a bit pricey.

Here's a list of things you will need, places you should go and the least amount of money you can spend to make your room feel more like you.


Because some of you have closets back home that are bigger than your future living space, finding places to stash all of your stuff can be depressing.

Definitely purchase a three- or four-drawer cart, which can be found at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Linens N' Things for between $7.99 and $14.99.

They can usually double as a nightstand or fit in a closet, and are ideal for holding clothes, toiletries and snacks.

LNT also sells something called the "Aero 36 Gallon Tote" for $6.99, which is really sturdy and holds a ton of stuff.

If you don't have a bunk bed, and your bed isn't already elevated, BBB's plastic bed lifts for $9.99 will help give you more storage space.

Hanging closet organizers for folded clothes or shoes aren't requisite, but come in handy. BBB sell them for $14.99.


Oh, extra long sheets. How you suck.

Don't spend a ton of money on these sheets. After freshman year, you won't be able to use them again.

Skip pricey and usually really ugly "bed in a bag" sets and get a basic comforter.

Target and BBB sell solid colored, lightweight reversible comforters for $19.99.

BBB also sells extra long twin Jersey sheet sets for $14.99. They come with a fitted sheet, a pillowcase and a regular sheet, and the material is stretchy and soft.

LNT sells jumbo pillows in packs of two for $9.99.


Sometimes the shelves and drawer space that dorm desks provide isn't enough.

Bed Bath and Beyond sells three-drawer desktop chests for $9.99, which are nice for storing stuff like floppy disks or pens and pencils.

Most dorms will have lights built in over the desks.

However, BBB clip lights, $9.99, are ideal for any additional desk lighting or for reading light in a bunk bed.

Buy a tiny garbage can.


Even though it's pricey, BBB's Oxo Good Grips can opener for $9.99, or any semi-good quality can opener you can find, is a necessity.

It may seem like a good idea to get a can opener at the dollar store, but they're hard to use and can hurt your fingers.

Don't buy anything like a microwave or pans until you know for sure what your roommate may already have.

Be realistic about how much you actually will be cooking in the dorm kitchens.

You may tell yourself you're going to be making lots of healthy, protein-rich dinners, but that will probably last for about a week.

If you really will be cooking in the dorms, BBB's 18-piece kitchen utensil set is fantastic.

You get a ladle, a bunch of spatulas, measuring cups and spoons for $6.99.

Buy pots and pans at Ross. They have an impressive selection of high-quality cookware for a shocking fraction of the normal price.

Real china or glassware sets are unnecessary.

Buying a couple of microwave-safe bowls and plates like BBB's Peto Unbreakable Dinnerware, which sell from $2.99-$3.99 each, will be plenty.


Closest location:
4040 N. Oracle Road. 520-293-6191
Other locations:
5255 E Broadway 520-745-8001
6500 E. Grant Rd. 520-290-1711

Bed Bath and Beyond
Closest location:
4811 E. Grant Rd. 520-323-9790.
Other location:
6310 N. Oracle Rd.

Linens N' Things
Closest location:
5925 E. Broadway Blvd. 520-584-1118
Other location:
7475 N. La Cholla Blvd, Suite 101. 520-297-6688

Ross Dress for Less
Closest location:
4425 N. Oracle Rd. 520-293-2120
Other location:
7250 E. Broadway Blvd. 520-886-3658

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