Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Deals & Shopping

10 prerequisites for a happy dorm life

Plan with your roommate: Don't be the pair that ends up with two mini fridges and two TVs. Talk about what you need to bring, whether you want to coordinate your decor and what the expectations are for how your room will be used. If you both want your room to be a place where others hang out, you'll want pillows for sitting on the floor. If your roommate goes to bed early, you'll want a desk lamp that you can use to keep working when the lights are off. "The best roommate relationships are grounded in communication," said Stephanie Lynch, assistant dean for residential living at Georgetown University. "Start the conversation before you arrive on campus."

Don't buy it all before you arrive: Find the basics, then see what you need when you get to your room. If you don't wait, you risk buying items that don't work in your space.

Buy furniture that can be used in multiple ways: Dorm rooms are notoriously small. Don't clutter yours with furniture. "Anything bulky you bring into the space should always be multifunctional," said Stephanie Hayman, chief product officer at Dormify, a dorm decorating blog and retailer. One of the easiest multiuse pieces is an ottoman, which can serve as storage, seating, a coffee table or a minidesk.

Clean first: One of the best ways to avoid getting sick from living in close quarters is to keep yourself and your space clean. "When you first arrive, make sure you clean the floor, under the mattress and in the sink if you have one," said Robin Wilson, an interior designer who focuses on eco-friendly cleanliness. Carry hand sanitizer, wash your sheets twice a month and keep disinfecting wipes in your room.

Rearrange your furniture: After cleaning your new room, consider its layout. "It's easier to move the furniture around before you have all of your clothes, books, pillows and such in there," said Liz Gray, a senior editor at HGTV.com. A few space-making options Gray suggests are lofting your bed, moving your dresser into the closet and putting your desk back-to-back with your roommate's.

Transform vertical space into storage space: Another tip for saving space from Dormify: "Your front door, closet doors and bathroom door can all become storage spaces with over-the-door hooks and shoe racks," Hayman said. You can also use adhesive hooks along your walls to hang coats, scarves, purses and other small accessories. Less clutter equals more room to hang out with new friends.

Buy small necessities in bulk: Most campuses don't allow freshmen to have a car on campus, which makes it difficult to shop anywhere other than dining halls and expensive university bookstores. Before Mom and Dad head back home, consider stopping at a bulk discount retailer to stock up on items you know you'll be using all semester, including snacks, pens and toiletries.

Decide what you want to share: Lynch says the most common conflicts Georgetown sees in its residence halls occur when roommates don't communicate. Think about whether you are okay with your roommate eating your snacks, using your cosmetic products or borrowing your clothes. Do you want him or her to ask first? Whatever your preference, make it clear.

Beware the bathroom: You already know to wear shower shoes into those dreaded communal bathrooms, but have you thought about protecting your toothbrush? "It's easy for someone next to you to splash dirty water on your toothbrush while they wash their face," Wilson said. Try clip-on toothbrush sanitizers, which usually come in a two-pack, for easy germ avoidance. Remember to wash out your shower caddy often, too.

Comments
5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

1 Blast Friday: This block party in downtown Clearwater brings a free show by the Romantics, right, the power pop new wave band that brought us What I Like About You and Talking in Your Sleep. There’s also a family-friendly food and craft vendor fest...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tickets on sale this week: Smashing Pumpkins, Katt Williams, Alan Jackson, Eddie Money, Coheed and Cambria

Tickets on sale this week: Smashing Pumpkins, Katt Williams, Alan Jackson, Eddie Money, Coheed and Cambria

Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:• Smashing Pumpkins, 7 p.m. July 25 at Amalie Arena, Tampa, $29-$125, on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the box office, 401 Channelside Drive (walk-up only), and via Ticketmaster at Ticketmaster.com, o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Shopping factors range from super cool to super cute this week

Shopping factors range from super cool to super cute this week

COOL FACTOR: TANK ART SHOWHow cool would it be to ride around on an original piece of art? Motorcycle tank art is a genre unto itself, and having one that an artist has embellished should up the cool factor on any bike. The folks at Grayspeed Cycles ...
Published: 02/15/18
5 things to do under $5: Apple's Steve Wozniak, mini golf in the library, Clearwater street parties

5 things to do under $5: Apple's Steve Wozniak, mini golf in the library, Clearwater street parties

1 Steve Wozniak: The Apple co-founder, above, will give a free talk on Tuesday, Feb. 20 as part of USF Muma College of Business’ new Thought Leader series. The college’s dean will conduct a discussion about everything from the need for en...
Published: 02/14/18
Tickets on sale this week: Styx with Joan Jett, Country Megaticket, Cedric the Entertainer, Rays home games

Tickets on sale this week: Styx with Joan Jett, Country Megaticket, Cedric the Entertainer, Rays home games

Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:• Country Mega Ticket, various dates and times at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, $159-$799, on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the box office, 4802 U.S. 301 N, or by calling (813) 740-...
Published: 02/12/18
Updated: 02/14/18
Florida Holocaust Museum’s Eichmann exhibit recounts daring capture, riveting trial of Nazi officer

Florida Holocaust Museum’s Eichmann exhibit recounts daring capture, riveting trial of Nazi officer

In May 1960, the young nation of Israel appeared to be sending a delegation to Argentina to join the country’s 150th anniversary celebration. But the plan instead was to smuggle agents into the country to carry out one of the most daring espionage op...
Published: 02/08/18
Red hot Valentine’s Day gift and date ideas

Red hot Valentine’s Day gift and date ideas

With Valentine's Day happening next Wednesday, you actually have plenty of time to come up with a romantic gesture for your boo. Here are a few suggestions to help set hearts aflutter.Flowers: The traditional gift might seem to lack creativity, but n...
Published: 02/08/18
5 things to do under $5: Rays Fan Fest, Mardi Gras parade

5 things to do under $5: Rays Fan Fest, Mardi Gras parade

1Rays Fan Fest: The free day of play in Tropicana Field returns to rev up fans for baseball season with Tampa Bay Rays players and coaches on hand. This year’s free activities include clubhouse tours, arcade games and a food tasting. Kids can run the...
Published: 02/07/18
5 things to do under $5: St. Pete Beach Seafood and Music Festival, high-fashion history

5 things to do under $5: St. Pete Beach Seafood and Music Festival, high-fashion history

1 St. Pete Beach Seafood and Music Festival: This new event promises local seafood along with vegetarian options, a marketplace and music by Act 3, the Black Honkeys, Greg Billings Band, Twinkle and Rock Soul Radio. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday alo...
Updated one month ago
Plan your weekend Feb. 2-4: Monster Jam returns, Mo'Nique, Coin, giant light sculpture at Glazer Museum

Plan your weekend Feb. 2-4: Monster Jam returns, Mo'Nique, Coin, giant light sculpture at Glazer Museum

Take the kids Monster Jam: Just when lesser cars thought it was safe, Monster Jam returns to Raymond James Stadium to run the specially built track a second time. Come early to tailgate and get pictures with the trucks and drivers in the Party in th...
Updated one month ago