For the graduating class of 2018 college is fast approaching!  With less than five months until donning a cap and gown and receiving a diploma, it might be a good time to start preparing for what will happen after graduation. Moving out on your own is a big deal. With a lot to accomplish and a small time frame to make it all happen, it’s better to prepare ahead. To help get you started, here’s a list of five must have items you might not think of to use in your dorm room or apartment post-graduation:

1. Velvet hangers
Velvet hangers are proof that the smallest things can make the biggest difference. Their unique design allows hangers to lay flat against one another, helping to save space—a must have for cramped closets in dorm rooms and apartments.  Velvet hangers are also non-slip so you won't have to worry about your clothing falling onto the floor. They’ll help keep your closet space neat and organized and give your wardrobe a high end feel. Stop hoarding the plastic hangers that you get from Kohls and Target, invest in some mature and sophisticated velvet hangers.

 2.  Family Photos
Because believe it or not, you are going to miss your family.  It’s nice to have something to look at when you are feeling lonely and feeling nostalgic.  And given the right frames, it can also give a antique and homey feeling.  Even though your family is only a phone call away, it’s nice to see their faces when you can’t always get home to visit.  Photos are a nice personal touch to any dorm room to make it your own, and show personality that a simple lamp decoration just doesn’t bring to the room.  Also they are great icebreakers for any roomate.

3.    Command hooks
Although every college dorm and apartment has rules specific to their campus, the majority of student housing facilities don’t allow you to make any holes in the walls. This can be a serious problem when trying to hang decorations to personalize your space. Command hooks are a simple solution and allow you to hang pictures and wall decorations that weigh up to 7.5 pounds.  Whether your creating a photo wall that contains snapshots of your favorite memories, or a framed copy of your diploma, command hooks will get the job done and keep your R.A. happy.

4.    Power strip
Electronics are extremely important to any college student. Charging them might be a hassle in a dorm room though, especially one that only contains one outlet. Rather than playing “rock paper scissors” with your roommate to decide who gets to plug in their phone, invest in a power strip.  Extra long charging cables and extension cords are also a must-have incase the nearest outlet is on the opposite side of the room from you.  Make sure to check with your student housing facility before purchasing a power strip though because some campuses have rules against them.  

5.    Foam Mattress pad
Dorm furniture in general is basic and not designed to provide very much comfort. The chairs are hard, the couches are stiff and the mattresses are as stiff as a board. Unless you like losing sleep because your bed feels like a brick, investing in a foam mattress pad might be a good idea.  Sleep is hard to come by for most college students. Demanding  class schedules, work, and social events often make it impossible to get eight hours of sleep each night.  Each minute of sleep is valuable to tired students so get a foam mattress pad to take to college with you and you'll sleep like a baby.