Sharing a small space with multiple people sucks. Maybe I’m being too precious about this, as someone who grew up as an only child and didn’t have to share anything with anyone. But as someone who not only lived in a triple my freshman year, but also had to use a communal bathroom with an entire hall of girls…I had to adapt pretty damn quickly to the ins and outs of maintaining peace of mind while sharing space with total strangers.
A lot of articles about college emphasize offer tips about surviving roommates. That’s definitely important, but I maintain that one of the biggest challenges that I was unprepared for was getting used to the logistics of sharing a bathroom with people I don’t know, showering next to people I don’t know, pooping next to people I don’t know, and doing that every single day for an entire school year. If you’re lucky enough to have your own bathroom or share one with just one or two other people in a comfy little suite, more power to you. But whether you have that luxury or you’re figuring out a way to keep cool while walking from the showers to your dorm room without a wardrobe malfunction, check out these 11 dorm bathroom essentials you can’t live without.
Sure, you could just wrap a towel around you, but let’s be real: those are a pain to hold up on your body, and you don’t want a wardrobe malfunction as you’re walking from the bathroom to your dorm room. Get a robe so you can immediately throw it on after a shower without any fuss.
2. Shower Caddy
This is one of the most important items of your dorm bathroom arsenal. Your caddy is going to hold all of your bathroom essentials, from your shampoo, to your body wash, to your facial cleanser, to your razor, and more. There are a lot of different caddy styles, but your best bet is to avoid the soft flexible ones that might look cuter and go for the bare bones plastic model with plenty of drainage holes. You don’t want water to collect in your caddy…unless you’re into mold and mildew, I guess.
3. High Quality Shower Sandals
Sure, you can get some crummy flip flops for a few bucks, but if you’re going to wear these sandals every day–around your dorm and in the showers–so you’ll want to buy a pair of shower shoes that last. I recently copped a pair of these Crocs brand sandals as house shoes and they’re awesome. They’ll be a great shoe that serves you well as you hobble in and out of the shower, walk around your dorm, etc.
When you’re stuck with communal bathrooms, you have zero privacy in the poop department. Spare your fellow dormers the smell with some Poo-Puri. It’s a spray you use prior to doing your business and it masks the smell like a charm. This is also handy if you’re sharing a bathroom in a private suite as well.
5. A Distinctive Towel
Do you know how many people bought the same towel set from Target or a dorm supplies site? A lot of y’all already have the same bedding, so trust me, this isn’t a stretch. It doesn’t hurt to have a distinctive towel that nobody can mistake as theirs.
6. Over The Door Shower Caddy Set
This over the door caddy set is pretty cool if you have the door real estate to make it work. It also provides a handy place to store your caddy at all times so you’re discouraged from getting lazy and just throwing your caddy on any ol’ surface in your dorm room.
7. Disinfecting Wipes
You’ll learn pretty quickly that your roommates and fellow students are, well, gross. I didn’t realize that adults still don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom until I used the communal bathrooms in my dorm! For peace of mind, you might want to cop some disinfecting wipes or spray for shower, sink fixtures, and countertops.
8. Travel-Size Squeeze Bottles
You might be wondering, “uh, why would I need travel tubes? I’m just going to the bathroom.” But hear me out! Your caddy is going to get really heavy really quickly when you’re lugging a massive bottle of shampoo, conditioner, and bath wash with you every time you go to the bathroom. Just fill up these squeeze tubes instead and lessen your load.
9. Toothbrush Cover
Whether you’re using a traditional toothbrush or an electric one, you’ll want these toothbrush covers. Your toothbrush is going to get a lot of mileage, from your dorm, to the bathrooms, to the showers, all that good stuff. So you probably want to keep it as ick free as possible in case it falls on the gross bathroom floor or your roommate gets her hairspray all over it. Plus, these covers can cover your razors as well!
10. Toilet Paper
Toilet paper availability isn’t always promised, so you should always keep an extra roll of toilet paper on you just in case. Plus, if you’re picky and hate your dorm’s default toilet paper– which will probably be the roughest, cheapest, and most uncomfortable kind–you can treat your bits to something a little softer.
11. The Shower Sidekick
So this is pretty nifty. It’s a portable stand that allows you to rest your foot on a little ledge as you get your shave on. Trust, you’ll definitely be happy you have this in those unforgiving dorm showers.
Are you going to have a communal bathroom situation? Have you already lived through it and have some survival tips to share? Tell us in the comments!