Dorm hacks, tricks, tips for better college living

I returned from winter break to discover that my roommate had turned our Binford dorm into a physics lab using a scientific laser, a pillowcase, sunglasses and a binocular lens.

I have no need to conduct laser experiments in my room, but I do appreciate having resourceful solutions to the problems of dorm life.  To this end, I reached out to the Guilford community and uncovered some practical dorm hacks for living, studying and eating well in your dorm.

If you have an adjustable bed — like the ones in Milner ­— you can raise it to the top of the frame and swing a hammock underneath, forming an informal bunk bed. Hang blankets around the bed to complete the feel of a schooner captain’s cabin. Zack Wolfe, First-year

If you live in Binford, you know the joys of the massive storage cabinets above the closet. But did you know that, with few blankets these can become sound-proof study areas?  Just climb up there and hide away. Tyler Kossover, First-year

Not many people enjoy that lovely blue glow you get from fluorescent lights. To improve the quality of light, hang silks or other light cloth over them. Olivia Chalkley, First-year

A few uses for those piles of old papers — stuff them into wet shoes to dry them out, use old newspapers to clean windows, or fold colorful, one sided handouts around letters like gift wrap for a quick envelope. Naomi Madaras, Sophomore

Try using a hanging shoe organizer keep tools, school supplies and other things orderly and out of the way. Molly McCarriston Stoltzfus, First-year

If you like milk in your tea/coffee, but don’t have a refrigerator, pick up a few single serve plastic creamers next time the Caf has a free coffee table out. They are much better than powdered non-dairy creamer. Abe Kenmore, First-year

Speaking of coffee — have a teakettle, but no coffee maker? Cut the bottom out of a paper cup and invert it over a mug. Then, use a rubber band to attach a coffee filter over the hole. On top of this, add your coffee grounds and pour hot water through. Abe Kenmore, First-year

Don’t have time to cook breakfast in the morning? Combine water or milk with oats, mix in sugar and cinnamon, and let the whole thing steep overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, you have ready-made oatmeal. Katie Fullerton, Sophomore

Alternatively, make Swiss Bircher Muesli — mix equal parts cottage cheese and rolled oats, add frozen fruit or fresh fruit and a little juice and let it sit overnight. Abe Kenmore, First-year

Quick and easy breakfast sandwich: scramble an egg in a saucer, add some cheese, and microwave for one minute. It will be perfectly cooked — just add to a bagel, biscuit or toast. Abe Kenmore, First-year

They may not help you with that physics homework, but hopefully some of these ideas will make life in your dorm a little easier. So what are you waiting for? Start hacking!

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