Back to school means back to the dorm for a lot of students. Or, if you’re just starting out in University or College, it could mean your first experience away from home and living in a dorm.

When I first went off to University, I was pretty surprised at what I didn’t know about living away from home. You know all of those ‘little things’ you get used to having in your kitchen? You have to, for the most part, live without them or stock them yourself. And because dorm rooms are shared and you don’t generally have a kitchen right in your suite of rooms, you have to really pick and choose from all of the kitchen essentials you’re used to having.

If you’re squeezed on space and aren’t quite sure what you’ll really miss from your kitchen at home, here are my top 5 picks for kitchen appliances you need to take to your dorm.

 

Coffee to go

I can’t quite believe it, but I managed my first two years of University without ever drinking a cup of coffee. When I finally got bit by the java bug, I was excited to buy a small coffee maker for my dorm room. Unfortunately it was so small that it barely made enough to wake me up in the morning, and it definitely wasn’t up to long study sessions unless I wanted to head back to the pot over and over again. If I would have replaced it with a bigger coffee maker, I would have just tossed half the coffee I made or been forced to drink it stale.

Thankfully students these days don’t have to worry about wasting coffee or not having enough to get through the day, because there are single serve brewers like the Keurig Single Serve Coffee Maker. Armed with a box of pods, you’ll have a steady stream of fresh coffee heading your way all day long.

Late night grilled cheese anyone?

The cafeteria is closed, everyone is up late studying, and you’re craving one of your mom’s grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s a little difficult to get mom to your dorm room at midnight but you can definitely replicate the grilled cheese if you have a toaster oven like the Cuisinart CounterPro Convection Toaster Oven Broiler. It has a warming function for those quick dinners from a can and a convection bake for toasted sandwiches or a small tray of cookies.

 

Quick, healthy breakfasts

People always comment on how busy I must be now that I have 4 kids, but I’ve never been busier than I was in my last year of University. With 5 courses and 2 labs, I didn’t have time to breathe let alone eat, so I spent a lot of time drinking smoothies I made in my blender. If I could go back and choose a blender now, I’d bring along the Breville BBL605XL Blender. It can crush up ice, fruit, and everything in between, and the 1.5-liter jug can hold two day or three days worth of smoothies.

Anything goes when you have an electric skillet

I didn’t have one when I lived in the dorm, but if I could do it all over again I’d bring an electric skillet along for the ride. A skillet like the Oster Removable Pan Electric Skillet is like having a portable stove, and you can prepare anything from mac and cheese to stir-fry all in one pot. It definitely will save you on trips to the cafeteria.

 

 

Tea for all that ails you

I love coffee, but when you’re feeling under the weather or you need to warm up, there’s nothing like a hot cup of tea. That’s why I love the Cuisinart Programmable Tea Steeper. You can preset the water temperature for different types of tea and use the tea infuser to steep tea leaves, so if you’re a tea lover you definitely need to bring one of these along to your dorm room.

Want to make your dorm room feel like your home away from home? Just bring along the right kitchen gear and you’ll be set for those long study sessions and weekends away from home.