by Andrew Heinzman on
Are regular tripods bending you out of shape? Flexible tripods can inspire you to take photos and videos at impossible heights and angles. They’re a great (and tiny!) addition to any camera bag.
You’ve made the big move and now you’re at college with a new roommate to get to know. Getting along with people in tight quarters can be tough though, so we’ve rounded up some products to make the transition smoother.
Dorm life is a massive adjustment for many. If you’re used to space at home, it can be tough to suddenly be sharing a dorm room with someone that you’ve only just met. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to staying friendly, especially when personal habits cause you to butt heads.
No product is going to magically solve everything but there are some useful things that will reduce friction and fallouts between you and your dorm mate. (Speaking of things that help reduce fallouts, definitely check out our top apps for college roommates, too.)
Here are some of our favorite products for keeping the peace and easing you both through the transition period.
We recommend sleep masks a lot, and for good reason. Sleep hygiene is important for everyone. If you’re regularly disturbed by lights or movements around you, your sleep quality is diminished and you’re liable to feel cranky the next day. We’ve previously covered an extensive array of great sleep masks, but there’s one that stands out above all others—the Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask.
It’s super comfortable thanks to its natural mulberry silk exterior, and that comfort extends to whether you’re a side sleeper or a back sleeper. It has an easy to adjust headband that won’t tangle up with your hair, and there aren’t any velcro straps to worry about either. Plus, it’s a very affordable price so you can buy one for each of your roommates too.
No matter how hard you both try to keep quiet, there are going to be times when you’re (inadvertently) bugging the other person, noise wise. You could always listen to music through some noise cancelling headphones, but sometimes you want complete silence. That’s where a pair of great earplugs come into the equation. The Howard Leight MAX-1 earplugs are ideal. They offer the highest noise reduction rating of any single-use earplugs, with a rating of 33 meaning they’re good for various industrial work, so they’re going to be more than effective in your dorm room.
Additionally, they’re comfortable with the bell shape of the earplugs matching the contours of your inner ear so you won’t feel too uncomfortable.
Available in packs of 200 pairs, you and your dorm mate should be blissfully quiet to each other for a while to come. Want to comparison shop some other great earplugs? We’ve got you covered with our best earplugs roundup.
A white noise machine doesn’t block out irritating noises, but it does cover them with a more soothing sound that makes it easier for you to switch off from your surroundings. For both you and your roomie, such a machine is a useful way of keeping you content rather than irritated by those random noises that occur when you’re sharing a small space together.
We covered the subject in depth earlier this year. Our favorite for this purpose, however, is the Wave Premium Sleep Therapy Sound Machine. It’s small enough to put on your bedstead, and includes a built-in USB charger so you can hook up your phone overnight too.
The machine offers 6 different soothing nature sounds that loop seamlessly with little repetition. The sounds include white noise, a fan, the ocean, rain, a stream, and the sounds of a summer night. A few of those are perfect if you or your roommate are a little home sick too. Finally, an auto off timer means no one will be driven nuts at night by it.
You don’t always want to watch the same shows as your roommate, so neither do you want to hear what they’re watching. The TaoTronics Bluetooth 4.1 Transmitter and Receiver adds Bluetooth to any TV that has a 3.5mm adapter. It can be paired with two Bluetooth receivers (such as headphones and speakers) simultaneously, but the focus here is on keeping things quiet for whoever isn’t watching. Just pair it up with your favorite set of headphones.
The adapter continuously streams even while charging so you never have to worry about any downtime. At other times, you can use it to listen to the same device together, get Bluetooth audio in your car, and even transmit from a record player to a Bluetooth speaker. That’s how versatile it is.
Odds are you and your roommate have fairly limited space to divide between you both. That’s why being organized is key to ensuring you get the most from the space, and minimizing arguments. The mDesign Mail Letter Holder and Key Rack Organizer solves a bunch of issues in one go. It has a basket area for placing mail, with 6 hooks underneath it for adding on your keys.
The convenience doesn’t stop there, with a small dry-erase board (and accompanying marker pen) for writing quick notes or reminders to your roommate. It’s great if you often don’t get to see each other, but you still need to relay some useful bits of information.
It comes with all the hardware for installing it to the wall, but buy some Command strips to attach it so you don’t damage college property.
Sure, the Mail Rack Organizer has a small place to add notes, but to be really organized, you need a full whiteboard calendar to keep on top of what you’re both doing. The Board Dudes Aluminium Framed Magnetic Dry-Erase Calendar is one of the best. It’s a considerable size at 15″ x 20″ so there’s plenty of room to add calendar events, as well as separate notes or to do list items. It comes with one black dry erase marker, as well as two magnets.
If both you and your roommate get into the habit, you can keep each other abreast of what’s going on in each other’s lives, without worrying about forgetting to give a heads up.
No one wants to admit it but it’s easy for unpleasant smells and odors to develop when in close proximity to someone else. Throw in the dust that accumulates through no one’s fault, and things can get a little, well, icky. Buy an air purifier and everything improves. The GermGuardian 3-in-1 Air Purifier is a great solution for small and medium sized rooms, as it has a True HEPA filter that includes a Pet Pure antimicrobial agent. You might not have a pet, but if it’s able to take the edge off the smell of a pet, you and your roommate should be just fine!
The filter also works to inhibit the growth of mold, mildew, and other odor causing bacterias, so the air you breathe is so much nicer than before. 3 fan speeds are available, with the lowest running ultra-quiet. Just make sure you split the bill when it comes to replacing the filter, right?
Image Credit: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock.
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