The Best Thing I Ever Bought for My Dorm Room

published Aug 18, 2015
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Like many colleges, mine had strict rules about what kinds of appliances we could have in our dorm rooms. You could have a mini fridge and a microwave, but toasters, hot plates, and coffee pots with hot plates were forbidden. (Not that we didn’t have a contraband toaster, but that’s a different story.)

So that’s why my sophomore year my roommate and I ended up with a travel mug coffee pot. It fit the guidelines for what was allowed, and it because it was so versatile, it turned out to be the best thing I ever purchased for college living.

What made this small, inexpensive appliance such a good buy? It was surprisingly versatile. Here are just a few of the ways we used it, but I’m sure you could come up with plenty of other ideas.

How We Used Our Travel Mug Coffee Pot

  • Coffee or tea for 8 am classes: Okay, this one is obvious. It’s what the coffeemaker was intended for after all, but it can’t be overlooked since those chemistry lectures were never easy to get to first thing in the morning.
  • Hot water for instant ramen: We didn’t have Emma’s DIY noodle cups, but instant ramen was a lifesaver for late night studying or the days when we missed dinner at the dining hall.
  • Dishwashing aid: We didn’t have an ensuite sink, so doing dishes down the hall was a bit of a pain. That means that we didn’t always tend to our soup bowls or yogurt dishes immediately. (Yes, my do-the-dishes-immediately-self cringes now, but it was college after all.) By running water through the machine we could soak the dishes to make clean-up just a little bit easier.
  • Instant oatmeal: Another staple of our college diet was oatmeal, and making it with our coffeemaker was so much faster than using the microwave, and worrying about it spilling over and making a mess. Plus, we could pre-measure the water and have it brew directly into the oatmeal bowl while we were getting ready for class (or snoozing a bit longer).

In all fairness, you could also use an electric tea kettle for all of these things as well. But in the interest of saving space, I’m a bigger fan of this kind of coffeemaker for a dorm room appliance. Especially because we didn’t have to have a separate French press for coffee, and because we could store the mugs right on the coffeemaker when we weren’t using them. It made a big difference when we had two people living in less than 200 square feet.

Just a small investment, but for us it made a big difference. Do you have a similar appliance story from your dorm room days?