You’ve dreamed about this day since your little one was born, yet you can’t quite figure out how it got here so fast. Ready or not—your baby is now a college freshman.
The whirlwind of campus tours and crossed fingers has been replaced by the need to get everything purchased and packed before the semester starts. You have better things to do than spend your entire summer shopping, so start with a concise dorm room checklist of items that are able to do double duty: take up as little space as possible and make your student feel at home. You’ll also need a game plan, complete with shopping tips for getting through the final drop off. Don’t forget the tissues, or these first semester tips:
Save Your Sanity (and Your Back)
It’s a good idea to score a campus P.O. Box before move-in day—that way, you can order items and ship them directly to campus, saving yourself precious trunk space (think mega-sized shampoo bottles, detergent, extra notebooks, and winter boots). Don’t order anything your student will absolutely need the first day, just in case. Those items should be purchased in-person.
For hauling everything you don’t ship, add a collapsible hand truck to your dorm room checklist. It’ll help get the gear from car to dorm and back again ’til your college freshman completes senior year. Nab a super lightweight Collapsible Handi-Truck by Global Hardlines, and your student can concentrate on using their brain instead of their brawn.
It’s all About the Bed
Freshmen rarely (read: never) score their own dorm room, so their bed has got to do quadruple duty and not only be a comfy home-away-from-home, but also show off their personality. Don’t even think about using old twin sheets: they won’t fit, since dorm room beds are extra-long. Another no-no is shopping around crazily for separate bedroom items. Go for a great-looking set like the Dorm Room in a Box 10 Piece Comforter Set and you’ll get a reversible comforter, sheets, towels, a mattress pad, a laundry sack, and a pillow sham. Done.
They may only use it to heat up pizza and microwave popcorn, but even if it never cooks a vegetable, a small microwave oven is a dorm room checklist essential. The Avanti MO8004MST Microwave Oven is not only compact, it also has a mirrored front, so your freshman can effortlessly prep for the infinite stream of selfies you’ll be checking out all year on their Instagram.
Hitting the Books (and Keys)
If the cost of college wasn’t enough to give you sticker shock, wait until you price out textbooks. College bookstores are a great place to get adorable sweatshirts, but clue your college freshman into what every senior already knows—whether you rent or buy new or used, getting the goods at Barnes & Noble Textbooks is way more affordable. Shipping is free, they have a great buy-back program, and they supply a no-excuses label for returning rentals after the term is finally over.
Lastly, don’t forget a new laptop! Nab a lightweight Lenovo Yoga, and your freshman will be on their way to straight A’s.