Life in a college dorm is a huge transition for most kids, especially if it is their first time away from home. Make it easier with college essentials, backpacks and more – get everything you need to help your child focus on their studies instead of stressing about the big move. The best way to prepare for dorm life is to be well equipped – the school will provide a checklist of the basics but you can do it one better by shopping online. Most of the major bed and bath stores have websites complete with sections dedicated to college prep; not only will you find comprehensive checklists, you can buy everything you need and have it shipped directly to the dorm.
Every student needs a backpack and even if they had one in high school it’s far more likely they will need a new one which can hold a laptop for college. Bed Bath & Beyond has a comprehensive selection of college backpacks designed for travel and everyday use – the OGIO Newt backpack for a 13-inch or 15-inch computer is just one of many options. Find airline-approved carry-on backpacks, packable travel backs packs, wheeled luggage backpacks, travel bags, luggage and more.
If your child will be sharing a dorm room, it’s a good idea to coordinate with the other roommates to avoid duplication of things like dorm fridges; some kids, especially those in sororities and fraternities, are particular about their dorm décor and may even wish to agree in advance on a color palette or decor theme for the room. By shopping online, it’s easy to compare products and look at choices. Use social media or email to get buy-in from kids and parents and to keep an eye on the budget. Remember that every college dorm has rules about what you may and may not have in a dorm room – hot plates are probably prohibited while single serve coffee makers may be acceptable. If you plan on using any electrical appliances it is best to invest in a power strip with a surge protector – this will help to prolong appliance life.
Bedding is one of the most important dorm essentials – you want to be sure your child gets a good night’s rest. Since most dorms provide the bed and mattress, you need to know that it will not be a conventional twin bed mattress but instead will feature a twin extra long (XL) mattress. This means you will need new sheets, plus you will want to invest in a mattress protector and perhaps a mattress pad or enhancer. Comforters and quilts can be conventional twin size although there are some longer versions on the market. Look for easy care solutions that are machine washable and can be tumble dried; fancy bedding which requires dry cleaning or ironing is not practical.
Whether your child will be living in a fraternity house, college apartment or dorm, sorority house or off campus apartment, you want to make sure that the creature comforts are covered. Space is almost always an issue so planning and preparation is important – there’s not a lot of room for error, especially if the school is not located in a major metropolitan area with plenty of access to stores. Of course, if you shop online you have almost unlimited options and the goods can be delivered directly to the dorm; this is why it is a good idea to have a relationship with a store and website you know and trust. Take a look online now and review the many college checklists so you can get a leg up in your college dorm shopping.