Many of you have children headed off to/back to college. Now that Bed Bath & Beyond is only online (sniff, sniff – I guess I need to finally throw out all those 20% off coupons we’ve tucked away for years ‘just in case’) and you don’t have the easy ‘order everything you need and pick it all up the day you move your child in’ option, we thought we’d give some other suggestions for back to school ordering. Target and Amazon are of course the easiest choices. If your child doesn’t have a mailbox set up yet then consider looking into whether there is an Amazon Locker in the area where you can have items shipped/stored to be awaiting you upon your arrival. There is usually a Target or Walmart near college campuses but the good stuff can sell out so at a minimum bring your sheets with you!
Now we are NOT talking about making a dorm room like the ones we’ve seen where parents go CRAZY and do built-ins and have their designers come in and take over. Those rooms are NUTS (Google ‘crazy dorm room decorations)! We are talking about taking a basic gray room and making it livable and cozy. We’ve moved 5 kids into colleges, each with a different standard of ‘acceptable dorm decor’, but these were things that everyone needed, or wanted.
And for all items we swear by these sticker labels that go on EVERYTHING and do not come off in the wash, the dishwasher or anywhere! Put your child’s last name on them and stick them on their outerwear, their electronics, their water bottle, their socks – anything and everything!
We have combined our Fab5 into a single Fab10 for this blog :).
- Twin Extra Long Sheets: This is probably the only thing you really MUST arrive with on day one and this size isn’t available just anywhere. I think colleges are the only place in the U.S. that actually have this size mattress. So maybe bring two sets with you in your luggage just to make sure, if nothing else, your child can have something to sleep on the first night as they may be sold out at the Target near campus. These Amazon sheets have almost a half million ratings of over 4.5 and come in lots of color choices!
- Other Bedding: Duvet cover (great striped options), duvet insert, 2 pillows.
- Nice to have a long bolster pillow (I have this on one of our kid’s beds and love it) to go against the wall to make sitting on the bed comfy and to make it look a bit more ‘couch-like’ as this is where friends gather when they come into the room.
- Nice to have an additional throw blanket for when it’s cold or when studying.
- Mattress Topper: Those college mattresses are thin as a pancake. This extra topper makes all the difference for a good night’s sleep.
- Linens: 2 Towels. As they may not be washed as frequently as they are at home, maybe stay away from white…?
- Decor and More:
- Small rug: Nice to make things more cozy and add some cheer to the room. Choose one that can hide dirt!
- Wall Decor: Pictures from home – It’s nice to print out photos of friends and family to put up to make things homey. Artifact Uprising has a great set of 25 square pics for $17 that can be put on a bulletin board or strung on the wall. You can also make them a little photo book to have on hand to show new friends pics from home or to look at when feeling homesick.
- Wall Decor – one easy option is a big flag from the student’s home state as it takes up a lot of room on the wall and can make them feel at ‘home’.
- String Lights. These are still popular with kids in dorm rooms to create a bit of ambiance at a low price point – and these come with clips to attach the photos onto.
- Small desk light – this one has plug and USB ports
- Extension cord with lots of sockets
- Outlet extenders (few plugs in the room and lots of things to plug in!)
- Fan – keep that dorm room air circulating! This one is more high-tech but is loved by many college students!
- Portable Speaker – for impromptu dance parties.
- Space Savers / Closet Organization
- Cleaning & Laundry
- Mini Fridge: Nice to have to keep drinks, food etc. Coordinate with the roommate so you don’t end up with two of them.
- Small toolbox
- Alarm Clock – Sonic Bomb LOUD alarm for those deep sleepers with an 8am class.
- Safe – for money, passport, meds and more!