Last fall, after we had successfully dropped our daughter off for her first year of college I had written a blog about our experience with helpful hints on making move-in day easier.
Afterwards I was asked to add a packing list, so I spent some time gathering my thoughts, ready to compile a huge list of every possible item to pack. I decided however, that it might be more helpful to write about organizing the planning and packing process, since there are already numerous lists available online.
I started browsing the internet and found that there are several sites that are quite informative. You may want to click on a few and see what speaks to you. Each one of them may hold some info that could come in handy. One of those sites is collegesupplylist.com. What I like about this site is that they have lists specifically for dorm rooms or apartments with categories for both boys and girls.
My suggestion with a site such as this is to print out the list that best suits your child’s needs and then highlight the items that would make sense to you. You may find that there are some items unique to your child’s lifestyle/preference that are not on this extensive list, so go ahead and add them.
Armed with this list I would suggest to start your shopping early, avoiding the last-minute rush that may leave you feeling overwhelmed. There will be all sorts of sales in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes open when the Sunday ads arrive.
Once you have purchased most of your necessities it is important to think about how to best store these items. Most dorm rooms are very small, so you will have to be creative with the storage solutions. Remember that visual clutter can make a small room appear even smaller, so containerize as much as possible.
Inquire if you are allowed to use bed risers in your child’s dorm room, they are a great way of adding additional storage under the bed. Special under-bed storage bins are great to keep extra bedding, towels or any other items that are mostly storage and won’t need to be accessed as often.
Next, think about a way to store all smaller items. Small sized plastic storage drawers or bins come in handy for things such as first aid/meds, eye care/ hair supplies, etc. Sort all items into labeled containers that can be put in place on move-in day.
If your son or daughter doesn’t have a lot of hanging clothing you may want to consider adding a shelf organizer for additional “shelves”. There are different sized options available. If you need lots of room for shoes use a shoe organizer, then add a larger unite next to it for sweaters, jeans, t-shirt, etc. This unit from Target combines both into one, which may work nicely if you don’t have a lot of shoes to worry about.
The one thing that I would like to add is to include your child in this process. Have them help think about what they would prefer as storage (give options)…and label as much as you can. They will appreciate this the first time they need a Band-Aid, sunscreen, nail clippers…you get the idea.
I have created a board on Pinterest with different storage options if you would like some additional inspiration.
As always please leave any comments below – I would love to help answer any additional questions you may have.