Alright, so it's mid-August. Most of you have probably already started shopping, but I remember that shopping was the last thing I did. That's because I spent most of my time planning! I find planning fun, but if you don't, here's a reason to: YOU WILL SAVE LOTS OF $$$
SAVING MONEY 101
- make a list - Lists are and always will be your friend. Take a look around your bedroom now, make a list of the stuff you know you'll take with you. Then, make a list of the stuff you use now that you'll probably need to buy. There are tons of websites that help with this. My favorite is Collegepackinglist.com because you can sync it with Facebook! Yay! Also be sure to go online and find out what is provided in your dorms. Most colleges include this information and if not, you can always ask someone who has gone there or just search it online. I'm going to assume your college provides a bed&mattress, some clothing storage, desk and community bathroom (private bathrooms are a toootally different issue)
- upcycle/use what you have - Chances are you've lived in your house for ages. You don't even know what's in it! Show your parents your list and ask them if they have some of the stuff on your "buy" list.
- buy cheap - If we're being realistic, you're not going to Nordstrom and such for college stuff. Anyway, it isn't smart to buy high-end things for your room. Your stuff will be wrecked by your friends, the dust, wear and tear and just daily use. Buying cheap stuff is okay because you only need it for 9 months. If you live in the dorm your next year, you can buy all new things. You'll certainly want them. Cheap stores like Target, TJ Maxx, Marshall's and Walmart are you friends.
- never use the phrase "just in case" - If you think "Oh, I'll get this just in case I need it" then leave it. You don't have space for stuff like that and if you do indeed need it later, you can buy it when you're in college. No big deal! Online shopping is so easy when it's safely delivered to your dorm's front desk.
- be creative - do you get sick of decor easily? If you like to change your room around a lot, buy stuff that is convertible. Instead of buying a really bright, loud printed comforter, but a cheap, but warm one like this one from TJ Maxx. Then, you can buy these amazing things called DUVET COVERS from the same place for $30 or less. Hey, it's better than buying & storing multiple comforters. Or, you can take your favorite blankets from home and layer up/switch them out. TIP: don't skimp on your bedding. Bring all the pillows, bedsheets, blankets and mattress pads you need. beds are important in college. especially since they're also your couches/entertainment centers
Now, you're ready to go shopping.
Here are some things I found online of the top things you should and should NOT buy (unless you already have them):
**My dorm also included a microwave and minifridge. If yours doesn't, BUY THEM. Totally crucial.
(1) Tupperware is useless. You'll keep leftovers in the boxes they came in and food you buy in their packages. (2) They look ugly and you really don't need them if you have multiple pillows. Also they're so heavy. (3) These are so difficult to lug down to the laundry room! Just get a bag&hamper that can fit under your bed. (4) TVs take up A LOT of space you probably don't have and are such a burden. Everything's online now anyway! (5) In my experience, nobody sits on these chairs. They just become an extended closet space, which looks really bad. And they're pretty difficult to sit in. (6) Unless you iron all the time at home & love it, you won't have time to iron. Skip the ironing board.
(1) Corkboards might be provided like they were for me, but I like decorating the wall so they were still useful! Just make sure they stay up with strong command strips. These individual ones make your room look more homey. (2) Storage ottomans are cheesy but extra seating + somewhere to put bedding? Not cheesy! (3) Floor mirrors are absolutely necessary. You want to see how you look, don't you? (4) Floor lamps are great because the overhead lighting always sucks. This one has shelves so it can double as a bedside "table" PERFECT! (5) Decorative pillows make you happy. It's a fact. Also, they add comfort and you need that when you watch Netflix on your laptop with your friends. (6) Buy a printer. Don't be the annoying roommate who uses the other person's printer. This one is so inexpensive and you don't need the expensive ink, just get the job done. Simple and you don't have to go to the library late at night to print your papers. (7) Table lamps are definitely necessary because you don't want to keep your roommate up all night with the overhead light. This one has a charger for your iPod + pencil holder. Bonus! (8) BED RISERS are the best $4 you'll ever spend. They make it possible to put your storage boxes, laundry basket, clothes for next season and suitcases under your bed. Just get them.
Of course, I could go on and on. But this is the basic stuff you need to know. And it's almost all from Target, now didn't that work out well?
Happy Shopping and Moving In!