Monday, July 11, 2016

What To Buy Before Leaving for College

Shopping and packing for college is so difficult. You want to get all of the cute things for your dorm, but don't know how to fit all that into your mom's SUV with all of your clothes and half your childhood bedroom. Sound familiar? Well I have realized that people packing to go to college (18 year old me included) make some pretty big mistakes.
Pinterest is full of posts titled "the only college packing list you need" and "what you really need to bring to college." Those posts are well and good, but they're not practical, especially if you're moving far away for school like I did. It is unrealistic to get everything you think you need before you're actually at school. So today I want to give you a little advice about what you should get before leaving for school and what you can wait on buying until you get to school.
// what you should get at home //

While it looks like you still need to get a lot at home, it's important to note that they are some of the smaller dorm items. You should get all your bedding at home so that you can insure you get what you want. Same goes for mattress pads and protectors, with potentially thousands of kids moving in, you never know what Target will be sold out of.  That's also why I have command strips on the list. My Target was completely out when I got to school so it would have been helpful to get them before.

I also included big decorative items. I don't necessarily mean big in size, but big in the sense of it's important for you to have in your room. For example, if you want a gallery wall next to your bed, you should get the prints, pictures, and other items for it at home. Just keep in mind that space in your dorm is limited. Also if you're making anything, like a headboard, it's best to do that at home when you're not rushed.

Getting hangers ahead of time is also a packing/unpacking trick. Put all the clothes you plan to take to school (for that season) on your new hangers, I highly recommend thin line felt hangers, then bundle clothes together using hair ties or rubber bands to keep the hangers together. Then place the clothes in a plastic trash bag and cinch the opening around the tops of the hangers, that way you don't have to worry about your favorite tank top falling out on the walk from the car to your dorm.

The rest of the list are other practical things that again you don't want to end up in need of. Having a small tool kit will help you when setting up your dorm, and is good to have because most people don't have tools at college when they need them. It's also good to put together a first aid kit with band aids, a thermometer, some pain relievers, etc.

// what you should wait on //

A lot of the lists I have seen recommend getting plastic storage bins or drawers, various organizers, and even some extra furniture. However, you likely won't know how much space you really have until you get into your dorm. I packed in suitcases and trash bags (super classy I know) and bought storage items and organizers later on. You don't want to end up with a ton of drawers you don't need because your dorm's already available storage is plenty for you. Or buy a futon before realizing you don't want to loft your bed and there is no place for it to go.

Save the space and wait until you get into your dorm to decide what is really necessary for you and your dorm. Everyone is different so those college packing lists (and even this list) may not apply to you. Don't let Pinterest convince you that if you don't have exactly what is on those lists, your dorm won't be absolutely perfect.

Is there anything I left out of either list? Did you bring things you ended up not needing to college?

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