Here are some of the tips we have learned, found and stumbled up with a family member going to live in a dorm at college (and now having an apartment in student housing). If you have tips I should add let me know.
- Command brand hooks are worth the money since our dorm had cement and brick walls. Otherwise, duck tape is needed to hang up photos, etc.
- Start looking for class text books at the beginning of August (assuming school starts near the end of the month) since used books sell out FAST. We compare the price of the book between the school bookstore and other online sites before we buy one.
- Determine if there is a college card (wolf card in our case) that money can be loaded onto. By using it our student does not pay for taxes in the bookstore, etc.
- Picking a meal plan: Check to see when the cafe is open versus the class schedule to help determine how many swipes to buy. For example our student didn’t eat breakfast in the cafe since she had classes when they were open. Instead she bought the plan that allowed less swipes for the cafe and more Food bucks that could be used at other locations around the campus.
- Regular twin jersey sheets will fit the dorm (x long) mattress.
- A backpack style laundry bag comes in handy.
- A mini refrigerator comes in handy for snacks, small milk, etc for when the cafe is closed.
- Pack an Emergency Kit (either your student or one of their roommates will need these): ear plugs, adhesive bandages, pain killer, anti-itch cream
- Plan on bring at least one power strip for computer, alarm clock, etc.
- If the dorm doesn’t have air conditioning plan on buying a small fan.
- Pack a set of utensils, a bowl, a plate, a cup so snacks can be heated up in the microwave (and a small container of dish washing detergent).
- Mail: We found out that our school did not deliver the US mail to the dorms – if the student wanted they could rent a PO Box per semester. Otherwise, packages could be sent via FedEx, etc.
- Plan on buying a ‘bug proof’ mattress cover and pillow cover.
- Contact the housing department to find out if there is a way to lock up electronics. If not, look for a lockable trunk, etc. Our student is using the metal foot locker I was given in high school since it is big enough that someone would notice them carrying it out of her room and she could add a padlock.
- A set of tools is a great present. Your student or roommates will be happy for a screwdriver, etc to put together furniture, etc.
- If you need to take your own bed, we found this great bed frame (which comes in many different sizes) that we got from Walmart.com (100% our opinion and no compensation was received for saying this) which allowed us to only take a mattress up: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Spa-Sensations-Steel-Smart-Base-Bed-Frame-Black-Multiple-Sizes/15739163