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What Do I Need For My Dorm?

You've walked across the stage and received your high school diploma. What an accomplishment! Now, the reality of going away to college is becoming more real. You may be questioning whether you have everything you need to make sure you are set and ready to live away from home for the first time.

College is expensive considering tuition, room and board, meal plans and other fees. If you will be living off campus, here are a few tips to help you save by figuring out what you need for your dorm.

Residence Life

Many colleges have a list of suggested items to bring for your residence hall dorm room. Visit your school's website or contact the residence life department to be clear on what you can and can not bring.

You may have gotten a list at orientation, but be sure to ask what's allowed and what's not. Some colleges will allow you to bring a microwave and refrigerator and other electronics, others may not. Your t.v. may be neatly mounted on your wall at home, and you want to mount your t.v. in your dorm; most places don't allow it. I heard a story once of a dad that installed a t.v. mount in his son's dorm room, hit a pipe and caused flooding. Go figure! Perhaps, this is why that particular school says no. If you want to put up curtains and change out the blinds; will the school allow it or do they prefer you not cover the windows? Whatever the circumstance, make sure you know before you go; it could save you time and money.

I know you may be a little timid and really don't want to reach out to your soon to be roommate, but this would be a great idea especially since you will be living with this person over the next year or so! Did you know that you can save a lot of money by sharing items with your roommate? Contact them and begin a conversation to find out what they are bringing. If a microwave and/or refrigerator is allowed, perhaps you can bring one thing, and they can bring the other. You bring the paper towels, they bring the toilet paper (if you have a private bath in your room). Do you both really need a t.v., or can you work it out that only one of you bring it? This not only saves money, but also saves space since your room may be small.

If you are going to a college that's far away from your home, you could take advantage of online ordering. This could prove helpful if you are traveling by plane, bus or have limited space in your car as you trek across the U.S. You could order and pick up your package once you're there or have it delivered to the campus.

Amazon Prime can be your friend. Pick and pay for what you want online and have it shipped within 1 to 2 days. Also, stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Target and Anna's Linen have a suggested lists of dorm room items that are already packaged. Of course they will want you to purchase everything on their list, which is not necessary unless you have a lot of money to blow. Whatever list you use, be sure to go through it thoroughly and only get what you need. Remember, you most likely will have to move a lot of things out of your dorm at the end of each semester.

Do your research, know before you go!

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