When it comes to collecting dorm decor – I basically become a five-year-old boy given a box of Legos and told to construct his dream mansion. Will my single be that perfect crossover of “yoga loving, beach hippie meets bearded, urban hipster”? Yes. And will I go overboard in buying things to make that happen? Most definitely.
If you’re on a roll like me (and the Pottery Barn magazines are slowly accumulating on your desk), you may be semi-wondering how everything is going to get from your house to your campus… Well fear not! Here are some tips to make the transportation process a whole lot easier.
Consider buying things there
Sounds borderline hypocritical after my intro…
…but there really are so many items that a) don’t fit well into suitcases, and b) can be found at just about every popular retail store. (If you have to board a plane to reach your school, you’ll find that your options are far more limited). As is, there’s a 99% chance that you will find yourself making some variation of the “Target run” come move in day. We teenagers forget things; it happens. Consider using those nearby department stores to your advantage and not only finding whatever miscellaneous items you’ve left behind, but also the bigger, space-taking must-haves: comforters, towels, pillows, shower caddis, waste bins, desk lamps…
Be smart with your luggage
The stereotypical question is “How much luggage is too much luggage?” Because you don’t want to end up wishing you’d packed more, but you also don’t want to be that one kid struggling up the stairs whilst looking ridiculously spoiled based on the amount of utterly unnecessary junk trailing behind you. No matter how many bags you find yourself needing (it really is contingent upon your situation), make sure that they’re mainly holding “personals,” or the kinds of things you have to take with you because you won’t find them wherever you’re going. Then stuff as much into those suckers as you can. Leave no pocket unexplored. No zipper unstrained. (Whilst keeping in mind that your room won’t be that big, and you’re going to have to put all that stuff somewhere.)
Break in your new address
By now, you should have received information (maybe from your housing department) about what your new mailing address is. It’s time to start using it! For the less travel-friendly furniture pieces, it may be better to directly send them to your campus (you get 6 months of free Amazon Prime as a student). NOTE: most schools only let you ship items after a certain date!
It can be a huge advantage for many reasons to know someone living near by. For one, they can hold on to your packages for you. If it’s all right with them, it can also help to use their house as a type of base camp when arriving early and going last minute shopping.
Look for student programs
Several different stores have programs set up geared towards college students. With Target, you can start a college registry that comes with a series of perks, including a 15% discount.
At Bed Bath and Beyond, they have the glorious “Pack and Hold.” Essentially, you order things online or go to a nearby store and scan items (like how they do in all of those wedding movies). You then designate which Bed Bath and Beyond will be closest to your school. Once you move there, they will have all of the items waiting for you in nice, convenient boxes. It becomes a simple grab and go.
Ask around about on campus green sales
At a lot of schools, there will be a kind of dorm room garage sale during the opening weeks of class. Often, the college essentials that you want (mini-fridges, laundry baskets, microwaves, lamps, televisions, etc.) can be bought in slightly used condition from prior freshman.
Photo by Eli Burakian