1. Do not buy anything “for the room” until you have physically been inside the room and know exactly how it’s situated. I’m talking about curtains, loft systems, anything that fits “over the door” and anything that is going to sit on the floor. A loft system is a great idea and there are good ones out there, but remember, you haven’t seen your room. Your bed may already be lofted. Usually, you do not need to buy your own curtains for privacy, there will be blinds. Anything that sits on the floor—hampers, 3 drawer chests, bookcases—until you know what kind of space you have, hold off. There is shopping near your new school just as there is shopping at home.
2. Once you know your space, use your vertical space as much as possible, especially near your desk. 3M Command Strips and their whole storage line will help keep things up and off your desk. Their hooks will be great for towels, robes, purse, keys.
3. If you are buying a trunk or footlocker, make sure it has wheels. These items are very bulky to move and without this added function are practically impossible to move, fully loaded, by yourself. Footlockers are great because once unpacked, they usually clear the bed height and can be stored underneath. They can then help to store extra things that you don’t need to have out at your fingertips.
4. If you are moving far away from home, check with your school’s shipping policy. Will they accept delivery of boxes before school is in session? Can you ship your bedding etc. in advance?
5. You will need to know if your bed will be a regular twin or an XL twin and you will need to check the sheet packages carefully before you purchase them. Buy for comfort—get the softest sheets you can afford. If you have favorites at home and they fit, take them! There’s no substitute for “your” bed. One thing to splurge on, but if space is an issue, wait until you get there—Buy a nice mattress topper, whether it is a tempurpedic or a simpler variety, it will add comfort and coziness to a college mattress. You are going to want your bedding and your towels and toiletries asap, whether you bring them yourself or ship them in advance.
6. It is important to check with roommates regarding big items—who has the TV? Do you need to buy a microwave or a fridge? Does the school lease these items? Leasing for the semester is a great way to go because then the item does not have to be stored at the end of the school year. Room arrangements and roommates change from year to year so it’s nice not to have doubles of everything. If roommates agree to lease, then they can split the cost as well.
So don’t worry about having everything before you even get there. Leave room to find out what you really want and really need. Bring the items that you normally use during the course of the day and don’t worry too much about the stuff you “might” need. There’s the bookstore on campus and chances are there is shopping nearby and there is always shopping on-line if the big chain store is too far out of the way.
Relax and enjoy getting ready. Shopping is fun but it’s not fun to try and figure out how to pack it all up on moving day. Shop within your means and bring less than you think you need. Other things can be shopped for and shipped from home as needed. Enjoy your move-in day, the rest will come.