Shopping for your dorm room can be exciting and feel like another holiday with all of the new gadgets and goodies you get to buy. But shopping for your dorm room can also be a nightmare. With only two and a half months left to shop, here are some tips to help avoid the meltdown at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
1. Set a shared budget.
Let’s face it, dorm shopping gets expensive fast. Talk with your parents and decide on a budget that you are all comfortable with for using on your dorm shopping sprees. Also, don’t expect your parents to pay for everything. Instead, purchase some of your dorm necessities with your graduation money and gift cards. Most importantly, use coupons! Nothing is sweeter than coupons that take full price items and turn them into 20 percent off purchases.
2. Think of a color scheme.
Think of some colors you wouldn’t mind looking at daily for nine months. Once you decide on a color palette, base your bedding, towels and accent pieces around it. Not only will you have coordinating colors, but you will be able to tell your towels apart from your roommate’s towels. Feel stuck on a color scheme? Go with neutral colors and add a few pieces with brighter colors later.
3. Look for sales.
Don’t shop for your dorm room all at once. Individual items tend to go on sale at different times throughout the summer. Back-to-school and dorm shopping sales begin after the Fourth of July and continue throughout August. Many dorm items will start to be marked way down in August right before move-in day. Most importantly, if you find a great deal, take advantage of it.
4. Purchase 2-in-1 products.
Dorm rooms are small and space is limited. Save space by investing in products that have multiple uses. Look for laundry hampers that double as a laundry basket with one simple turn to its side. Also, some shower caddies have removable middle sections that hold your daily necessities and don’t require you to lug a 10-pound basket to the bathroom every time.
5. Shop at multiple stores.
You don’t need to purchase everything on your list at one store. Shop around and look for the best deals. Be sure to look online and compare different stores’ prices.
6. Don’t shop all at once.
No one wants to get a massive headache from rushing to buy everything on their move-in list in one day. Shopping for college can be quite enjoyable so be sure to space out your trips to the store and take your time. Also, buying everything at once will cause your total bill to be an outstanding number. You have a few months to prepare, save up and stock up on coupons for multiple shopping hauls.
7. Talk to your roommate.
Communication with your roommate is crucial. Be sure to avoid buying two refrigerators by talking to your new roomie. Discuss possible color schemes for the room and decide on who will bring the microwave or coffee maker. Find a happy medium where both of you feel comfortable with what will be in your room.
8. Start with practicality.
Just because you believe that bungee chair is the must-have item of choice doesn’t mean it is going to fit in your room. Be sure to purchase all of the essential items first. If there happens to be extra space in your room, then purchase the chair and other decorations you wanted. You can always go back to the store after settling into your room.
9. Do your research.
Take the extra 15 minutes and read reviews, ratings and school requirements online before you purchase an item. Just because you love the pattern of the comforter doesn’t mean it’s going to fit your bed. Also, look up appliances on multiple websites before making the purchase. You will be able to find the store with the best deal and find a microwave that won’t spontaneously burst into flames from your late night ramen.
10. Include your parents.
Even though shopping for college is the first step to becoming an independent adult, ask your parents for help. They’ve been in the same position as you before and most likely know what works for dorms. Also, they will be able to give advice on those difficult decisions about which color shower caddy to get and which sheet count is best. Plus, shopping for your dorm room will be one of the last bonding moments you’ll have with your parents before leaving.
Lead Image Credit: Blackie and Blondie Productions and Warner Bros. Production