A little bit about home and leisure

College is just around the corner . . .

College is just around the corner . . .

Free printable College Move-In Checklist (Below)!


Now that you’ve a had a few weeks to breathe following high school graduation festivities, let’s talk college! Can you believe you just finished planning who would get the graduation tickets; how to handle the heat, rain or whatever weather was thrown at you; and then there was the perfect party mix - food, festivities and time that wouldn’t bore your new graduate TO DEATH yet give all of your close family & friends time to celebrate their beloved “Sweet Caroline - who’s all grown up”? And now, I want to talk college?!!!!

I’m sure by now, you’ve walked through dorms and know what to expect, but I must say dorm rooms have surely changed since my freshmen year! With the move-in of our oldest daughter into a brand new dorm facility, I remember thinking “this looks more like my junior dorm room rather than my freshmen dorm!” In fact, one of our boy’s freshmen dorm at Ole Miss resembled more what I experienced . . . Bunk bed rooms with the down-the-hall community bathroom for twenty rooms, you know what I’m saying? We didn’t have “mini-apartments” with private kitchenettes, sitting rooms and bathrooms until we were juniors and seniors. With all that being said . . . DORMS have definitely changed!!!

We’ve moved four students in and out of college dorms, apartments and houses over the course of a few years . . . in fact, I joke we should have a storage room with a revolving door - never seemed like any of ours would stay in the same housing from one year to the next and there was always a two week period between move-out to move-in . . . (back from that distracted stroll down Wildlife Lane) because of our ongoing college parent experience, I created this little downloadable checklist with the common list of things each of ours needed/wanted. If an item is followed by an asterisk, I give more information and detail following the printable.  

(And yes, that cup says "A worried mother does better research than the FBI . . . )

Download my FREE College Move-In Checklist (from the link here) . . .

College Move-In Checklist

Notes from the College Move-In Checklist . . .

Mattress Topper - Think BARE MINIMUM . . . These are not Sleep Number mattresses in your student’s college dorm, these are essential, budget friendly mattresses! Whether your student is of the more disciplined, studious personality or the social butterfly partaking in every sorority & fraternity gathering available, their sleep schedules will be interrupted more times than not; therefore, how well they sleep is of utmost importance. Invest in a mattress topper for their dorm mattress.

Sheet Sets - because sheets may get washed immediately or later when the washer is available (or if they’re like some of our's - when they come home!), it always good to have a back-up set of sheets vs. having to wait until they dry before going to bed.

Duvet/Comforter - IKEA for the win! Recently, I was meandering through Ikea searching for something totally unrelated and stumbled upon their duvet covers. WOW! What a savings . . . When we purchased our Sleep Number bed, I purchased separate covers for my husband and I (he sleeps much hotter than I), so I was already acquainted with their duvets with various warmth levels (thanks to Jennifer over at Dimples and Tangles ), but they also have budget friendly duvet covers! Ikea - Duvet Covers


Towel Sets - Especially if you have two decorative young ladies who spent immense amounts of time dreaming, planning and coordinating their dorm rooms - MONOGRAM! Save the arguments over whose towel is whose!

Bath Mat & Rug / Shower Curtain, etc / Potty Tissue - obviously, these are determined by your type of dorm. Some dorms have private bathrooms . . . If this is the case, be sure to include these in your moving boxes!

Shower Tote/Caddy - If your freshmen dorm is of the “retro” build, include a shower tote/caddy for all your favorite toiletries!

Flip Flops/Shower Shoes - not knowing how clean the showers & floors will be kept, these are a great idea!


Microwave - obviously, this is all dependent on how well accommodated the dorm room is.

Mini-Fridge - not a bad investment even if their dorm has a full size refrigerator . . . a little fridge in their personal space.


TV/Internet Cables - speaking from experience! With the move-in of our oldest, we got to the dorm and realized her television cable wasn’t long enough to reach where she wanted the tv placed - fortunately, there was a nearby Walmart.

Multi-Port USB Charger - these have become our go to, even for travel. There never seems to be enough plugs for all the technology chargers . . . The Container Store, Amazon and others have several multi-port USB plugs. The Container Store - Multi-Port USB plug

Portable Chargers - one for dorm room, one for car, one for backpack/purse . . . small investment for the safety of your child.

Tile - If you haven’t met Tile, let me introduce you . . . (DRUM ROLL, Please!). If you have that child who can’t keep up with their wallet, keys, backpack, etc., you NEED these! This was a stocking stuffer for one of our boys one year - it has been a game changer for him. Best Buy - Tile item tracker


Space-Saving Hangers - slim, non-slip, velvet, space saving slender hanger. The Container Store - Space Saving Hangers

Swinging Arm Pants Hangers - these are great for compact closets. They can be found in multiple stores The Container Store - Swing Arm Pants Hangers

Bunk Bed Organizer - I became a fan of these when our daughter started summer camp, great for keeping little things handy (add a flashlight for power outages) . . . great space saver! The Container Store - Bund Bed Organizer

Bed Risers - If you’re child is blessed with having a regular vs. bunk bed, invest in bed risers for adding under bed storage space.  https://www.containerstore.com/s?source=form&refinements=&q=bed+risers&submit=

Bedside Pockets - not always is there room for a bedside table, so these are great for holding cell phones, tv remote, etc. in hand’s reach. They can be bought in smaller or larger sizes. 

Compact Fridge Cart - this is a Container Store WIN! Remember earlier I mentioned the personal, mini-fridge . . . If you go with the mini-fridge, then grab this cart for additional personal snack storage space!  The Container Store - Compact Fridge Cart


First Aid Kit - everyone needs a first aid kit! I prefer to create my own with our personal brands of choice! Various stores offer the clear, vinyl, zipper bags and then you can purchase individual, one time use medicine packets from pharmacies or Amazon. (I even use these for our travel first aid.) In addition to the usual bandages, alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointment, I include Advil and Pepto Bismol individual dosage packets (and if your child’s university is like where our daughter’s went to school, you may want to find mosquito and gnat repellent!)

Key Ring Light - for those evening classes or when they’re coming in late, just provides a little extra light to quickly see locks (and this one even has a panic fob) Key Ring Light & Alarm. (PLEASE KNOW I am not endorsing this particular product, we haven’t tested it - but I would definitely give it a try!)


Futon/Lounge Seating/Ottoman - a little voice from experience . . . one of our sons, the Ole Miss grad, his first dorm had bunk beds that could be separated, so he and his roommate chose to raise both beds to top bunk height and then place a futon underneath one bed and a desk & storage under the other (before doing this, check with the college’s campus guidelines for raising the beds).  This offered them a personal "living space" for friends to visit and/or sleepover.

Now, on the other hand, one of our daughters started college with enough credits she didn’t have to live in the dorm her first year, so she saved her money to purchase furniture . . . SHOP consignment shops! She was so smart in doing this - unfortunately, a previous roommate didn’t have boundaries for their dog & well . . . accidents happen! Upon graduation, the sofa went to the curb and the city pick-up removed it for her. Not a big investment and didn’t upset her to let it go!

Be smart in your choices!

A few helpful tips . . .

  • Bed, Bath and Beyond . . . Shop Now, Ship Later!   If you're not familiar with this program, here's a condensed explanation - you grab your list, shop online, then select "SHOP NOW, SHIP LATER" in the shipping options.  Then, they will ship your items to the store geographically nearest your student's university . . . So you can go, unpack the big things & then pick-up your BBB shipment.  One less thing to pack and haul!
  • Bed, Bath and Beyond . . . COUPON!  I don't know about you, but I just received my Campus Ready coupon in the mail yesterday!  20% OFF your ENTIRE purchase using the code "MO", expiring 9/30/19.  That's a huge savings when you're furnishing a college dorm room!
  • The Container Store . . . COUPON!  Another 20% OFF COUPON by simply agreeing to receive the coupon via text message.  


All this being said, have fun planning for college with your student . . . This is a special time! Our girls were much more excited about planning and decorating than our boys, but it’s still a special time to invest in them and let them know you care! And be sure to leave a picture on their desk, fridge, or nightstand of you (or your family) with them on a fun day . . . It might be the hug they need when they’re homesick, the encouragement they need on exam day or just the extra nudge to keep persisting.

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