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You’ll find lots of websites and lots of stores who will give you shopping lists with LOTS of things they tell you your child will need for their freshman dorm. They’ll encourage you to buy FAR more than they actually need or will ever use. For example, you’ll see most lists recommending two sets of extra long sheets. Think about your kiddo for a moment. If they will ever wash their sheets (we can only hope), they are going to take them off, wash them, and put them right back on. Don’t waste your money on two sets. Download the list here.
Avoid colors that have to be washed separately if you don’t think your student will take the time to do so. Those black sheets and towels might really look awesome, but when they throw them in with their regular laundry and everything comes out gray, well, you get the picture.
Avoid lightly colored comforters. Your child’s bed becomes their place to do everything. Forget the desk in their room, they will do their homework sitting up in bed. Their friends will stop by and sit on the bed. They will eat in their bed. Lightly colored bedding will become soiled and stained very quickly. At a minimum, it should be easily washable, but I recommend avoiding light colors altogether.
Buy a full-sized comforter instead of a twin. Don’t worry about it being marked extra long, just the sheets need to be. A full-sized comforter will hang over the sides of the bed and block the mess underneath. Also, the off-campus apartments likely use full-sized beds and this will save you having to buy a new comforter when they make the move off-campus.
Make sure you check what the school provides. Often times now, they provide a refrigerator and microwave so there is no need to bring your own. I also recommend waiting until they have their assigned roommates and/or suite-mates before shopping. Some like to coordinate colors PLUS, there are many items that do not need to be duplicated or triplicated. This list will point items that can be split up among the kids.
Bottom line, this is an emotional time. Stores know this and they’ll play on your emotions to buy more. More stuff = more love, right? No. Go light on what you buy. With an Amazon Student membership (which I highly recommend as it is 50% off a regular membership) you can send them anything they may have forgotten in two days! Plus, just remember that everything you move up there you have to move back home! Download the list here.