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college items

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Grown Up Shopping List

It’s a part of growing up…suddenly realizing you need those things that you didn’t think about till you were preparing to head off to college: pricy necessities that you realize that mom or dad provided for you up until this point. But how do you know what to buy? And when to buy it? And where to find a good price? That’s what you’ll learn in today’s blog: how to make a grown up shopping list for those certain items you’ll need when you’re living on your own:

Source: pexels.com

Source: pexels.com

Luggage: While many of you can still borrow this from your parents or friends, it’s really nice to have your own pieces that you can take on short trips (especially if you plan to come back and forth on the weekends). We love a weekender bag like the one from Sole Society, that’s very chic but also roomy enough for a 2-3 day trip. It’s under $100 and you can find it HERE. If you need your own rolling suitcase, consider investing in a nice one from Nordstrom or Macy’s, where they often have coupons and online sales. We like this one from Macy’s, that is more of an investment, but it’s high quality

Iron: You can definitely get by in college without an iron of your own (we recommend having a mini or portable steamer), but having a good one is truly an investment you’ll use for years to come. Especially with the many occasions that come up in college or life on your own to wear professional clothes, such as scholarship interviews, job interviews, or work in a professional environment, you definitely want the chance to have clean and pressed clothing. This one from Black and Decker is awesome

Sheets: You can go A LOT of years with sheets with low thread count, but we bet that when you try some higher end ones, you will never go back! You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get ones with higher thread count and organic or Egyptian cotton, and you’ll be much more cozy than the $10 ones from Walmart. We really love the Hemstitch collection from Target, and they start at just $70 for a full size set. Most dorm beds are twin sized but if you’re lucky enough to have an apartment with a full, they are your best value. If you have an XL Twin in a standard dorm room, you can also try these awesome sheets from Bed, Bath and Beyond for under $30

Cooler: Another thing that you may not realize you need, but that’s super useful and something you will reach for often! You will be able to take a cooler camping, on trips, and even for days at the lake, for years to come. A smaller version will be just fine until you have a family of your own, and you want one that can easily fit in the trunk. Of course, the Yeti brand coolers are the very best, but they’ll set you back about $150 for a personal sized one. The Igloo brand is just as durable, although it won’t keep your food cold for days and days, and it is just under $30 at Dick’s Sporting Goods. 

A lock box or safe: A mini or portable box is a great idea, even just to have a fire-safe place for valuables. As you enter adulthood, you will start to have important papers accumulate, like licenses, passports, applications, etc, that you will need a place to store. Look for a fireproof box or safe, with a lock or electronic code. It is best to have one that attaches directly to the floor in a closet or under a bed, so no one can run off with it, but that is tricky in a dorm room. If you can, see if you can store your most valuable possessions at a family member’s home, and keep other replaceable valuables in your personal safe or lock box. 

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Ten Things for Your New Dorm Room!

What do you really need for college? Well, I'm sure there are about a million different opinions and options, but we have put together a simple list of ten practical and affordable items for your new home. This is the perfect start as you begin to shop (because we all want to save a little when paying for things like college!), and gives you time to hunt thrift stores and places like eBay.

1) Bed Risers: These simple plastic items will allow you to settle your twin bed above the floor and give you extra space and storage underneath. Make sure your bed is secure on them before sleeping on it, and have a friend or family member help you lift!

2) Laundry hampers: Small and lightweight collapsible hampers will make your laundry days easier and simpler. Plus, a hamper that folds up will take up less space in your dorm room, and you can even toss some models right into the wash themselves. 

3) Fabric tote or storage bag: You can never have too many reusable bags like this one. You can use them to bring along lunches, textbooks, or clothes when you have long days, and use them for grocery shopping as well.

4) Foldable ironing board: We know not many people iron anymore, but you'd be surprised how often you may end up needing one. One that can slide under your bed is your best choice for a dorm room, and if you can, negotiate with your roommate so you can share!

5) Over the door hooks: You can stash jackets, purses, towels and more on these easy storage solutions, but be sure your roommate and your dorm door agree. Some hooks don't allow a door to fully close when they are installed.

6) Shower caddy: If you are going to be using a shared shower space, a caddy is a must, especially one where it can hook onto the shower or somewhere else while you are pulling items from it. Get one with holes throughout so it won't hold standing water and become mildewy.

7) Magnetic calendar: A dual purpose item like this is best for dorm rooms because we all know that space is a precious commodity in those tiny spaces.  A magnetic calendar can be used as a write-on/wipe off space (check to be sure it can be wiped off), and to display pictures of loved ones as well.

8) Under the bed storage containers: We recommend these for clothing, especially items like sweaters or swimsuits that will not be used for part of the year. Generally, you can fit 3-4 under a regular size twin bed. You can also use them for miscellaneous items that don't have a good spot, like cd's or books.

9) Small toolkit: Even if you're not very "handy", a tiny toolkit with basics like a hammer and screwdriver can be a real lifesaver. Check with your roommate since you'll likely only need one between the two of you! 

10) A car vacuum: A tiny, handheld or car vacuum is perfect for a dorm room because it'll help you stay tidy but isn't as bulky as a regular one. You can also use it in your car if you have one on campus, or even store it in your trunk to save space.

These ten items should get you off to a great start as you prepare for your next adventure! 

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