Outfitting a dorm room for the first time is one of many milestones in the journey to adulthood. For a student it represents an opportunity to create their own space while for a parent it can represent one last chance to maintain control and provide a safe and nurturing environment. The trick is to navigate the process and create a dorm room filled with essentials and enough personal items to make it unique and functional at the same time. Ideally it is a win-win situation and with proper planning it can even be fun.
In addition to any checklist the school may provide, it’s a good idea to visits the websites of the major bath and bedding stores – most feature a college section targeted to both students and parents and many will deliver goods directly to the dorm. This can be helpful if your child will be arriving by bus, train or plane or if you have a small car and simply can’t carry everything. A digital checklist is also useful when roommates are involved – kids can coordinate on social networking or by text or email and parents can weigh in at the same time.
Many modern dorms are more like apartments – they feature a common living area, shared kitchen facilities and a communal bathroom along with a suite of bedrooms. This makes planning and preparation especially important because it is almost like outfitting a house – you will need to acquire everything from cooking and serving utensils to bathroom supplies, lighting and cleaning supplies. In addition to essentials, most roommates want to agree in advance on a décor theme or color palette to create an attractive and comfortable living space.