August and September are two months were college students all over the country are busy shopping to move into their home for the next nine months: their dorm. This year I am a freshman so I experienced dorm shopping for the first time. It was definitely a bit stressful because there is a lot to think of but I picked up some small tricks that helped make the whole process easier.
1. Look at the campus suggested list
I had to do all my dorm shopping two days before moving in because I was out of the country all summer. I was very stressed out and panicking so the first thing I did was glance at the campus recommended list and saw everything that was included in the dorm, what we were not allowed to bring, and what they thought were a few essentials. This helped guide me when I started making my list.
2. Talk to your roommate
It is important to talk to your roommate because you both don't want to bring the same common dorm essential. The dorm rooms are small. You don't want to bring unnecessary stuff. Not to forget, dorm supplies can also be kind of pricey. This will help make shopping a little easier because then you won't buy things you don't need.
3. Start in categories, then write specifics
Once I looked at the campus suggested list and talked to my roommate, I then made a list of anything I could think of off the top of my head that I may potentially need in my dorm.
4. For example: toiletries, room cleaning supplies, clothes, shoes, furniture, bedding, decor, etc.
Then I split everything into categories. What were the closet items? What were the bathroom things? What were the kitchen things? This helps to make things more organized and easier to sort out. It also allows you to make sure you hit everything you need.
5. Note down beside each item what you own and what you have to buy
This is the most important step! You don't want to buy things you already have so you should write next to the items you already own, "home." But also when you go shopping it is so much easier to know what you have to get at each store rather than going through the entire list in all the different stores.
6. Print out the shopping list
I personally did not do this but I feel like it would have been very helpful. If your list is printed out you can physically scratch out items in your list you have or already bought. This way, you don't find yourself rereading the same item and thinking every time, "Oh, got this." It saves time and is very convenient.
Don't stress! You can also always order something you left at home on Amazon or another store near your campus!