Back to School Shopping tips;

Back to School:

This time of year,  every major clothing and supply store is focused on winning you over with back to school deals.

As an incoming freshman, I spent hours trying to figure out what to take and made sure all my things matched perfectly. After long hours of hard work and self-discipline, I believe I have finally mastered the art of college packing. Not that I could downsize at all: when you live two hours away everything is an essential.  But I wanted to take the time to show you all some of the things that have saved me time, money, or just made life easier, while living the dorm hall life.

  1. My Bedding. As my room always seems to be the resting place for friends and neighbors, I strive to keep the most comfortable bed in my hall. My friends are always looking for excuse to snuggle in while they spill all their problems, as if I am Dr. Phil. Invest in a durable mattress pad that will last all four years, I suggest memory foam. It makes no difference where your sheets and comforter come from. I always lean towards Wal-Mart, Kmart, or Target and they wash well and stay fluffy. Find a big fuzzy blanket you love, and always remember there is no limit on pillows!
  1. Clothing comes with a few guidelines but is basically a free for all.

Tips for clothes packing:

  • Research the weather if your college is different from your hometown.
  • Only pack enough gym clothes for 2 weeks max. Oh, and don’t forget the running shoes.
  • Focus on bringing clothes you can layer just incase you can’t make it home before it turns cold.
  • If you have more than 10 tshirts from high school that’s too many. Every campus loves to give out free tshirts.
  • Always pack a few professional pieces an interview or event can come up at any time. Plus, you don’t want to spend all your money on a new pair of dress pants.
  • You can never have enough undergarments.
  • Invest in some nice pajamas. Not only will getting into your fabulous and comfy pajamas be a treat at the end of the day, you never know when the dorm hall fire alarm will be pulled.
  • It’s okay to pack lounge clothes, but your professors would probably prefer you not wear them everyday.
  • Invest in a great pair of walking shoes if you have a big campus, a durable warm coat, and a pair of rain boots/ snow boots and umbrella.
  • Finally, do not fuss over creating a certain type of style. College is about finding yourself. One day you may find yourself in sweats and the next day dress clothes.
  1. Buying in bulk. As I picked out food and toiletries, I kept one question in the back of my head: “How long will this last me?” I was obviously avoiding having to go to the store and buy those things myself, like toothpaste, shampoo, and body wash. But it paid of to pack some extras especially when I was too busy to leave campus.
  1. Under bed Storage Solutions. Rooms that have these will always be cleaner, as well as hold more clothes than any other. I am a fan of the rolling, 3 drawer bins that can be easily revamped with craft supplies, like my own. Another great investment to allow for more storage is bed risers.
  1. Finally, customize a school supply list that works for you. Freshman year I used separate folders and notebooks for every class and quickly began to lose valuable notes and assignments. I then switched to binders organized by class day. I keep my Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes together and my Tuesday/ Thursday classes together. Since I began this planned out binder of assignments, I rarely lose any important papers. In my backpack you will find most importantly a detailed planner, along with pens, pencils, a good eraser, highlighters, paperclips, post it notes and post it flags.

Helpful websites and places to shop:  Pinterest, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Dormco.com, Pottery Barn Teen, Big Lots, Dollar Tree, and TJ Maxx.

Visit the Back to School page under the Home Tab for  my master list of college packing materials. Not everything is necessary but the list can be easily customized.  I hope you put it to good use, happy shopping!

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