DormSmart Living Blog: Dorm Checklist

Showing posts with label Dorm Checklist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dorm Checklist. Show all posts

November 25, 2014

How to Prepare Your Dorm Room for Winter Break…



"...Fall semester is coming to an end and winter break is just around the corner so be sure to prepare your dorm room for winter break before heading home for the holidays, read on..."

10 Things College Students Should Do to Prepare Their Dorm Room for Winter Break
  1. Lock Up Your Valuables… If you cannot take them home with you, it is important to remember to lock up your valuables in a secure place such as your dorm safe or college trunk.

  2. Insurance… Make sure your insurance policy is up to date to cover potential theft and prepare an itemized list including serial numbers of your valuables, snap a photo or two. Take this information with you.

  3. Defrost & Clean Your Dorm Room Micro fridge... before leaving campus for winter break. Dispose of all perishable items. Unplug your unit from the wall, leaving the door slightly ajar to prevent moisture buildup and smells. Hopefully, you have an auto defrost unit. However, if your mini fridge freezer is manual defrost, be sure to check your manufacturer's user manual about how to defrost your freezer; or about.com has a great mini fridge defrosting guide to assist you.

  4. Unplug All Electrical Appliances

  5. Clean & Organize Your Dorm Room… You will be busy with Spring Semester upon your return to campus so get your dorm room in order before you leave for winter break. Clean and organize your desk, closet… your entire room.

  6. Wash Your Laundry… Wash your clothes and dorm bedding prior to leaving campus, unless of course, you are taking your laundry home to mom. You will be tired from all the excitement and travel when you return to campus so a clean bed will be welcome.

  7. Take Out Your Trash… Do not leave a future science experiment in your dorm room! No one enjoys returning to a smelly moldy dorm room after winter break.

  8. Lower Your Thermostat... Your housing office should have a recommended temperature to save on heating costs without damaging your valuables while you are away.

  9. Secure Your Windows

  10. Lock Your Dorm Room Door

Just a few tips to live Dorm Smart! Happy Holidays!

May 24, 2014

Using College Checklists to Plan and Organize Move-in Weekend



Using College Checklists to Plan and Organize Move-in Weekend
College checklists are popping up all over the internet of late; some with good advice and some with not so good advice for college bound students, especially freshmen. The worst advice I have seen thus far, is recommending that students save a little shipping money and time by "waiting" to shop over move-in weekend or during their first week of classes instead of planning and organizing their move early.

To preface my comments below, before and after founding DormSmart, I personally experienced college move-in weekends with my own students. This is what we learned, good and bad:

College Move-in Weekend = ONLY TWO DAYS

It’s a weekend, typically two fun-filled hot days, with hopefully no rain, of:
  • arriving on campus;
  • finding a place to park and obtaining a permit for the weekend;
  • picking up the keys to and inspecting your dorm room;
  • completing the required orientation for your residence hall;
  • getting your mailbox;
  • getting your student id card;
  • registering your bike or vehicle;
  • moving your belongings into your dorm room;
  • unpacking and organizing your dorm room;
  • possibly waiting for your microfridge to be delivered if you have a rental;
  • picking up your text books;
  • confirming your class schedule and locating your classes; and
  • more...
all while attending mandatory activities, for you and your family, designed to give students a smart start at college.

Did I mention that you’ll be waiting in line to complete most of these tasks? Hopefully, you won't be one of those lucky students who has an audition, practice, or activity for their athletics, arts, or other school organizations over move-in weekend. My youngest daughter actually attended practices and performed during her freshmen move-in weekend.

Shopping Over Move-In Weekend Can = DISAPPOINTMENT

Let’s forget about how you or your family will manage to find the time over move-in weekend to locate and drive to stores near campus because once you get there, you’ll probably be disappointed when you realize that the selection is either limited or picked over and the checkout lines are long. After all, it is back to school shopping season for students of all ages.

You can choose to wait to shop for college supplies during the first week of classes, but you’ll delay getting organized before classes start and your help will be headed back home. Even worse, you may be one of the many freshmen who do not have a vehicle to drive to the store and transport their purchases back to campus. Maybe you can recruit some help while you are locating and waiting for the campus shuttle. Hopefully, the shuttle schedule will fit into your class schedule and can accommodate transporting all your purchases. If not, you can make a few trips.

Using College Checklists to Plan and Organize Move-in Weekend = A Smart Start for Freshmen

By this time, I am sure you get my point… move-in weekend is a busy time for students, family members, and colleges. It is best to use tools such as college checklists to plan your move and complete tasks ahead of time. Whether you personalize our dorm room checklist, use a checklist provided by your college, or create your own checklist... it will help you have an organized move to campus so you can take advantage of the many activities over move-in weekend that provide freshmen with a smart start at college.

Good luck at college and live dorm smart!



August 10, 2011

10 TIPS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS: HOW TO PREPARE FOR CAMPUS MOVE IN DAY... Get the Dorm 411!



With campus move in day fast approaching for many college bound students, it’s important to prepare BEFORE leaving for college. Here’s a few quick tips from Team DormSmart to make campus move in day go a little more smoothly…

TIP #1: Shop before Campus Move In Weekend

Campus move in weekend is INSANE! Many colleges have mandatory orientation sessions scheduled for parents and students over move in weekend leaving little time to unpack, let alone shop. It is best to shop for dorm supplies prior to move in weekend and pack them so that they can be easily located and unpacked. Grab  a copy of our Dorm Supplies Checklist to help you prepare and pack.

TIP #2: Check University Housing Regulations

Before shopping, check your university housing regulations for your dorm room. Let’s face it, everyone is feeling the budget crunch so you don’t want to waste money buying non compliant dorm appliances … any dorm supplies that may be considered contraband and confiscated.

TIP #3: Measure Your Dorm Room 

Every inch counts when planning and organizing your dorm room. If you have access and can get actual measurements, be sure to measure the room at the floor level to account for any base moldings or trim; meaning it may not seem like much but floor moldings and trim can take inches off an already small dorm room.

TIP #4: Know What Furniture You Need to Bring

What furniture does your school provide? Are you able to bring your own or required to use theirs?

TIP #5: Know the Shape and Size of Your Dorm Bed Legs

The one recurring problem we hear about from college students at DormSmart… the bed risers they picked up at the discount store don’t fit! If you are planning to raise your dorm bed for additional storage know the size and shape of your dorm bed legs to ensure your bed risers will fit properly.

TIP #6: Count the Outlets

Know how many outlets are in your dorm room so that you can purchase the right amount of surge protector strips with overload protection; make all your electronics work.

TIP #7: Get Ready for Campus Networking 

Don’t forget networking cables! While wireless access generally works in most common areas in your residence hall, many dorm rooms require wired access… at times the signal strength inside your dorm room is just too weak.

TIP #8: Get Familiar with Your Closet Space

Does your dorm room have a closet? If so, check the configuration of your closet. How many closet shelves are there? Measure the distance between shelves to ensure your storage containers will fit easily.

TIP #9: Coordinate with Your Roommate

Some dorm room supplies such as an iron, ironing board, coffeemaker, dorm rug, television, and printer can be shared. Sharing sounds a little scary at first but remember if sharing isn’t working out, you can always bring your own supplies over a break OR have mom and dad bring them over parent weekend. Just remember to make a list of who brought what if you're sharing dorm supplies... you'd be surprised how many roomies forget by the end of the school year!

TIP #10: Pay Attention to the Little Details

You’d be surprised how annoying it can be to overlook a small detail when it comes to dorm living! For example… Do you have a sink in your dorm room? Does it need a plug? Is there a medicine cabinet for toiletries in your dorm room or do you need a storage caddy?

Just a few tips to help you prepare for your dorm move and live dorm smart! Good luck!

August 31, 2010

Last Minute Dorm Shopping Tips For College Bound Students, Making The Right Dorm Buys... Get the Dorm 411!

by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of DormSmart.com
Creator of Dorm411.com


Dorm season is upon us! Many of us are scrambling about trying to make the right decisions when it comes to purchasing supplies for our dorm room while shopping on a budget. It can be a confusing and frustrating time for dorm shoppers! With that in mind, DormSmart has the following three tips when shopping online for college dorm essentials, making those last minute dorm buys…

DO NOT PANIC! SHOP SMART!
TIP #1: DO NOT LET TIME CONSTRAINTS AFFECT YOUR BUYING DECISIONS. DO NOT PANIC!

Life is busy! It seems like we have all the time in the world to finish our dorm shopping during the summer then realize it is here! DO NOT PANIC! Do not purchase the wrong dorm products because you are out of time. Purchase the right dorm essentials then have them shipped to your campus delivery address. You may have to improvise for a few days. For example, if you are waiting on dorm bedding, take your sleeping bag. It will be used for sleepovers… spring break… it’s dorm sized. In the end you will be much happier and probably spend less money. It’s like going to the grocery store without a list when we are hungry, we tend to overspend. Just take a deep breath, work through the process, and try to be patient. It will all come together.

TIP #2: RESEARCH & COMPARE PRODUCTS THOROUGHLY

We’ve all done it. We see a product we really like and just buy it only to realize when it’s delivered; it was not quite what we were expecting. For many of you planning to study retailing in college, it is known as an impulse buy. While the retail industry loves impulse buyers, it is probably best to learn how to control these impulses early in adulthood so you do not have to experience buyer’s remorse.

One tip for preventing buyer’s remorse is to thoroughly research and compare dorm products, meaning you need take the time to read the product description thoroughly and view the enlarged photos… trust us… It will save a lot of frustration… headache… time and cost associated with returning dorm products or worse having to replace your college dorm essentials and incur a loss.

TIP #3: BALANCE PRICE WITH QUALITY

For most of us in today’s economy, price is an issue. We are all stretching our budgets to pay our college tuition and fees and buy our textbooks. On top of that, we are tasked with furnishing a dorm room… basically a studio apartment. Let’s face it; mom needs her ironing board and iron, her dishes… So, how do we balance price and quality without overspending?

Remember to make a shopping list of what you NEED to purchase; those must have college dorm essentials. Most of you will be in college at least 4 years so you have time to add those little extras. At DormSmart, we have yet to uncover a “cheap quality dorm product” so use your money wisely to buy quality dorm products at affordable prices. Otherwise you may have to do this again next summer and that will not save you money. Once you have your list of MUST HAVE college dorm essentials, it’s time to balance quality with price...

Let’s walk through a shopping example using a dorm trunk:

A dorm trunk is one of those multipurpose dorm products that you can use as dorm storage, to travel to college or camp (football, cheerleading, band…) in the summers, and as dorm room seating. Bottom line, your dorm trunk will probably take a beating over the next several years so you want to search for dorm trunks made of quality products then select the one that best fits your price point. For example, the ideal dorm trunk will have:
  • Steel edging and corners versus plastic or vinyl corners with cheap brads.
  • An interior made of hardwood versus particle board, needs to be structurally sound.
  • Removable versus stationary wheels. You do not want to make it easy for someone to take your dorm trunk but you want it to be easy for you to move.
  • Leather versus vinyl handles.
  • Lifetime warranty.
The only way to identify the criteria above is to read the product detail… do your homework. If the retailer does not provide that information then it probably is a red flag… move on to the next prospect / store until you find the dorm trunk for you then check it against your budget. It may be a little more than you want to spend but a cost savings in the long run; or you may be pleasantly surprised, realizing it fits into your budget. Look for offers of free shipping and discount coupons, especially on big ticket items like dorm trunks.

If you find yourself trying to choose between quality and looks, maybe you wanted that really cool looking collegiate trunk or polka dot trunk but it is not well made… consider choosing the quality dorm trunk and purchasing peel and stick decals to get your desired effect. Let’s face it, you can always change the look of the quality dorm trunk but you cannot change the quality of the cheap dorm trunk.

Just a few tips for living and shopping dorm smart! Good luck at school!

August 12, 2010

Dorm Organization:Tips for Organizing A Dorm Room ... Get the Dorm 411!

by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of DormSmart.com
Creator of Dorm411.com

Just a few smart tips for organizing your small dorm space from DormSmart.com...


Jaxx Pillow Sac - Can Be Reshaped
For most college bound freshman, moving into a small dorm room this fall will be a bit challenging. With this in mind, DormSmart.com brainstormed with a few of their favorite experienced dorm dwellers to come up with their top 10 tips for incoming freshman to successfully organize and live in a small dorm space:

Tip #1 - Raise Your Dorm Bed / Create An Under Bed Storage Space

A good set of bed risers is one of the wisest investments a college bound student can make for dorm living. Even better, when savvy students combine their bed risers with storage products like a DormSmart Smart Storage Cart and Bungalow Collapsible Bins, it creates an entire under bed storage solution. The smart storage cart is a complete custom made wheeled platform that runs the length and width of a dorm bed, allowing students to place and arrange their dorm stuff in bins on the wheeled cart. The wheeled cart then rolls in and out from under the bed, making for easy access, much like a drawer system. It breaks down easily between dorm moves and students can select folding bins in a range patterns and colors to enhance their dorm decor.

Tip #2 - Dorm Trunks

Dorm trunks are a great investment. Students can use dorm trunks for travel, secure storage, and seating, such as the Rhino Armor Trunk Large available at DormSmart.com.

Tip #3 - Be Square

Let’s face it, every inch counts in a small dorm room, consider using square storage containers, such as the Neatnix Square Stuff Bucket. Being square utilizes every inch of space!

Tip #4 - Go Vertical

Build up using free standing shelves, raising your dorm bed with bed risers or whenever possible, lofting your dorm bed. Remember to check student housing regulations.

Tip #5 - Dorm Size

Resist the urge to bring your mom’s 24 cup coffeemaker or dad’s spare toolbox. Instead, consider dorm sizing by purchasing smaller scale items such as a Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Hot Beverage Center or a Picnic Time Essentials Toolkit to fit the scale of your small dorm space.

Tip #6 - Build Upon Existing Surfaces…

In other words use stackable canisters on top of your microfridge unit to store dry staples such as sugar, coffee…but don’t overload!

Tip #7 - Invest in Multi Purpose Dorm Essentials

Purchase dorm essentials that can be used for multiple purposes. For example, a Jaxx Pillow Sac can be shaped for seating or can be flattened out for sleepovers during those late night study sessions. The Ergorapido 2- in-1 Stick and Hand Vac by Electrolux can be used to vacuum your dorm room or save a few dollars by using the hand vac to vacuum your car. The Ravenswood Floor Lamp and Table by Lumisource has your main light, a separate reading light and plenty of shelves to utilize as a bed side table and storage. The Sort-A-Sack! is a laundry bag, backpack, and sorter with instructions sewn in on how to do your laundry. There are many multi-purpose products available for dorm living in today’s marketplace.

Tip #8 - Hang Your Clothes

Hang your clothes in the closet versus throwing them on floor or trying to cram all of them in a drawer, it saves a lot of space and you’ll spend less time looking for them!

Tip #9 - Collapsible / Folding Storage Bins and Vacuum Bags

Folding Storage such as Bungalow’s Collapsible Storage Bins is great way to organize all your dorm stuff. Better still, use vacuum bags to minimize the size of items and store them in your collapsible bins on shelves or under your dorm bed.

Tip #10 - Keep You Dorm Room Neat and Organized

As much as we hate to hear it, the best way to live in a small space, such as a dorm room, is to keep it neat and organized. Put things away when you are finished with them. You’ll feel more in control of yourself and your new surroundings!

Just a few storage and organization tips to help incoming freshman to live dorm smart!




April 30, 2010

What To Pack For College? Free Dorm Room Checklist...

by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of DormSmart.com
Creator of Dorm Smart Living


Get the most comprehensive Combined Free Dorm Shopping List, Packing List, & To Do Checklist at DormSmart.com. DormSmart's free dorm checklist covers just about everything you will need to move to your new dorm room this fall, including a few to do items! Some of the items on this list you will need to purchase and many others you can probably find at home, saving yourself a little money. At first glance, this may look like a lot of dorm stuff. However, many of these items are small in scale. With the right storage solutions, you should have room to spare!

Step 1:  Just print out DormSmart's Free Dorm Checklist or create your own custom dorm check list.

Step 2:  Set aside a space in your home to store your college dorm essentials as you acquire them over the summer.

Step 3:  Get an early start!  It's best if you can shop early versus having your last minute dorm buys delivered to the campus. This gives you the opportunity to check your purchases prior to move-in weekend and make any necessary returns, if needed.

Step 4:  Inventory your items as you pack them. For example, if you placed your school supplies in Box #1, write Box #1 next to those items on your dorm checklist. Move-in weekend is hectic and there are many mandatory activities that may require you to access your packed items quickly! This list will also be helpful in putting together an inventory for your College Property Insurance Policy. Good luck!

DormSmart's Free Dorm Checklist Printable PDF Download Here

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