College Lifestyle and Product Blog for Dorm Room Living | DormSmart: Dorm Footlockers

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

July 7, 2011

Cheap College Trunks: Avoid the Pitfalls

"...As an online dorm store, we continually receive phone calls from prospective customers shopping for a quality trunk for their college bound or camp bound students... customers that have been burned by buying a cheap trunk in the past. I'd like to share their experiences with you, our dorm shoppers in hopes of helping you avoid the same pitfalls."

Vinyl Edging With Brads: Fell Apart During Shipping... A grandfather called in wanting information about Rhino Armor Trunks. He was shopping for a quality college trunk for his grandson but was a little apprehensive about what brand to buy. He had recently purchased a storage trunk for himself online and was disappointed when the trunk arrived at his home damaged. Apparently, it fell APART during shipping. It was one of those cheap college trunks with the vinyl edging that we warn our dorm shoppers about repeatedly. Steel edging and corners are a must have essential when it comes to college trunks!

Particle Board Construction: Punctured During Shipping... Another customer phoned saying he had purchased a trunk from a competitor and when it arrived it was punctured (had a hole in it). Apparently the trunk was cheaply made structurally using particle board instead of hardwood. The trunk was so cheaply made, it didn't even make it through the shipping process.

Cheap Non Load Bearing Wheels: Collapsed 1st Week of Camp... A  mom shopping for trunks for her college bound daughters pointed us to a review online where an individual had purchased a cheaper priced trunk from a competitor for their camp bound student. Apparently the permanently attached wheels collapsed the first week of summer camp. They were unable to support the weight of the trunk at full capacity.

Guidelines to Use When Trunk Shopping Bottom line, when it comes to storage trunks, you get what you pay for... Many times, we speak with parents or college students at DormSmart who purchased a cheap college trunk that could not hold up to the rigors of dorm life and are now shopping for a quality alternative. They didn't save money. If you can't afford to invest in a quality storage trunk for college, don't waste your money buying a cheaply made trunk. If budget is an issue,  you may want to consider looking for a quality used trunk. Whether you choose to buy a new or used college trunk, here are a few guidelines to use when trunk shopping:

  • 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. The trunk should be able to be multipurposed as additional dorm seating or a coffee table (able hold several college students at the same time).
  • Removable load bearing versus stationary wheels. Removable wheels prevents someone from taking your college trunk but makes it easy for you to transport. You also want your trunk wheels to glide smoothly when it is at full capacity so they need to hold a large amount of weight.
  • Leather versus vinyl handles.
  • Lifetime structural warranty if purchasing a a new trunk that can be serviced easily. If you reside in the US and the trunk is made outside the US, it may be costly to obtain repairs. 
Just my opinion! Live Dorm Smart!

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
Creator of

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…


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.


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.


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
Creator of

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

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, 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

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!

July 30, 2010

Best Dorm Trunks and Dorm Footlockers To Take To Your College Campus... Get the Dorm 411!

by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of
Creator of

At, we searched high and low for the best college dorm trunk and footlocker... here it is and why:

College Dorm Trunk - Rhino Armor Trunk Large 32 x 18 x 14

College Dorm Trunks and Footlockers, like our Rhino Armor Trunk Large, are one of those multi-purpose must have college dorm essentials to take to campus this fall or even to camp to use as secure storage or as dorm furniture, such as a coffee table, an end table, dorm seating… just use your imagination!

At DormSmart, we selected the Rhino Armor Trunk Large as one of our top choices as the perfect college dorm trunk or dorm footlocker because it is conveniently sized and ruggedly built, strong enough to stand on. All Rhino Armor Trunks are hand crafted and American made, constructed from the highest quality components: waterproof, dent proof, scratch proof exterior 1000d Cordura sheathing that’s laminated over 3/8" Baltic Birch hardwood plywood (beware of sites selling cheap imitations that use 1/4" materials or don't even mention the materials... these storage trunks are cheap substitutes and won't be as durable - invest wisely).

These college dorm trunks are easily stowed in your college or camp dorm room and can be securely locked to insure the safety of your personal items or college dorm essentials! Even better, our Rhino Armor Trunks Large are stocked in 18 amazing colors, so pick the one that best matches your dorm d├ęcor! All our Rhino Armor Trunks weigh about 20% less than steel dorm trunks yet they are just as strong and more durable.

The Rhino Armor Trunk Large specifications:

•Exterior Dimensions: 32" L x 18" W x 14" H

•Interior Dimensions: 31.25" L x 17.25" W x 13.25" H

•Storage Capacity: 4.13 cubic feet

•Weight: 27 lbs.

Our College Dorm Trunks, Quality Constructed Rhino Armor Trunks Feature:

•Armor Exterior laminated over 3/8" premium grade Baltic Birch hardwood plywood.

•Entire frame and interior constructed of smooth 3/8" premium grade Baltic Birch hardwood plywood throughout.

•No paper or plastic lining anywhere. Therefore, you’ll never have a problem with peeling or tearing.

•The Rhino Armor 1000d Cordura sheathing ensures that Rhino Armor Trunks have the most durable exterior available in the trunk industry.

•18 stock colors.

•Strong hand-crafted construction using both old world trunk making skills and advanced aviation rivet technology. Steel aircraft rivets are used to ensure durability.

•Heavy duty proprietary nickel plated steel latches and hardware.

•Heavy duty nickel plated steel lid hinges plus a nickel plated steel lid stay for keeping the lid propped open.

•Tight fitting steel tongue and groove lid to base closure to keep out moisture, dirt, insects, odors, etc.

•Stylish lockable nickel plated steel trunk lock has a loop for attaching a padlock.

•Genuine leather handles.

•Each Rhino Armor Dorm Trunk comes with 2 nickel plated steel universal wheel adapter plates already mounted on the side of the trunk. This allows you to easily add or remove Rhino’s specially designed 200 pound rated wheels to your trunk anytime you want, anywhere you want in a matter of seconds.They’re extremely easy to use! No tools are needed, nor does the trunk need to be lifted to install them. Best of all, these advanced design wheels do not add any extra height to the trunk. Even with the wheels on, the storage trunk is stackable.

•Lifetime warranty – free non-cosmetic repairs for the life of the trunk.

•American craftsmanship.