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

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

June 2, 2017

Planning a Smooth Move to College

The best advice I can give to incoming freshman about planning a smooth move to college is to shop and pack early! Speaking from experience, I understand that there are other things students would rather be doing during their last summer before college. Personally, I was more interested in hanging out with my friends and family as much as possible... okay, mostly friends. I was a master procrastinator, failing to realize the amount of work involved in planning my move to college. I had never lived on my own. If my mom had not dragged me through the whole process, I would have been completely unprepared for move-in weekend. Thanks, Mom!

When move-in weekend arrived, I was surprised by the number of students who were scrambling about to find the time to shop for basic essentials like bedding and shower supplies. At my college, students were given a day and a half to move in, unpack and organize their dorm rooms before classes commenced... all while being required to attend "sessions" and pick up their books simultaneously. There was barely enough time for students to move in and unpack let alone go shopping, even with their families lending a hand.

There are a number of advantages for incoming freshmen who plan,  shop and pack early for college:
1. Larger Variety of Products Available
If students wait until the last minute, they may find that many of the products they are interested in purchasing are sold out. Custom and made to order products like bedding, generally take longer to make and ship. Shopping early means that students have the luxury of selecting from a wider variety of dorm room supplies.
2. Quality Check
What happens if a purchase is damaged or disappointing? Shopping early allows students to do a quality check so there are no surprises during move-in weekend.
3. Avoid High Shipping Costs
Shopping early for college helps students to avoid the high costs associated with expediting the shipment of their purchases. If students are in a time crunch, a better alternative may be for students to have retailers ship their purchases directly to their campus.
4. Smooth Move
Shopping early gives students more time to pack properly for move-in weekend. Packing properly is key to a smooth move. My mom has a great system when packing for move-in weekend. Sort and pack your essentials by type (i.e. cooking supplies, school supplies, shower supplies...). As you pack, create a list to bring with you of what each box contains to make locating and unpacking for college quick and easy. If you are able, store you boxes and list for move-out weekend to make packing and storing your dorm room supplies over the summer just as smooth.
A smooth move to you and live Dorm Smart!

- Megan

May 27, 2017

Top Items College Students Forget to Bring to Campus

What items do college students forget to pack for their dorm room?

Good question, we frequently hear students or parents say they forgot:
  1. Tool Kit
  2. Waterproof Shower Bag or Caddy
  3. Surge Protectors
  4. Laundry Supplies
  5. Trash Can
Feel free to add to this list! And remember, if you forgot to pack an item, can deliver your dorm supplies to your college campus...

Live Dorm Smart!

January 8, 2016

Planning a Move to Campus for Spring Semester

Spring semester is fast approaching which means shopping for and shipping dorm room supplies during an already busy holiday season for many college bound students. To ensure your dorm room supplies make it to your campus on time this January, it is important to understand the various shipping services offered by retailers today and their related transit times before shopping.

Actual transit time is the amount of time it takes your dorm supplies to reach your campus once they leave the retailer’s warehouse. When shopping for dorm supplies, the actual amount of time it takes to receive your order depends upon:

1.       How long it takes the retailer to process your order;
2.       The shipping service the retailer chooses to transport your order (transit time); and
3.       The proximity of the retailer’s warehouse to your college campus.

For example, if your college campus is located on the west coast and you purchase dorm supplies from a retailer who warehouses only in New York and utilizes a 5 to 10 days shipping service… odds are your dorm supplies will take closer to 10 business days to reach your college campus, maybe more, even if that retailer processes your order within 24 hours.

So if you are headed to campus this January, plan accordingly…  remember to factor in the time it takes a retailer to process your dorm supplies order, the actual transit time for your order to reach your college campus, the holiday rush, and the possibility of inclement weather.   Bottom line, it’s best to shop early to avoid delays and reduce costs!

To assist you in your dorm shopping this holiday season, here’s a breakdown of average transit times for standard shipping services typically used by today’s online retailers:

FedEx SmartPost5 to 10 Business DaysYes
UPS Ground1 to 5 Business DaysNo
FedEx Ground1 to 5 Business DaysYes
USPS Priority Mail2 to 3 Business DaysYes

Good luck this spring and remember to live Dorm Smart!

March 25, 2015

High School Graduation is Fast Approaching: Are You Ready for Your Move to College?

It's Spring and all you can think about is the warm weather, spring break, the prom, finals, and high school graduation. With all the excitement buzzing around you, it can be difficult to focus on your impending move to college.

At some point over the next months, many of you will find mom or dad, maybe both, nagging you about preparing for your move to college. Just remember, this is a huge transition for both you and your parents so it is important to handle it appropriately so that you are prepared to be successful at school.

To help you get started, here are 3 tips to make preparing for a move into your college dorm room easier:

Tip 1: Plan Ahead. 

Do not procrastinate! It is important to plan ahead so that you can pace yourself, do a little at a time. For example, you can contact your housing office in advance to find out what to bring to campus on move in day and the dimensions of your dorm room to make shopping and packing for college easier.

Tip 2: Set Aside Time.

Schedule time each week to work with your parents on your move to college. This means no texting or distractions. Focus on what needs to be done during your scheduled time such as going through your room at home, coordinating with your college roommate, shopping for your dorm room supplies, and packing. 

Tip 3: Have Fun. 

Designing and decorating your dorm room should be fun. It is your first place away from home. Use this as an opportunity to spend some quality time with your family before leaving for college; make it fun and memorable by decorating your dorm room together.

August 8, 2012

How to Set Up a College Dorm Room Using Smart Dorm Room Essentials

Join Megan, your DormSmart Studio Host, for's 2012 Dorm Room Reveal. Megan provides students and parents with a practical dorm room tour to give them an idea of how to set up a college dorm room using smart dorm room essentials when they move to campus. Our dorm room tour covers the essentials college bound freshmen need to settle into their dorm room from bedding, shower supplies, dorm size appliances, eating supplies, storage solutions, and wall decor to those often overlooked accessories like a tool kit. Enjoy the video and remember to live Dorm Smart!

March 31, 2012

Quirkiest Campus Housing Rules

Over the past year, I participated on a project team at, responsible for developing and implementing their new Campus Housing Connector  for college bound students. This tool allows students to connect directly to their campus housing office and get "their 411" (i.e. what to bring and what not to bring...) before shopping for dorm room supplies. During the course of the project, the team reviewed more than 2000 college housing websites nationwide and as a result, came across some pretty "QUIRKY” housing rules that may leave students and parents feeling a little confused or wondering what the... happened on that campus. Seriously, what’s up with that school?

Here are a few of my personal favorites…

Campus  Housing Rule #1
Your refrigerator must not exceed hip height. 

“Really? Whose hip? Mine, my two year old nephew's, or Shaq’s?”

Campus Housing Rule #2
No firearms are permitted in the residence halls except during hunting season. 

“I am at a loss for words on this one. Somehow knowing that ammunition is not allowed in the residence halls doesn't give me much comfort.”

Campus Housing Rule #3
Students are permitted one primarily caged, non-venomous pet per room. 

“So, whose pet got loose? What was it? And most importantly, did they catch it? How big can my cage be? Can I bring my boa constrictor?"

Campus Housing Rule #4
Pets are not permitted in the residence halls with the exception of freshwater, non-flesh eating varieties.

“That’s a relief! I can bring my pet duck.”

Campus Housing Rule #5
Residents can bring in personal furniture, except for water beds, mattresses, bed frames, box springs and loft kits, as long as it sufficiently fits in the room in which it is placed, is not seen as a safety hazard, and all roommates are in agreement with it.


Campus Housing Rule #6
Alcohol is not permitted in the residence halls unless it is during an official, school-sponsored party. 

“What constitutes a school sponsored party? My parents would freak!”

Campus Housing Rule #7
No livestock is permitted in campus buildings.

“I’m wondering whose live mascot they stole and how they got it past the RA?”

Campus Housing Rule #8
You must attend all hall meetings fully clothed.

“As opposed to…”

All kidding aside, while some of these rules may seem a little out there, the overwhelming majority are spot on. Regardless, it is important to remember that you must follow ALL of your campus housing rules and regulations.
Live Dorm Smart!

August 10, 2011


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 22, 2010

Can you really decorate your dorm room on a dime in today's economy? Seriously… Get the Dorm 411 To Make Smart Dorm Buys!

by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of
Creator of

Dorm Room Decor On A Dime... Making Budget Friendly Dorm Buys...

In today’s economy there is really no such thing as decorating your dorm room on a dime so it’s important for students on a limited budget to make smart dorm buys... to assess what they really need for their dorm room or campus apartment prior to spending their hard earned dollars. At DormSmart, we have this advice for college bound students decorating a dorm room on a limited budget:

Take or buy what you absolutely need first for your particular dorm room, the necessities, then add in extras as you can afford them... as you figure out what you really need . It’s that simple. Prior to buying your dorm room necessities, create a checklist or download our dorm checklist and establish a budget. While our dorm checklist may seem like a lot of dorm stuff, many items you can find at home so take inventory before making dorm buys to prevent overspending! As for those neat little extras, trust us when we say we will still be stocking them over the next four years! For now, just stick to those budget friendly dorm buys / dorm room necessities you cannot live without!

With that being said, I thought it might be helpful to students decorating a dorm room on a budget to gain a little insight about products being touted as dorm room necessities.I discovered many of these products while researching smart dorm buys for our student shoppers this year. It is DormSmart's opinion that these products can be safely CUT OUT of your dorm decorating budget. (Sorry... we only had room for the top five and we won’t be carrying these "dorm room necessities" at

  1. Multi-Day or Jumping Alarm Clocks: If you have a cell phone, it probably has an alarm feature that allows you to set multiple alarms for different days of the week depending upon your class schedule, so purchasing a separate alarm clock to do this for you or one that jumps around the room, annoying your roommate and neighbors isn’t your best option. Just use your cell phone to save money and precious dorm space! If you prefer a separate alarm clock, consider buying one where you can dock you iPod or MP3 player – multipurpose!

  2. Wall Tapestries For Dorm Bedding: I recently read where one retailer advised students to multipurpose their wall tapestry. Seriously, they recommended using it as dorm wall décor or as dorm bedding or as a window covering. While we like to promote multipurpose dorm products at, we believe this is taking the concept a little too far! If you have a limited budget, choose to buy quality dorm bedding so that you get a good night’s sleep. After all, the main reason for college is learning and a good night’s sleep is important for successful learning to occur, especially after those fun filled weekends or late night study sessions. You can buy your dorm wall décor at a later date or consider using removable and reusable peel and stick wall decals, very affordable and attractive.

  3. Blackout Curtains: Most of us do not have blackout curtains in our rooms at home. And personally, I have found that many teens, meaning mine, forget to close their blinds at night. Seriously … freshman year is tough enough and dorm rooms are drab… do you really want to black out that one ray of sunshine in your day? Besides, most colleges do provide window blinds in student dorm rooms. Cross black out curtains off your dorm shopping list and save your money for true dorm room necessities!

  4. Bedside Caddy: Prior to launching, I personally invested in a bedside caddy for my daughter to use in her dorm room. You know the one...the bedside caddy that fits securely under your dorm mattress. While the concept is great, I encountered two problems with this dorm room necessity. First, when you fill up the bedside caddy (tissue box, remote control...) it slides off the bed into the floor. I had to invest in grommets and hooks to make it work. Second, it blocked easy access to her under bed storage. It really wasn’t one of those great dorm buys after I had to spend additional money to redesign it to work on her dorm bed!

  5. RJ & Rosie

  6. Fake Pets: Again, this is another product I found at a competitor’s storefront. I am almost at a loss for words which will shock my friends and family. I can envision selling this to a five year old but touting it to a college student as one of those dorm room necessities or great dorm buys? Are you kidding me? If you are homesick or miss your RJ & Rosie (my daughter's mini dachshunds), I don’t think a fake pet that runs on batteries is the answer! Bring something from home that is meaningful to you, whether it is a stuffed animal or a keepsake (not too many) and save yourself $30 plus shipping. You can budget that money toward true dorm room necessities or a night out bonding with your new college friends!
So… while you may not be able to decorate your dorm room on a dime in today’s economy, you can cut out some of those "dorm room necessities" that really aren't smart dorm buys. They aren't worth your or your parents' hard earned dollars. Choose to buy dorm room necessities, such as quality dorm bedding, that will be supportive of your new college lifestyle while saving a little money in your budget! Just remember... once you get to your dorm room, you can always shop online for those smart dorm buys at and have them delivered to your college campus! Live dorm smart!

August 18, 2010

College Dorm Essentials = MULTIPURPOSE … Get the Dorm 411!

by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of
Creator of

When shopping for your college dorm essentials this dorm season, one of the top criteria to use when making product selections is MULTIPURPOSE!

Selecting multipurpose dorm essentials whether it be furniture, combo appliances, an all-in-one dorm laundry backpack / laundry bag / laundry sorter... any dorm supplies… will save space in your small dorm room and save a few dollars because… you got it … it’s a multipurpose product! It cuts down on the amount of dorm stuff you have to move into your small dorm room resulting in less to pack  and haul during those dorm moves over the duration of your college career!

Here are a few HOT multipurpose college dorm essentials to consider purchasing this dorm season:

Ravenswood Floor Lamp and Table Light Wood
Multipurpose College Dorm Essential #1
= Ravenswood Floor Lamp & Table

The Ravenswood Floor Lamp and Table by Lumisource adds form and function to your dorm decor! It’s a bookshelf, nightstand / bedside table, reading light and main light all in one.

Its dual light sources combine with shelves for ultimate usability, making it one of those perfect multipurpose college dorm essentials!

Multi-purpose College Dorm Essential #2
= Sort-a-Sack!

The Sort-A-Sack is an all-in-one Dorm Laundry Backpack, Dorm Laundry Bag, & Dorm Laundry Sorter, the perfect multipurpose college dorm essential for doing laundry. The Sort-a-Sack has two compartments to sort both whites and colors, saving time and making laundry day a whole lot easier for busy college students on the go! Like a backpack, the sort-a-sack can be comfortably carried by two shoulder straps to lighten a college student’s loads, up to three, on the way to the dorm laundry room or campus laundromat!

This great looking and uniquely designed laundry bag is roomy enough to carry laundry supplies and zips closed to prevent embarrassing spills, don't lose your underwear on the way to the dorm laundry! Even better, the sort-a-sack contains an inner pouch to store a sheet of fabric softener to help keep those smells away between laundry days!

For the novice, the durable sort-a-sack has step-by-step washing instructions permanently printed inside, making the sort-a-sack the next best thing to sending laundry out or home to mom!

The Sort-A-Sack is definitely one of those must have multipurpose college dorm essentials!

Multipurpose College Dorm Essential #3
= College Dorm Trunks

Dorm Trunks, also known as Dorm Footlockers or College Trunks, like Rhino Armor Trunks, can be used as both secure storage and dorm furniture, such as a coffee table, end table, or dorm seating...

Rhino Armor Dorm Trunks
Rhino Armor Dorm Trunks are our top pick as the best secure college trunk because they are conveniently sized and ruggedly built, strong enough to stand or sit on while keeping your laptop, digital camera, iPod, iPad, food ... valuables secure in your dorm room. Dorm Trunks are definitely top multipurpose college dorm essentials!

There are many great multipurpose products on the market today… so live dorm smart… shop dorm smart! MULTIPURPOSE!

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!

April 30, 2010

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

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

Get the most comprehensive Combined Free Dorm Shopping List, Packing List, & To Do Checklist at 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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