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

Showing posts with label Dorm Shopping List. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dorm Shopping List. Show all posts

May 31, 2014

How to Shop for College Campus Living

How to shop for college campus living!
How to Shop for College
Over the next few months, college bound students will find themselves overwhelmed by all the hype of shopping for their college dorm room or campus apartment. To assist students, Dorm Smart has compiled three quick tips about how to shop smart for living on a college campus:

Tip 1: Consult your school student housing policies yourself…

College bound students or in this case, campus bound, should always consult their school housing policies for what to bring and what not to bring to campus. Don’t take any retailers word for it, even if a retailer states they are “Campus Approved” or “School Approved” stores. What harm is there in connecting with your school and checking their policies yourself before shopping?

Remember, you are solely responsible for checking and respecting your college housing policies, so do your homework.

Tip 2: Shop at  home first…

Once students have consulted their school housing policies and know what they can bring to their college campus, DormSmart recommends they shop at home first to save a few dollars. Afterward, they can compile a shopping list of the items they need to purchase for their move to college.

Tip 3: Focus on products verses back to college shopping campaigns…

Regardless of how well a retail store presents themselves in their back to college shopping campaign or online shop, it is important for students to remember these are advertisements to gain sales. It is best to focus on product attributes to ensure they are school approved or appropriate for living in a dorm room or apartment on your college campus.

Here are a few examples of pitfalls to avoid:
Example 1:
During the back to college shopping season, students will find retailers selling “86 inch long” standard twin comforters and duvets as twin XL. Unfortunately, to properly fit an 80 inch extra long twin mattress, a comforter or duvet should be a minimum of 90 inches in length. To ensure a proper fit, it is best for students to check the actual bedding dimensions verses depending upon a package or ad labeling the product as twin XL. Also, students should be cautious of product photos that make the bedding appear longer. Bottom line, while bedding dimensions and their labeled sizes seem to vary in the marketplace, a twin XL mattress is still 80 inches long.
Example 2:
Students will undoubtedly come across retailers selling colorful toaster ovens, toasters, hot pots, hot plates, knife sets, and more as dorm room appropriate in their back to college aisles. Many colleges and universities consider these items either unsafe or have restrictions for bringing them on campus. For example, many colleges regulate the size and type of a knife that students can bring into their residence halls and strictly prohibit many small appliances, such as a toaster, in residence hall dorm rooms.
At the end of the day, whether students choose to shop at DormSmart or another retailer, remember colleges and universities have the final say about what students can bring or not bring into their campus residence halls. So save yourself some  time, money, and frustration by checking your school’s housing policies and respecting them… before shopping for college.

Live Dorm Smart!

More Helpful Articles for Students by DormSmart:

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 19, 2010

Studying Abroad? Learn How To Shop & Ship Your College Dorm Essentials To Your International Campus...Get the Dorm 411!

by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of
Creator of

If you are currently studying abroad or planning to study abroad, check out the press release below showcasing's new international shipping services for college students living and studying abroad. Just another way to live Dorm Smart! How cool is that? Partners with Bongo International to Provide Shipping to Over 220 Countries

At, thinking outside the box is common practice when it comes to servicing their student customers. Exactly the reason they have partnered with Bongo International to ship college dorm essentials to students living and studying abroad.


PRLog (Press Release) – Aug 19, 2010 – At, thinking outside the box is common practice when it comes to servicing their student customers. Exactly the reason they have partnered with Bongo International to provide international shipping services to dorm shoppers in over 220 countries and to US college students studying abroad.

“We partnered with Bongo International because we receive inquiries daily from international shoppers or US college students preparing to study abroad expressing an interest in purchasing our dorm products. We want to be responsive to those shoppers, provide them with a unique solution. Bongo International allows them to shop at any retail store here in the US; save money by consolidating those purchases into one shipment then ship those purchases to their international destination. In addition to providing a solution to our international shoppers, it allows our US student customers studying abroad to continue to shop at their favorite retail stores here in the US then have their purchases shipped to their international campus. It can make living away from home a little easier for our students,” stated Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of

Adding international shipping via Bongo International has enabled to implement an affordable international shipping solution while expanding their customer base to over 220 countries. Additionally, the service provides an affordable solution for both DormSmart .com and student shoppers who require delivery to Alaska, Hawaii or Outlying US Territories.

The step by step process is simple for DormSmart’s shoppers:

Step1: Shop for items at, adding them to the shopping cart.

Step 2: Setup a Bongo account by clicking the Bongo International graphic in DormSmart’s shopping cart.

Step 3: After signup, Bongo will provide the shopper with their very own mainland US address where their purchases will be shipped and consolidated.

Step 4: Shopper then completes checkout at, using their new US address supplied by Bongo as both their billing and shipping address and making payment with the credit card that they have on file with Bongo.

Step 5: Once their order is completed, shoppers finish their verification process with Bongo.

Step 6: Bongo takes over, shoppers communicate directly with Bongo for delivery of their purchases.

It’s that simple.

For additional information about DormSmart’s new shipping service for customers requiring delivery to Hawaii, Alaska, Outlying US Territories and international locations visit:

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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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