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Tips for Your College Bound Senior

Remember when you went off to college and took as many suitcases as you wanted on the plane?  Or your parents loaded up the huge station wagon with all of the things you needed for your room?  Today the logistics are harder in some ways and easier in others...read on to see what tips might help you and your student have a successful trip to the dorm room!

Google says the average form room is 12' by 19' but our children landed in rooms much smaller than that!  150-180 square feet seems to be pretty common - not a lot of space for two people to live.  It is important to pack strategically and bring less versus more.

Start the process by making lists of those items you know you will need - bed linens (most are twin XL), comforter, towels, etc..  Beyond that,  the list should include bathroom supplies, medicines, first aid kit, laundry bag and laundry supplies, hangers, room/window fan, surge protector and extension cords.  Extras might include bed risers, plastic drawer units, TV, refrigerator, ottoman for seating and storage, hooks for over the door or to adhere to walls and doors.  If possible, call the school and find out what the dorm rooms have in the way of clothes storage - dresser and closet, or just a closet.  Is there room under the bed for extra storage?  Bring a reasonable amount of clothes, as you can always send a box later.

If you are travelling by plane, we recommend using the Bed, Bath and Beyond service which allows you to shop and pay for your items here and then pick up all those same items in the town you are going to.  They will have a cart waiting for you!

Of course you will need books and school supplies as well.  Buying books ahead of time on-line is a time saver once your classes have been chosen.  Most schools will have them waiting for pickup at the bookstore when you arrive.  Try the June and July sales for basic supplies at bargain prices.

Few high schools teach students how to budget their money, so a session or two with your student is a good idea.  Do they know how to use a checking account and how to write a check?  Have you given them a credit card for emergencies - most providers will add a card to your account in your child's name.  Do you have rules on the phone bill and usage?  All of these are good topics to discuss before there is a problem.

This summer is a great time to learn how to do laundry, if they have not done so already.  Review basic first aid procedures and what to do and whom to call if they get sick at school.  They may have access to a kitchen where they might want to do some simple meals - basic cooking lessons are also a great idea.

Lastly, you might want to invest in a label maker.  They are easy to use and putting your name on items is a good idea.  Look at your homeowner's insurance to see if you need additional renters insurance for dorm coverage - a lot of valuable things end up in that room!  Begin early with making a list and checking it off and you will truly enjoy the experience of sending your child off to college!  Good luck!

                                Muffy and JoEllen

 


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