August 28, 2015

Dorm Life

This week has been a total whirlwind of activity! My family and I have been preparing to move me into my dorm at Auburn University. With so many things to think of, it's extremely easy to forget necessary items for living on your own! So I'm excited to introduce my checklist and guide to dorm shopping which will also feature pictures of my completed dorm room :)

Dorm Shopping: The Basics

1) Have a list: This is so important. I can not stress how invaluable it is to have a organized list you can refer to amidst the chaos of shopping. You might think (like I myself did) early on that it will be really easy to keep track of what you have to buy. I had a mental checklist of the items I required, but when it came time to actually purchase them, I completely blanked! Having a list on hand can save a lot of added stress! I would suggest either having a list on your computer that you can easily access and print (Google Documents is a great option because you can type up your list and view it from any computer, wherever you are, simply by logging into you google account!) or handwriting and making multiple copies that you leave in your school bag, purse, or car. You never know when you may be out and about and spot the perfect desk lamp you've been searching for for weeks! You're going to want to have a list handy to make a record of what you have purchased! One of my biggest suggestions is searching for college supply lists on sites like Pinterest (I personally used the one featured below and it was so helpful) and obtaining a school list from your college or university. Most stores that carry school and/or dorm supplies have copies available that you simply have to ask a sales associate for. The official school lists usually include measurements for bedding and furniture which is really important! You don't want to arrive at school with sheets that don't fit and an oversized curtain!

2) Coupons and Sales: Your Best Friends: Here's a spoiler: shopping for a dorm isn't cheap. But it doesn't have to break the bank either. It's important to put some thought and planning into your trips to the store. Be on the lookout for coupons in the mail and deals online. Often times in the summer, stores will throw college deals leading up to move-in. Make the most of the summer months! Figure out what you need at the start of the summer so you aren't scrambling last minute and so you have time to pursue the cheapest options of things you need. I found a lot of times that something I really wanted in one store was available in another for $10-$20 cheaper! That may not seem like a lot right now, but once you're in college you will learn that a little money can go a long way! One option I would really recommend is to check and see if any nearby stores are throwing a college deal day. Our local Bed, Bath, & Beyond threw an event geared specifically towards college students. They configured the store so that you would visit different stations that had items you would need for school, such as bedding, towels, and coffee makers. Someone from the store was available to help you find what you needed.  It took a lot of stress out of dorm shopping because everything was so organized and spread out! My mum and I bought the majority of my dorm stuff here apart from my quilt and decorations. The event included 20% of the ENTIRE order! We saved over $200 at the end of the day!! Make the most of events and deals like these!

3) Ship your Stuff: This is pretty self explanatory but I had a lot of friends who didn't even think to ask. If you are going somewhere out of state that either requires you to drive long distances or fly, talk to a manager or sales associate at the store you are purchasing your supplies at about shopping items directly to your school. Since I moved to a state over 15 hours away, I wasn't really in a position to be able to bring all my dorm decor down with me in the car. A couple of the stores we visited were able to ship our items for free to my grandparents who live near by, or better yet to the school itself. Having your items shipped to your college or available for pickup at a local branch at the store can take a lot of hassle out of your journey. Be sure to ask!

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And here comes the fun part.....

My Dorm
I am so excited to share the completed look of my dorm for freshman year. I spent a lot of time discussing back and forth with my roommate Sabrina our ideas for colors and decor! We had a mutual board on Pinterest where we pinned ideas for our dorm (I totally recommend you do this, especially if you live far away from one another and can't discuss/shop in person). That being said: don't feel the need to perfectly match your roommates style. A lot of my friends who have just moved in have very different styles from their roommates. Don't feel like you have to plan everything to match and don't force your roommate to run with what you want. Respect each other's wishes and most of all discuss!!  Talk about what your ideas are for the dorm and whether matching and color coding is the plan for the two of you. My roomie Sabrina and I wanted to match our two sides enough that there was cohesion in the room (we're both a little anxious over conflicting decor in the same room) but if that's not what you want to do then don't! You have to remember that your dorm is going to be your new home for the next 8-9 months or however long your school year is. You want to feel comfortable and relaxed in your space. Which brings me to my next point: DECORATE. DO bring pictures of friends and family so that they're close by in heart and mind. DO pursue crafting and decorating your dorm with personal touches (you never know, you may fall in love with canvas-ing or pinterest). And DO bring a few items that are special or important to you and put them somewhere in your dorm, whether that be a book, painting, coffee mug, or blanket. I hope you embrace this fun time and the experience of making a new home for yourself. Hope these tips help you on your wonderful new journey!

The canvases and flower letter I crafted for my dorm :) 

My Polaroids and decorations hung up on the wall along with the "Sweet Pea" sign my Mum bought in reference to my nickname.

The completed look :)

And finally my amazing roomie Sabrina and I!