Tag Archives: back to college

Back to College Essentials

The end of August calls for many exciting things: the symbolic end of summer, last minute vacations and of course the infamous start of a new school year. For some, this is the start of a new college semester. College living isn’t always the most comfortable years of your life. It usually consists of small dorms/apartments and super-size boxes of Ramen noodles (they have helped me thrive in college). However, finding ways to make your college space useful and livable is the key to a great experience. Downsizing is difficult to do after living in a large space for a while. Finding products that help you minimize while still maximizing your living space is essential to campus living. Here are some products that can help you utilize your new lifestyle:

 

1450957343998GreekGirl Beauty Protein Powder (As featured in our August issue!)
It’s important to stay healthy at all stages of life, including college. However, its tough to maintain a good diet with pizza everyday around campus and dining halls with unhealthy choices. Protein powder can be the perfect solution because it offers all the nutrients you need in a meal. It also never goes bad and takes up very little space!

Storage Ottomans
Finding multiple uses for an item can make things much simpler. Storage is the number one concern when it comes to downsizing and it can be tricky trying to fit your life in a small space. A storage ottoman is a good resolution because it’s seating for a guest and a place to put books or shoes. Utilizing the purposes of things in different ways in your new home can make the place more practical.

Lap desk
It’s vital that you take full advantage of the space you have so putting useless furniture, like a desk, in the room isn’t a way to maximize the space. Instead of a desk that you will most likely rarely use, try a lap desk. You can sit on the floor or your bed and do work and store it out of sight when you’re done!

32305708_000_aDry shampoo from Farmaesthetics (As featured in our August issue!)
Dry shampoo is a go-to when it comes to busy college schedules. It absorbs the oils in your hair to make it as fresh as it was days ago. It also doesn’t strip your hair out like shampooing does if you wash your hair every day. Throw a can in your purse for a hair boost wherever you go!

Phone charging purse
Once again, finding products that have more than one purpose is a way to maximize your lifestyle. One product that I have found useful is a purse that can charge your phone. Never go a night out again and worry about your phone dying! These are also perfect for people that are on the go every day.

Written by Stacy Shrader

Top Tips for Getting Your Child Ready for College

Heading back to school can be stressful for a number of reasons, from new routines and lengthy shopping lists to preparing your students for the year ahead. It becomes even more stressful when you’re faced with the tough task of outfitting a college-bound teen for dorm life. But there’s no need to fret, the following tips will allow you to rest easy and have confidence that your child is prepared for the adventure ahead.

Plan-ahead packing
Unlike typical back-to-school shopping, college preparation takes a lot more planning. Begin shopping for school supplies and clothes at least two months in advance to avoid last minute stress. Many schools help by providing a shopping list of must-haves for the dorm, including power strips, refrigerators and toiletry kits – which is a great place to get started. You can also encourage your teen to reach out to their new roommates in advance through social media to discover their likes and dislikes. This can help them learn what kinds of supplies and furniture each person is bringing, so they don’t end up with two microwaves or small refrigerators in what will likely be extremely limited space.

Many retailers even allow grads to create a college registry so family and friends know just what to get them. Soon-to-be college students can create an account and handpick specific gifts that range from dorm room essentials to tailgating supplies, bicycles, and even pepper spray. These retailers also often provide helpful registry guides so you don’t miss a thing. Creating a registry will allow you to start preparations early and shop throughout the summer for items that may not be purchased as a graduation gift, rather than darting out on a mad dash when it’s time to move.

Savvy storage
If there’s one thing your teen will need to adjust to when going to college, it’s dorm life. The rooms are typically a small, bland 200-square foot space with very little storage. And sharing with at least one other person is definitely not luxurious. While preparing for life in such small quarters may feel like a messy situation, it doesn’t mean your teen’s room has to look like one. With a little creativity and know-how, your teen’s home away from home will be an organized, cozy retreat.

For storing large items, look no further than under the bed. Use extra-long containers to store clothing, shoes and other items that require easy and often access. To eliminate clutter, you can also turn empty suitcases from move-in day into storage containers. If you need more space, consider requesting a lofted bed to create more height for additional storage.

When closets and horizontal space run out, look to the walls. GeckoTech Reusable Hooks help provide added storage to dorm rooms, allowing your teen to easily organize items such as desk accessories, jewelry and jackets. Utilize these hooks in the closet to organize scarves and hats, and by the door to keep keys, umbrellas and backpacks at hand. GeckoTech Hooks are easy to re-position and reuse, which means you can move them – and your belongings – around the room, to find the best organizational solution for your new space. Plus, the hooks remove cleanly so you won’t have to worry about damaged walls during move out next spring.

Life Basics
While purchasing the correct supplies is essential, it’s also important to teach your child to become self-sufficient.  Show your teen how to do laundry and insist that they do their own clothing, sheets and towels for the entire summer.  By the time they get to college with a roll of quarters in hand, they’ll have the hang of it. College kids also need basic financial know how. This summer, show them the basics of banking, including how to responsibly use an ATM and debit card, write checks, pay bills online and balance their account. You may also want to set a budget – late night pizza and movie nights can quickly add up – to ensure your teen is responsible enough to manage his or her own funds.

Sending your teen off to college can be an exciting and emotional time, but with these tips you can make sure they are well equipped to survive dorm life.

The Lindee Tree: College Life

You have been nurturing, coaching, teaching and preparing your child for this pivotal moment. The grand entry into adulthood. College. It is a big transition for everyone and moving this big, new life into a tiny space can be challenging!

I wanted a one stop shop to make this process easy, affordable and comfortable. I found exactly what I wanted at Bed Bath and Beyond. They offer a FREE in store service called, Pack & Hold®. This service helps students easily get their stuff to college and is especially beneficial for those attending a school that is distant from home. Students can select dorm room essentials at their home store and then have everything ready to pick up for purchase at a store near campus for FREE! Here are some items from BB&B to help make this move fun, easy and stress free.

Pop up hamper BenBedding

The “Campus Collection” bedding comes in a variety of colors and patterns to match any personality, style or decor. It is designed to fit the extra long beds often found in dorm rooms. For a great price, you get quality products that are durable and easy to wash.

Storage

For your closet, a Studio 3B 6-Shelf Sweater Organizer is fantastic. It fits right over your closet rod and you can pack it with much more than sweaters. It also has pockets on the side for accessories and other personal items.

Food/Beverages

School meal programs are often buffet style, Mini Keurig 1so take extra food back to your room in storage containers and store them in a mini fridge.

Instead of overpriced coffee, use this little Keurig. It comes in a variety of colors and is the perfect petite size for a dorm room.

Laundry

The Novelty Laundry Bags are great way to keep your laundry tied up until laundry day. They also make it easy to carry.

This Pop-Up Flip Hamper is also great. You can use it as a hamper in your room, then zip it and carry it on laundry day. When laundry is clean and folded, pack it back into the hamper to carry back.

Showers

Laundry bag AlexFlip flops, shower caddies and these Dri Soft Towels are a must. These towels come in varied colors and dry ultra fast so they are easier to store in your dorm room.

What to wear?

College gear* of course! These students will be attending WVU and Virginia Tech. For our lady, I found University Girls Apparel at ugapparel.com. They have a wide variety of accessories, tops, jackets and even dresses. This is definitely the place to shop for the female student or fan.

Campus Emporium in Blacksburg, VA is the best place to go for your Virginia Tech gear. You can also visit them online. They have clothing, decor, accessories and more!

Ben and Alex 1*Our female model is wearing WVU apparel from University Girls Apparel. Our male model is wearing Virginia Tech apparel from Campus Emporium.

For more information, visit Lindee’s website and “like” her on Facebook.com/lindeetree.

Lindee Katdare is the Chief Artist/Designer for “The Lindee Tree.” She teaches vegetarian cooking classes at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op, designs numerous art events in the Roanoke Valley and is passionate about re-purposing and up-cycling items. You can also catch her hosting “Living with Lindee” every Tuesday on NBC, WSLS 10 “Daytime Blue Ridge.

Easing the Financial Burden of Higher Education

Five Ways to Spur Savings While Prepping for College

From the college experts at DormCo.com

Sending a student to college has become an increasingly expensive endeavor. While the benefit of a good education can’t be overlooked, the cost of that education can be daunting! When prepping a new student for dorm and college life, make financially sound decisions to bolster savings — and to ease concerns. Saving and being smart about money can be practiced both by new students (college freshmen) and their parents. By proactively preparing to manage expenses, you’ll maximize savings. See below for five easy-to-implement cost saving tips for freshmen.  

1. Be smart about textbook purchases. Renting textbooks saves you money, but be sure to consider purchasing if the textbook is for a major course. It can be useful to have those core textbooks down the road. Also, when renting, compare prices. Big-name rental companies aren’t always the best option. Keep comparing until you find the lowest price. It might take a little longer, but it’s worth it.

2. Choose the most efficient meal plan for your personal circumstances. Many schools have multiple meal plan options, from a 7, 10, 14 meal/week to unlimited. Don’t overpay for a plan if you have a picky eater or a student with food allergies who will have to prepare many meals in his dorm room. Conversely, it also isn’t price-efficient to try and save money by purchasing a cheaper meal plan for your student if he’s the type to eat frequent smaller meals. If you choose a 10 meal/week plan and your student goes broke ordering pizza and going to a campus shop for overpriced convenience food, you’re losing major money. Saving money with a meal plan is multi-dimensional and unique to each student.

3. Split expenses with a roommate. You may think you’ll save money by deal-hunting and buying large dorm items (mini-fridges, televisions, etc.) upfront, but it could hurt you in the long run. Splitting the costs of those items (e.g. one roommate brings the TV, one brings the fridge, they both split the cost of cable) saves the hassle of potentially over-buying and being unable to return things down the line. Wait until your student gets assigned a roommate and then discuss options.

trunk4. Do one-stop dorm shopping. Use a dorm specialty store, like DormCo.com, to purchase all your dorm supplies! You can purchase reasonably priced college supplies — from bedding, to storage options, to trunks and seating — all in one place. Also, DormCo.com offers flat-rate $2.95 shipping on your entire order. (Yes, you can ship a bedding package, mini-fridge, AND a trunk for just $2.95.) This allows you to get a great deal on quality dorm supplies that will last your students throughout their years living in dorms, and you’ll save BIG on shipping costs, too. With all of other tasks on your plate to prep your child for college — tuition bills, scholarship applications and potential empty-nest syndrome — you’ll be happy that you chose an all-in-one online retailer for your child’s dorm necessities.

5. Teach students how to save. The number one way for a student to be financially unprepared for college is to know nothing about personal finance. If your family doesn’t have a lot of disposable income — or you don’t want to just be spoon-feeding your student piles of money — make him start saving before school and practice finance management. Students can take on an inexpensive monthly bill, like their cell phone, to learn budgeting. You can also allot them a certain budget that they HAVE to stick to. In the end, it’s up to the student — once he’s at school — to make sure that all your efforts mean something.

august dormcoAbout The Author

DormCo.com is the leading online college dorm supplies superstore. With more than 4,500 products, DormCo carries college necessities such as twin XL bedding, furniture for dorms, trunks and more. DormCo also offers a range of unique, useful, and even downright fun supplies for college that you won’t find in stores. Visit DormCo.com for a one-stop shop that provides everything needed to make dorm life more comfortable and convenient.