So earlier this week you saw some of my early brainstorming for my senior year apartment I’ll be living in next fall. I’m super excited for it, to say the least. Anyway, it got me to thinking about some advice I have for college students that are preparing for their living situations next year. After having gone through like three multiple times before, these are things that I have done or wished I had done before moving into my new space from the old year.
1. Have a Plan
It’s so important to know where you are living for the next year. Sign up for your new dorm, house, or apartment early so you can start to plan what kind of things you’ll need, and what you want to decorate. If possible, find a floor plan of your space (many colleges and apartments offer floor plans of their rooms online, so be on the lookout). This will help you prepare for about how big your space will be, where windows, doors, and closets are located, and any other notable things to plan for.
2. Decide the Theme
If you are matching your room décor to your roommate’s, figure out a theme (nautical, Victoria’s Secret, flowers, etc). If you are just planning your own space, decide on the colors and feel you want it to be. Find something that inspires you and then design around it (usually for college spaces, I’d recommend centering it around your bedding, since that’s the biggest element in a small room). For instance, I have my heart set on the Urban Outfitters chevron duvet in black and white, so I know that I’ll have a black, white, and pops of red theme.
3. Make of a List of Things to Buy
Once you know what your space will look like and what theme you want your space to have, make a list of things to buy. My advice to poor college students is to try to pick a theme that allows you to use most of the stuff you already have. It would break my bank to decide I don’t want to use any of my red stuff anymore, so I know I should stick to my same colors I’ve used the past three years. If you know you’ll need new bedding, pots and pans, plates, and other kitchen items, break it down into several months of buying things. Don’t save it all for August right before school because that can kill your budget. For example, I’m planning on buying a duvet and an insert here in the spring, and then buying the rest of my apartment items throughout the summer. If you are moving from a dorm to an apartment or house, make sure you discuss with your roommates who is purchasing staples like pots, pans, kitchen utensils, bathroom shower curtains, TVs, coffee makers, and big things like that.
4. Pack Efficiently
I know this is harping on this subject early, but remember at the end of this semester when you pack up your stuff you currently use, try to pack intelligently. Pack your kitchen/eating items together (don’t forget to label!!), bathroom things together, bedding together, and so on. Pack the things you will want to use over the summer together too, so you don’t have to go through each box looking for things like your iPhone charger. It makes next fall when you go back to school so much easier!
5. Watch Sales!
If the bedding you’ve been eyeing goes on sale in April, jump on it. Don’t always wait until school starts because that’s when things get picked over. However, if you don’t absolutely love it, know that new things will come out over the summer just for kids that are going to college.
Do you have any advice for preparing for next year? What’s the biggest decorating changes between living in a dorm versus an apartment or house?