Outfitting a Dorm Room

As soon as we got back from Montana — with visions of Griz pendants hanging in our heads — and I had a clear idea of the size/shape/layout of Ricky’s future dorm room, I wanted to go shopping.

I did a “scout shop,” where I ran into Bed, Bath and Beyond one night without him, just to “see what they had.” I spent a couple of hours, eyeing color-coordinated comforters, mattress pads, pillows, sheet sets, towels, throw rugs, lamps, eating utensils, shower supplies, white boards, desk organizers, even waste baskets — all giddy with anticipation. I had visions of going back with my son, showing him options, having him make selections, and us wheeling out a big cart out of each store with everything we needed, maybe going to lunch, planning out how his new life would look.

But then …

Well, then I realized … I had a son.

He had no interest in mattress pads. Couldn’t care less if his sheets matched or not. Shrugged at one pillow or two. Shrugged again at what kind of laundry hamper he’d need. 

Yes, he thinks about his needs for next year, but his thoughts cover only electronics — he’s been researching what new phone plan he’ll sign up for (did I mention Montana didn’t have reception for ANY of our phones???), which new phone he should get, and wondering if he should get a new laptop. If it doesn’t come with an adapter, plug or batteries, it simply doesn’t capture his attention. (But hey! I might be able to get him to pick out a lamp!)

Anyway, my new blogging friend Tracy, who blogs for me over at Health Bistro, sent me a note saying she’s going through the exact same thing with her twin boys, who she’s sending to college this fall. She said she was able to drag them each over to the computer for 30 seconds to pick out bedding online. And she pointed me to Residence Hall Linens, a cool web site that allows you to buy entire packages of college needs: bedding needs, shower needs, etc., all for a really good price. They even allow you to increase the thread count on the sheets and add in extra blankets if you need.

Score!

I finally made friends with the fact that my son and I were not going to wheel shopping carts together and have lunch to discuss lamps and throw blankets. I caught him tonight before he ran out the door again to spend more time with friends, and got him to look at this web site for 30 seconds and pick out a color.

Deep sigh. My visions of us shopping together are probably out the window.

(But I do have a daughter coming up the line. …)

(And I might get him to go to Target with me to pick out a lamp.)

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5 thoughts on “Outfitting a Dorm Room

  1. I am living the reverse. My daughter is finishing college and in an apartment – so I have been helping shop and coming up with fun creative solutions to dorm room problems for a few years. My son is leaving for college this year and he just wants to wait until he is there and to get things as he finds needs them – planning on using sleeping bag on bed initially – – –
    I have used RHL dorm room linens in the past – great site – planning on shipping things from there – – – as he finds he needs them. Thank you FedEx.

  2. HulaMonkey — Great tip! The boys probably don’t like showing up with all shiny things at first, huh? Kind of like showing up on the first day of school with all new clothes/backpack/shoes/etc.? (My son never liked doing that, either.) Sounds like you’ve been through this a couple of times, so please come back and offer advice as we go along!!! I’m sure I’ll need it!

  3. It’s worth a call to your school’s Residence Life office to be sure that you really need those extra-long sheets, etc..

    Many universities only have a few extra-long mattresses on each floor. If your student is average stature and attending one of those schools, the odds say they’ll get a standard mattress. On the off-chance they do get a long bed, they can usually swap with an extra-long person.

  4. My sons college had a store on campus with everything in it you needed and they also sent brochures for us to be able to pick a package that included sheet sets, laundry hampers, comforters, etc. It was really nice since I wasn’t quite sure what he needed. After I ordered it all, I came across some at Target.com and Kohls also. You might want to check some department stores also, like JCPenney or Sears. I think they were a lot cheaper than the package deal we had gotten. My son did allow me to take him to the store and buy all the plates, shower caddy, towels, etc that he was gonna need….but I didn’t do it until we were at his dorm, then we were away from home and he had no choice but to shop because he was there to stay. It was both an exciting and sad time for me! Good luck!

  5. Thanks, Adrienne!!! Great tips!!

    Debi — That’s great that your son’s campus actually offered something. (hmmm .. that would be a good business, huh?) And I laughed about him being “trapped” in the new place and forced to go shopping! That’s probably how our scenario is going to play out. Yes, both exciting and sad for sure. …

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