Archive for the 'College' Category

Organized for Student Success, Part 3: The Traveling Student

In my previous post, The College Years, Get in Order for Dorm Living, I talked about getting ready for and packing for life in the dorm. What to do if you are heading across the country, or across the state, for that matter? How do you fit all that stuff in your car and still have room for the people? Bed Bath and Beyond has come up with the perfect solution with their new Pack and Hold Service.

Get Organized for Success with Bed Bath and Beyond!

Their Pack & Hold service allows you to shop either online or at your local Bed Bath and Beyond store and have your purchases shipped directly to your school. Alternatively, you can have your order shipped to the Bed Beth & Beyond store that is nearest to your school and pick it up when you arrive in town.  In both instances, shipping charges do apply, but keep in mind that you are bypassing the headache of bringing home, packing up, and shipping these items yourself.

Bed Bath & Beyond has almost everything you will need for a dorm room, as well as packing advice, checklists, and practical solutions to common problems in the dorm. Check out The College Insider with links to helpful college websites, and products organized by sections.

To take advantage of the Pack & Hold service, you will need to know:

The Dorm Room Address

Be aware that many colleges and universities use their gym or other large facility to store all  shipments received before move in date. You will want to call your school and confirm exactly where your packages should be shipped and where you should pick them up.

The Ship Date

Colleges and universities usually have a window of time in which they will accept deliveries for incoming students. Again, you will want to call your school and determine this time frame. Next, keep in mind that when you select your ship date with Bed Bath and Beyond, that you are selecting the date when your order will actually ship, not the date that it will be received by your school. So, factor in an extra 3-8 days for standard shipping methods within the contiguous United States, and 5-10 days for shipments to Hawaii or Alaska. An exact shipping date cannot be guaranteed, so it is important to communicate with your school as you are making your plans.

Thanks Bed Bath and Beyond! You have started a good thing. I have a feeling other stores will be following suit.

Looking for a gift for a college bound student? Keep in mind that Bed Bath and Beyond does offer a College Gift Registry. Not registered? A gift card makes a perfect gift!

Happy (and Organized) School Days!

Cheryl

Be sure to check out all of the articles in the Organized for Student Success Series;  Part 1: Saving on Supplies, Part 2: The College Years,  Part 4, Organize the Student, Part 5:  Organize Their Space, and Part 6:  Organize Their School Memories.

Organized for Student Success – Part 2: The College Years

An Organized Student is a More Successful Student

This is true whether your student is heading off to kindergarten or, like 3 students in our family, heading off to college. The better prepared and organized your students are as they head off, the more they are able to concentrate on the important tasks that lay before them.

Moving Day......Simplify the Process!

Get In Order for Dorm Living

Pre-Pack Check

Before you even check out any of the Packing Lists below, it’s a good idea to check out your individual school’s policies. You can find on-campus housing policies both online and in the student handbook of most schools. Alternatively, feel free to call your campus housing office. Find out answers to the following questions before you begin packing:

  • What are the dorm policies?
  • Which small appliances can you bring, and which should you leave at home?
  • How is your dorm room set up? What furniture is provided with your room? Is the furniture stationary, or are you able to move it?
  • What is your bathroom situation? Are you heading down the hall or do you have a private/shared bath?
  • How are you allowed to decorate your room?

Roommate Check

If you are sharing a room, be sure to check in with your roommate(s) before purchasing and packing the larger items that you will need. Dorm rooms are SMALL, and shared items can go a long way in freeing up needed space. Consider sharing items such as: TV, DVD player, Game Consoles, mini-fridge, and microwave. You may also want to coordinate who (if anyone) will be bringing a rug, curtain, etc.

A quick introductory phone call to your new roommate(s) can go a long way toward getting acquainted, starting your relationship off on the right foot, minimizing the stress of shopping and packing, and feeling more prepared.

Life Detail Check

  • Vital Papers – Prepare a small file box with important papers that you may need during the school year.  Create sections for: Banking, School Passwords and Information and Personal Documents
  • Medical Concerns and Health Insurance – Be sure that you are covered under your parent’s policy or purchase medical insurance that is offered through your school. Be sure to have copies of your insurance cards and your current physician’s contact information. Familiarize yourself with your school’s Student Health Center, services provided, costs and hours. Be sure to bring along any medications that you are currently taking.
  • Renters insurance . Most schools will advise you to carry renter’s insurance to cover personal belongings. Accidents happen and thefts do occur, even in the best situations, and generally your University will not replace or reimburse in the event of loss of personal items for any reason. It’s always best to be prepared. A small fee can cover you for several thousands of dollars of coverage.
  • Protecting Your Valuables. Along with taking time to get renters insurance, protect yourself and your belongings by labeling your valuables and electronics with your name and hometown. This can be as simple as using a permanent marker, engraving your name and hometown on your valuables, or going more high tech using assett tagging. A simple assett tagging package can be purchased very inexpensively. ReuniteIT by LoJack asset tags allow you to label your personal assets, so that if they are ever lost or stolen, finders can return them to you. Better yet, removal attempts will always leave a trace, immediately identifying the item as a probable theft, and reducing the likelihood that it can be resold or pawned. A quick google search of “Assett Tags” or “Property Tags” will bring up hundreds of other options.
  • Cell Phone and Internet Access. Check your cell phone plan and be sure it will accommodate your new living situation. If your going out of state, be sure you won’t be paying for long distance or roaming fees. If you will be texting more and/or use your phone to connect to the internet, be sure you have unlimited texting and online minutes. Keep in mind that most colleges do provide internet access to dorm rooms.
  • Banking. Take the time to call your school and find out which banks have branches on or near your college. Many banks reach out to college students and offer free checking accounts.  It’s a good idea to open a checking account at a local bank. You may want to consider getting a debit card and find out where your bank’s ATM machines are located to avoid ATM fees. But, be sure to take the time to consider a spending budget and the importance of avoiding unnecessary debt.

Packing Check

If you are heading off to live in a dorm, chances are your University has sent out a packing list. Use this as a guideline, taking into consideration your personality. The lists tend to be organized into sections of Bed and Bath,Eat, Study, Electronics and Relax, Storage, Tools and Organizing Helps, and finally, Cleaning and Laundry.

Keep in mind, that it probably isn’t necessary to pack clothes for every season during your initial move. Depending on where you are heading, you may be able to bring home your summer clothes at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, and pack up the rest of your fall/winter duds. Then during spring break, switch out your winter for spring/summer clothes. Try to keep to your favorites, as this is what you will end up wearing anyway.

Finally, you know yourself. Don’t pack items that you won’t use (even if they ARE on every list!). Remember, “Less IS More”. There is a fine line between being prepared and over-stuffing your small space, your mind, your time, and your energy with useless items from home. I found a list entitled, “Top5Must-Haves” from a reputable and popular online college resource. My students used none of these “essentials” in their dorm room! Think real life and essential. The reality is that most students will have the opportunity to head out to the local discount store and pick up anything they need.

That being said, below you will find a simple packing list of essentials:

Bed and Bath:

Bedding: sheets, blankets or comforter, pillow(s), pillow protector/mattress pad, book light

Send them off in style with Pottery Barn Dorm Bedding!

Bath: towels/wash clothes, toiletries, medicines, tissues

Bath attached to your room? toilet paper, bathmat, shower curtain, toothbrush/soap holder, bath cleaning supplies – don’t forget to coordinate with your roommate(s)

Bath down the hall? bath caddy, flip flops for shared shower, robe

Eat:

Microwave/Refrigerator -remember to coordinate with your roommate(s), quick snacks such as granola bars & fruit cups, a couple mugs, cups, and bowls,  hot and cold beverage mix. Don’t forget that most likely you have a FULL meal plan.

Study:

Books – if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to order textbooks. Check online. Many schools offer the convenience of ordering online and picking up at the school bookstore. Quick, convenient, and space saving! Bring along any basic resource books that you will use (dictionary, thesaurus etc), but don’t bring these items if you generally access this information online.

Check out PBDorm Line of Study Accessories.

Basics – Day planner (if you don’t maintain online planner), notebooks/binders /folders, basic office supplies, alarm clock (to wake up for class!)

Electronics and Relax

Extra pillows/back rest, i-pod or mp3 player, headphones, stereo/cd player, gaming systems

Storage, Tools and Organizing Helps

Hangers, towel rack for the door/closet, extension cord(s), multi-plug outlet, sticky tack, a few basic tools, light bulbs, milk crates or wire shelves for storage, and a fan

Purchase, after checking out your room, or bring along a few organizing tools such as drawer organizers, closet organizers, shoe storage, shelf dividers, but don’t open until you are sure they can be used (and make sure you hang on to the receipts).

Cleaning and Laundry

Laundry: Laundry bag/hamper, laundry soap and dryer sheets, quarters, stain remover, drying rack, small iron/board (another item that can be shared with roommates – and only bring it if you will use it!)

Cleaning: Find out if a vacuum is available on your hall, basic disinfecting wipes will cover most other needs

Check out one or more of the lists below, but please keep in mind that you won’t need all of the listed items. I suggest checking out a few lists to jog your memory, but your best bet is to create your own lists of items that you actually use on a daily basis.

SallieMae College, What to Pack for College Checklist

CollegeBoard Checklist for College Dorm

Bed Bath and Beyond College Check List

Dorm Room Checklist

College Dorm Room Needs Checklist, About.com

Heading Out of State and Travel Space Limited? Watch for my next blog post; The Traveling Student”

Happy (and Organized!) College Days!

Cheryl

Be sure to check out all of the articles in the Organized for Student Success Series; Part 1: Saving on Supplies,  Part 2: The Traveling Student, Part 3: Organize the Student, Part 4:  Organize Their Space, and Part 5:  Organize Their School Memories.

“The Revolving Door”

Getting (and Staying!) Organized During the College Years

Graduations, another year of college completed, mission trips, summer camp, a new job, a new town, …………each resulting in “The Revolving Door”, as young adults move in and out of our homes.

The Revolving Door:  “characterized by a frequent succession or a cycle of leaving and returning.” Merriam Webster Dictionary

As in college students returning home for the summer!

Moving Day......Simplify the Process!

College students often return home for the summer with more stuff than could have possibly fit into their little dorm room or apartment! Their last days at school are consumed with finals, friends, and hopefully, a little fun, and they usually aren’t too concerned with neatly packing their belongings for the summer. Oftentimes, their belongings are shoved into bags, bins, and crates in a hit or miss manner (and that’s on a good day!). So, how do you keep it (your home, your life, your car) organized in the midst of the revolving door?

Don’t allow them to dump! Gently remind them that this is your home, not a storage facility. Then, offer simple, easy, and effective solutions to storing away their college gear until the next semester.

Dorm and Apartment Supplies, School Supplies and Gear

Pack away these supplies in clearly labeled, clear plastic bins. Sort like with like. Only then, can they see what they have, and decide what to keep. Next, ask a few questions about each item, before packing it away:

  • Did you use this item last semester?
  • Do you foresee a need for it next semester?
  • Where would you like to donate items that aren’t needed/used?
  • This is the perfect opportunity to assess any needs for next semester.

College Textbooks

  • If they won’t be needed in the future, require them to sell back their textbooks. This will result in less clutter, and can be a deposit for next semester’s books.
  • If you missed selling textbooks back to the college bookstore, check out these easy solutions.

Unopened Foods, Any Toiletries, Cleaning Supplies, and Laundry Detergent

Incorporate all foods (opened and unopened), any toiletries, cleaning supplies and laundry detergents into your household. Then they can start new and fresh next semester.

Clothing

Encourage them to take a few extra minutes to sort and purge before they unpack and/or pack away their clothes. Begin by taking a hard look at the clothes they did not bring to college. Generally, these are clothes they don’t like or don’t wear as often, and it just may be time to donate. Next sort like with like. Then ask the following questions to help your student sort and purge before storing away:

  • Did you wear it this semester/year/season? If you didn’t wear it last semester or season, you probably won’t wear it during the next semester or season!
  • Does it fit? If not, is it within a reasonable number of size ranges of your current size?
  • Do you love it? Is it still in style? Is it YOUR style?
  • Is the item in good condition? Does it have stains or tears or is it too worn?
  • Does it need mending? If so, will it realistically be mended?
  • How many do you currently own of this type of item? How many do you realistically wear or need?
  • Where would you like to donate the clothes you haven’t worn? Carroll County friends, check out this Renew, Reuse, Recycle link to some local possibilities.

Before storing away clothes, be sure to take the 3 simple steps of clothing storage, Clean, Contain, and Repel to protect them. Read more at a previous blog post,  “The Great Exchange”.

Linens and Bedding

Use the same 3 simple steps of clothing storage; Clean, Contain, and Repel, and store linens to be used next semester in a clearly labeled container. Incorporate any other linens into your household, or donate to a worthy cause.

Microwave and Refrigerator

Clean out the microwave and refrigerator, and any other appliances, before storing them away for next semester.

Before packing away the crates and bins of clothing and supplies, be sure that everything is clearly labeled.  I love, love Post-it and 3M removable and self adhesive labels . They allow you to quickly and easily label boxes and bins, while giving you the flexibility to change labels often. They come in a variety of sizes and colors.

Not only will you be taking steps to keep your home organized, just as important, you will be helping your student(s) learn and practice organizational skills, that they will use for a lifetime.

Yes, this hits close to our home! We had 3 college students move in within a 2 day period last week, and 2 will be heading out for the summer next week. It truly is a revolving door!

Happy (and Organized) Living and Moving!

Cheryl

“The Revolving Door” was originally posted in May 2010.

Organized for Student Success, Part 2: The Traveling Student

In my previous post, The College Years, Get in Order for Dorm Living, I talked about getting ready for and packing for life in the dorm. What to do if you are heading across the country, or across the state, for that matter? How do you fit all that stuff in your car and still have room for the people? Bed Bath and Beyond has come up with the perfect solution with their new Pack and Hold Service.

Get Organized for Success with Bed Bath and Beyond!

Their Pack & Hold service allows you to shop either online or at your local Bed Bath and Beyond store and have your purchases shipped directly to your school. Alternatively, you can have your order shipped to the Bed Beth & Beyond store that is nearest to your school and pick it up when you arrive in town.  In both instances, shipping charges do apply, but keep in mind that you are bypassing the headache of bringing home, packing up, and shipping these items yourself.

Bed Bath & Beyond has almost everything you will need for a dorm room, as well as packing advice and checklists, practical solutions to common problems in the dorm, The College Insider with links to helpful college websites, and products organized by sections.

To take advantage of the Pack & Hold service, you will need to know:

The Dorm Room Address

Be aware that many colleges and universities use their gym or other large facility to store all  shipments received before move in date. You will want to call your school and confirm exactly where your packages should be shipped and where you should pick them up.

The Ship Date

Colleges and universities usually have a window of time in which they will accept deliveries for incoming students. Again, you will want to call your school and determine this time frame. Next, keep in mind that when you select your ship date with Bed Bath and Beyond, that you are selecting the date when your order will actually ship, not the date that it will be received by your school. So, factor in an extra 3-8 days for standard shipping methods within the contiguous United States, and 5-10 days for ship ments to Hawaii or Alaska. An exact shipping date cannot be guaranteed, so it is important to communicate with your school as you are making your plans.

Thanks Bed Bath and Beyond! You have started a good thing. I have a feeling other stores will be following suit.

While your visiting bedbathandbeyond .com, enter to win a $15,000 shopping spree for your college dorm!

Happy (and Organized) School Days!

Cheryl

Be sure to check out all of the articles in the Organized for Student Success Series;  Part 1: The College Years, Part 3: Organize the Student, Part 4:  Organize Their Space, and Part 5:  Organize Their School Memories.



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Organizing Just Got Fun!
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