What about schools that use iPads and Kindles instead of textbooks? Many universities are providing the devices to their incoming freshmen, not only to access textbooks but to send out articles and workbooks that students are required to get. Before you buy one of these devices, find out if they are available for free and how dependent your college is on this kind of technology.
Most dorm rooms come equipped with the basics: a bed, desk, dresser, wardrobe or closet, and a chair. Beyond that, it's up to you to make it functional.
Neu Home Closet Doubler, $11.99
Everyone needs more closet space -- especially space-deprived college students. The Neu Home Closet Doubler is the perfect solution at the right price.
Ironing Blanket, $8
Not every college student is satisfied looking like an unmade bed -- at least for the first week of school. This ironing blanket, available at Amazon.com, replaces the board no one has room for.
Laundry Bags, $12.50-$14 Household Essentials 5630 Oval-Shaped Laundry Hamper with Carrying Straps, $12.50
These laundry bags double as hampers. (Hopefully, college-bound teens know how to do the laundry!)
Back in the day, we weren't allowed to cook in our dorm rooms. Now, you can make entire meals without getting out of bed.
Sears Mini-Fridge, $99
Wait to buy a microwave or fridge until you meet your roommate and see what appliances they brought. If you still need a fridge or a microwave, go to Sears.com, where you can "ship to store," and pick it up at any Sears location.
Once you have your appliances, you can get this Fox Run Microwave 3-in-1 Rice, Pasta and Popcorn Cooker, which tackles the three major food groups in one bowl.
You can find all of our dorm room products at Amazon.com
For college-bound teens and parents, packing can be a daunting task. Instead of leaving it until the last minute, print out this list and carry it with you, so you can pick up what you need and check it off as you go.
☐ Comforter or quilt
☐ Sheets. Twin extra-long beds are in many dorms.
☐ Mattress pad and/or cover
☐ Shower caddy
☐ Towels and washcloths
☐ Flip flops for shower
☐ Detergent, dryer sheets, etc.
☐ Sock bag
☐ Drying rack
Becky's Pick: Ironing Blanket, $8
☐ Computer/Printer (Becky's Picks: HP G62T Series Laptop and Printer Combo Deal, $799; the Mac iBook, Printer & Nano Touch, $999)
☐ Laptop lock (Becky's Pick: Kensington Combosaver Laptop Lock, $39.78)
☐ Desk Lamp
☐ Supplies: pens, notebooks, flashcards, etc. (Becky's Pick: Livescribe Smartpen, $129.95)
☐ Bed risers
☐ Under bed storage containers
☐ Plastic containers for extra storage. (Tip: If stacked, they can also be used as a nightstand).
☐ Alarm clock
☐ Surge protector and extension cords
☐ Closet Doubler (Becky's Pick: Neu Home Closet Doubler, $11.99)
☐ Over-the-door hooks
☐ Hooks and putty tack for walls. (Many products allow for easy removal without damaging the walls).
☐ Mini-Fridge or Micro-Fridge (Becky's Pick: Sears Mini-Fridge, $99)
☐ Plastic utensils, plates
☐ Favorite snacks
Becky's Pick: Fox Run Microwave 3-In-1 Rice, Pasta and Popcorn Cooker $11.99
☐ Television (Don't forget to bring a cable cord to hook up to the connection).
☐ DVD player
☐ Decorations to give your room flair. Think memo boards, pictures to remind you of home, or other mementos.
☐ First aid kit and medications
☐ Cleaning products (wipes, paper towels, etc.).
☐ Cordless vacuum
☐ Fan -- depending on the climate
What Not to Bring:
Be sure to check what's not permitted before bringing everything to school.
☐ Halogen lamps
☐ Knives longer than 4 inches