Tips and Tricks for Getting Your Child Ready for College

Shower Caddy:
Woodruff says to pack the shower caddy with shampoo, soap and most definitely flip flops. Do you see your kid scouring the shower floor? Or even worse, imagine that he or she is using a shared bathroom or shower. Don't think about it -- just get them the flip flops.

First Aid Kid:
Woodruff bought the most basic, pre-packaged first aid kit from a big box store. This is in addition to whatever medications your kid has to take. These kits have Band-Aids, Neosporin and other basics. Anything more serious requires a trip to the infirmary.

Stick-On Night Light:
This was another big tip from parents on Woodruff's blog. Parents might remember how annoying it was when we were sleeping in a dorm room and a roommate came in late and turned on the light. Stick-on lights are battery-operated and stick on the wall, just like one of those closet lights that many of us have.

A Piece of Home:
Call it a loving memory of his family or a way to keep him in line. Whether he wants it or not, Woodruff's son is getting a framed picture of his family.

Shopping, Shipping and Styling Tips

Bed, Bath and Beyond has a service called "pack & hold," kind of like a registry for college. You go to the store near your home or online, order all the stuff you need, and Bed Bath & Beyond will pack it and hold it, shipping it on the date you choose so that it will be there when your kid moves in.

Where to Shop, Save and Avoid Shipping Costs:

The following stores are great places to start your shopping. Some offer free shipping or checklists for college students.

Bed, Bath and Beyond:
If you shop in a store, they will let you pick up your stuff at a different store near your school with no shipping costs. Many moms told Woodruff about how convenient this is. (But if you shop online, there may be no way around shipping costs.)

KMart:
Some items can be purchased online or in-store and picked up at local store to save shipping costs.

Sears:
Some items can be purchased online or in-store and picked up at local store to save shipping costs.

Target:

J.C. Penney's:
J.C. Penney's offers a collection of gear for your dorm. Currently they are offering a promotion with free shipping on Web site purchases, through Aug. 20.

Home Goods:
Deep discounts on designer products like sheet sets.

Design Your Own Dorm Room

www.designyourdorm.com

Go here and pick the layout that matches your new dorm room (if you know the layout), and then you can click and drag dorm gear into a 3-D model. You can even collaborate on line with your roommate. And if you like, you can order stuff directly from this Web site to be delivered to your dorm.

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