Tuesday, June 20th
Graduations are wrapping up around the country and lots of gift cards are burning holes in the pockets of recent grads. If you are lucky, many of the gift cards are meant to help you get ready for your next adventure- your college dorm! Before you head out to a big box store, read the following - I Totally Blew Dorm Shopping. Once you have figured out the dos and don'ts, and have your list in hand, you may realize that everything won't fit in the family mini-van (if you only have a sedan - YIKES!). How do you get everything from here to there?
Many colleges offer dorm essential packages that can be shipped directly to the school, you just pick up at check in. They are usually of average quality and will service your freshman well. Items may be a bit more expensive than shopping sales or using coupons, but it is convenient.
Another choice is the Bed Bath and Beyond's Pack and Hold program. Here's how it works- Take your dorm list to the store, go to the registry department and get a scanner. Then scan all of the items you wish to add to your list. When done, the list is sent to the store closest to your school and you provide a pick up date. Upon picking up the items, they are boxed and ready to go for you. No need to go up and down the aisles. The nice thing is you can shop early while the selection is greatest, and get what you want because they box up your items as soon as you submit your registry. The other bonus is, if you change your mind, just take the item out of the box. You only pay for items once you have decided what you want to truly keep. Plus you can use all those handy 20% off coupons at check out.
Another idea is Wayfair.com. With free shipping and excellent customer service, you can order items a few days in advance and they will be at school when needed. Many schools have a mail service that will hold bulky items for pick up. Other stores like Target have many items that you can buy online and then have shipped to the closest store to the college, but items can only be held for 4 days, so you have to wait until almost the last minute and your selection may be limited.
While we are not endorsing Bed Bath and Beyond, Wayfair or Target for your purchases, their programs can be a great resource for college bounds students.