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Having a D who just survived her freshman year in a dorm, I would like to pass along a few tips, particularly to parents who have not had the pleasure of moving one of their offspring into a college dormitory. There are a few things that one can do to ease the trials of that day:
Bring a small tool kit--Something that has at least a hammer, slotted and Phillips screwdrivers and a pliers. It is useful to leave this kit with the student after you have departed. Ikea has a nice one for about five dollars.
Bring a rubber mallet-- We found that in bunking beds, a rubber mallet would have been useful in that the beds had to be "coaxed" into their bunking position. This is a tool that you do not have to leave with the student--no telling how it may be used.
Invest in an inexpensive hand truck-- These are available at many home centers and hardware stores. No need to get a big one with pneumatic tires. Your back will thank you many times over the years.
Think about buying bed risers--If the beds aren't bunked, these provide extra height for much needed storage room under the bed. Some college bookstores sell them and you can find them in many places like Target. Be aware that some stores only stock these "seasonally". I don't know how much extra inventory they carry, so it may not be best to wait until the last minute on this.
Clean up tools--Things such as a broom and dustpan. You would be surprised how much debris accumulates on move-in day. No need to leave these with the students as they probably will not use them during the year anyway.
Consider saving (bringing home) appliance boxes and packing materials--Particularly for things such as dorm refrigerators, TV's and printers. When Spring comes and these items have to be moved out and stored, they are moved easier and are less apt to be damaged in their original packing boxes.
Assume that the electrical outlets in the room will not be where the things that will be plugged into them are--the college's safety/fire requirements govern here--but assume that you will need some multiple outlet surge protectors or extension cords of the proper wire guage--if allowed.
TV coaxial cable-- to connect the TV into whatever cable TV outlet is provided--if it is provided. This is not usually supplied with new TV sets.
Duct Tape--this almost goes without saying.
Toilet Paper--both of my daughters were happy to have spare rolls of this vital commodity handy.
Roll of Paper Towels--even though you are moving into a clean room, things get dirty, things spill. Good to leave with the student.--
Bottled water--depending on what part of the country you are in, it can be hot in Aug/Sept and moving can work up a sweat. Dorm vending maching may not have what you want to drink or may be expensive.
I tried to stay away from furnishings and supplies, but the above items should help expedite the move in process and eliminate at least one trip to a local store on move-in day.