Dorm shopping?

My DD is going to study in the midwest in USA soon. Her dad goes with her for a few days. Both have never been in the USA.
I was in USA for vacation back in 1981 and the shops I remember are very big large spaces to spend many hours in.
I am homebound with severe health issues . Her dad is not the shopping type. He hates shopping goes like once a year for his clothes and half hour longest he has been in shops. I do not know how the dorm shopping will go…
Ever since I shop online I do the buying for the home things. Would have loved to be able to go dorm shopping with DD.
We do look online at items. She wants to buy her things there and is her first time buying dorm items and in another country.
Any tips?

The more organized you are, the less time they’ll spend in the store and the greater likelihood that they’ll either forget important things or buy too many unnecessary things.

Start with a list of what she needs. Divide that list by what she needs to see in person to buy vs what she can order online. Only go to the store for the first part of the list and buy that second part of the list online.

Stores vary here. The stores you went to in 1981 may not be the same stores available to your daughter. Do a little googling to see what stores will be close to where she and her dad are, so you can research what she might be able to get at those stores.

Look at the Bed Bath and Beyond website. You can order online and pick it up at the location of the school or you can have it shipped to her college.

Target now offers shop on line and pick up at the Target near the school.

Good suggestions above. I would also have you D look into Amazon Prime. There is a student discount rate. She can order and get things delivered in 2 days.

It would be helpful for any items that can’t be found or get missed on the big shopping trip, that she realizes later on would be helpful etc. Plus many students buy books through Amazon (often cheaper than the college bookstore). I’d let your D know you want access to the account (get the password) so you can look at options with her and keep a handle on what has been ordered. You can also use Amazon to send her gifts and other things throughout her college years.

Is there a way to find parent groups for specific college/uni? Is there a list somewhere? I tried all sorts of google searches no luck yet.

You can check for her school here on this website:

Or if you are on Facebook search and see if you find a parent/family group for her school. If she is accepted she has likely already been shared a Facebook page for students at her university (unless bigger schools don’t do that - mine all went to smaller D3 schools that did!)

Some schools have a dean of foreign students or an international student advisor who would be able to help with information about parent groups and what stores are local. Where my daughter went, they had American foster families for first-time foreign students to help them get settled and be around to help with emergencies or navigating US systems. One of my co-workers and her husband are a foster family for Japanese students. They take them shopping and on weekend trips to historical sites, national parks etc.

Many major retailers (Target, Walmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond) have dorm shopping lists. The lists are a good place to start, but they do have unnecessary items on the lists. There should be a list of prohibited items on the res. life section of her school’s website. Because of fire hazard, some schools don’t allow things like irons or anything with open heating elements. Everywhere my kids went for school, anything that heated had to have automatic shut-off.

I made a few dorm lists at some of the shops suggested in previous posts. Added some things also located brands toiletries she uses here that she will use there. The list from her college I looked it over and with a highlighter marker marked all things she has here for past HS years amd which have to be bought allover again over there in US.
Shipping overseas from EU to USA is very expensive so not an option.
She did shop here for school supplies so is one less thing to shop for over there also to have have some things from here she likes and a new back pack. The luggage is ready for packing.She looked up Youtube videos for packing tips.
Over here when she and her dad travel vacations he has a van/bus so is no issue the how much can be packed.
I try to think how much will fit as she wants to take all her favorites. I tried rolling up dresses skirts shirts see how small they can be rolled up but my osteoarthritis I have less hand/wrist use so if anyone knows a tip for this?

My wife is a firm believer in packing cubes. Check Amazon. You roll the clothes & put them in the cubes. Fits in even more, but watch the weight.

We are firm believers in “less is better.” D wasn’t a believer until she had to schlep her stuff to store it a few times and is now a convert. Dorms and student apartments really are small spaces and the kids like the ability to buy a few new things anyway, especially to fit in with new friends.

We noticed S would bring things home and leave them home. When D started his U, he was happy to gift her with many things he didn’t need/want, many new or close to it.

Many online places have free delivery and campuses often have buses to take kids shopping during move in period (plus Uber and Lyft are generally quite reasonable, especially if shared with several students).

Really don’t overthink or overpack.

Depending on what country she is coming from, midwest winters can be a real surprise. She can purchase a winter coat, hat, gloves and boots here along with some sweaters. Fleece lined tights can be worn under dress pants, dresses and jeans with the bonus that they are warm.

Making the things you pack small isn’t going to be the issue - the weight of the package is. Your daughter’s international flight will have very strict weight and size limits on what she can bring on the plane without large additional charges. And not only do different airlines have different weight limits, but within individual airlines the type of ticket she has may limit the number of bags she can bring.

Don’t do any more packing until you find out how many bags she can bring and what the weight limits are. You’re going to quickly discover how much clothes weigh. There is no way in heck it will make financial sense to use some of her precious pounds allowed on school supplies. Ditch the heavier items and less expensive items and focus on only bringing lightweight stuff, expensive things and things she can’t get elsewhere. Once she’s packed her favorite clothes, shoes and a few toiletries, she will likely be at or over her weight limit. Buy the rest of the stuff here - it will be less expensive… no VAT and prices at places like Walmart and Target are very low.

Her checked bag limits may also depend on her ticket class as well as her airline.

Remember that your husband will also be under the same weight, size and number limit. If you can survive a few days with just a small bag, she can pack some of her items in his bags.

If she can do a lot of her shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond, I believe they’ll let her pick up her entire order at the nearest shop when she arrives at college. Not sure whether Target and Walmart offer the same deal, though I certainly wouldn’t be surprised. So she can see the merchandise when she’s here, make her decisions, and not actually bring the items home.

Also, depending on where in the midwest she is, make sure she’s prepared for the winter… parts of that section of the country get cold, snowy winters.

My daughter got a Keurig coffee maker for Christmas. Since it makes individual cups, it’s acceptable at her school. And she can make coffee, as well as get hot water for tea, soup, mac and cheese, and hot chocolate.