dorm room shopping mistakes people make often that can be avoided when college shopping

Avoidable College Dorm Shopping Mistakes

When it comes to college or dorm room shopping, everyone gets super excited. You go into the store and then begin to pick any and everything that matches the vision of how you want your dorm room or suite to look.

And that is fine. There is nothing wrong with creating a vision of how you want your dorm room to look and feel. After all, it is where you will be for another year so it has to be right for you .

The problem is, sometimes we do make some shopping mistakes that can literally cost us money and some that could have saved us more money

While I am excited for your new dorm shopping, there are some things you need to take into consideration before you start selecting everything.

Take this from someone who has been there and made the same mistakes

You can pin this for later!

college dorm room mistakes people tend to make often when shopping for college

Discounts and Savings

Before you go shopping, you most likely have a budget in mind, so it may not really matter how much an item cost, provided it is within budget. Staying within budget is great but there are ways to make your budget sweeter and at the same time get more

 As a student, you are entitled to a host of savings that you need to properly maximize.  If you can stack the savings by all means go for it and don’t look back.

You will save a whole lot more, purchase a whole lot more and get more money in the process when you apply them.

There are so many stores that offer percentage discounts just for students. From clothing to makeup to technology to big box stores, you can snag a deal just for being a student

Now how can you do that?

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Depending on what part of the world you stay, you can flash a card and get a discount. I stay in Canada, and we do have a student discount card that you can show at any participating merchants online and in-store and immediately qualify for a 10% discount off your purchase. If this isn’t offered in your country you can try sites like Ibotta and Ebates. Both of these merchants work similarly. They literally pay you for shopping. You can get up to 40% in cashback on each individual purchase you make. You can also find deals on items that you may be looking to purchase for your dorm room

The best part is, they work with your go to merchants like Walmart, Amazon, Target, bed bath and beyond. I could keep listing but you get the point.

If you are going to these popular places to purchase things for your dorm, you may as well get some money back and save some money on the way.

Also, if you are not sure if a store offers discount or not, don’t be shy to ask. Simply as if they offer student discounts. If they do, it’s a win for you.

Check these articles for an ultimate list of stores you can get a student discount

  1. Society19
  2. Clarkscondensed
  3. Fitnancial
  4. Simplyallison

Decals and crafts

Decals  and crafts may be the ultimate when it comes to bringing your dorm decor vision to life, but you want to be careful what type you actually purchase and how they apply.  Some tend to be hard to remove and may cause damage to the walls and trust me, the residence life will make sure you are responsible for every penny of that damage. From experience, they tend to charge you more than the damage you actually cause, but there isn’t much you can do about it. The fact still remains, the damage was done and there is no substantial way to argue the charge.

As much as I would say avoid them, if you do put up some decals or craft, instead of gluing them to the wall just hang them with some hooks or use some  strips and scotch tape to make them stick

Needless to say, it all boils down to caution, you can use the lightest adhesive for your dorm room decals but if you forcefully take it off, the walls might chip.

Tip: In case of little “chippings” on the wall, you can mask it with a white-out


My best advice is to go for designs that don’t require any serious “stickiness” like tapestries, light-boxes and a nice canva that stands properly on your dorm table

If you are interested in checking some out really nice dorm decor designs and getting some cool inspirations, check my Pinterest Board and dormify

Related post: college dorm room essentials everyone needs to have

Get proper dimensions

Not every item fits into a college dorm room. Before you buy certain items like fridge and microwave for your dorm, you want to make sure there is a place for it in the room.

Because college dorms are built so tiny, it is best to keep the proper dimensions of the space in mind before you purchase large items or at least have a mental picture of the room before making a purchase. You want to keep your room comfortable for ease and you also don’t want to have to constantly return items just because they don’t fit

Which brings me to my next point

Keep your receipt

If you have to return an item for whatever reason, you want to make sure you have the receipt. Depending on the point of sale, you might get away with returning an item without the receipt but not all stores operate the same way. If you don’t, they may have you make an exchange for another dorm decor that you actually don’t like and then you get stuck with an item that doesn’t fit with your dorm design.

Get familiar with the residence rules

I should have started with this point because it is probably the most important of them all. Not everything you think you need for college is actually permitted. Before you shop for everything, you need to familiarize yourself with residence rules and make sure every appliance or craft you bring into your college dorm is within the college residence guidelines.

If you don’t want to get kicked out or reduce your chances of being accepted into residence your next year, you will have to adhere to rules and that includes not bringing items that are not permitted on residence without permission

Always consult with your roommate

There are certain items for your college dorm that, it doesn’t really make much sense having double of e.g bathroom rugs and fridges. The way to prevent that, is to ask your roommate what he/she has, so you don’t bring the exact same item.

Imagine sharing a minuscule space and having two fridges inside it. It eats up a lot of the space and makes the room look crowded. If you are worried about not having control over the fridge or whatever the item is that you both share, you can both easily contribute to the purchase of one. That way, you both are shared owners of the item, you save space and you save money.

These are all common mistakes people tend to make when caught in the excitement of dorm shopping and I am so glad you stuck till the end to read what i had to say.

You can leave a comment to let me know what you think and also share with people who need to hear this.

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