old country house blog



He chose his classes, got his DORM and room assignment and has chosen a roommate (GREAT GUY) and it is time to get started gathering items for his DORM room!

PB TEEN HAS  a GREAT CHECKLIST TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE THEIR SITE TO GET STARTED…..(and if you sign up with a .edu email you can get 10% OFF)

and free shipping (code: freeship)



Tate is pretty easy to please and rather oblivious when it comes to decor…maybe “non-chalant” is a better way to describe his lack of concern, though he does have “taste”…he does not concern himself much with color or pattern but instead with comfort. In fact, the comforter he has used for over a year is an old PINK flower power one of Phoebe’s that she stopped using…he LOVES the weight of it and simply could care less that it is pink! I decided NOT to send that one to the dorm!

Hopefully one of these will work!



I would love YOUR input…tell things your son or daughter could not live without…items NOT to bother with…It helps that we are local but I want Tate to be as independent as possible….




  1. Skip the iron and ironing board, IMO. If they didn’t use them at home, there is no reason to believe they will use them at school. “Less is more” overall, especially with males (I have two sons, plus a daughter, so I speak from experience). Anything they don’t have on hand can either be borrowed from someone else, or done without. Or, desperation will force creativity, and that is never a bad thing, right? 😉
    The best thing about sending them off to college is watching them practice being adults (this is also sometimes the worst thing, too…) But trust in them, and trust in yourself, and in the end they will make you proud.

  2. Thank Edie! I read over the list thinking “Tate does not even know what THAT is!” I think you are right…Less IS MORE…and I also agree that when he needs something bad enough…the act of going to get or borrowing is a good skill to acquire…Plus, if camp is any glimpse into the future I have packed things in suitcases, TOLD him they were there…. that he never even knew to look for…this boy will be fine…

  3. As a former Residence Life employee (8 years experience) at JMU, less is more. It is nice that you live close and can bring what he needs or as I would tell parents, we have stores too. Every year, about a week or so in, students would take a “field trip” to Wal-Mart with friends. They would learn to navigate the bus system and pick up the items that were missing.

    So stick to the basics – shampoo, soap, clothes, bedding, fridge, backpack, water bottle, school supplies, snacks, TV, computer and clothes hangers, etc. Everyone seems to forget clothes hangers. : ) Good luck – This is my favorite time of year on a college campus. Soooo much excitement. I am glad that I still work here and can see the excitement and promise of a new year.

  4. Just some food for thought. We put 4 boys through college. When the first one went we had the best of everything, Pottery Barn quilt and sheets, big fluffy bath towels etc. When the items came home on break we couldn’t believe what we saw! What happened to the quilt we asked??? Answer….Oh,we found two trees we could attach the quilt to so we made a hammock. How about the towels? Answer….We spilled Gator Aid and then I forgot to wash them for several weeks. But you would be proud…..when I finally washed the towels I remembered to wash the sheets. How often did you wash your sheets? Answer…..once. From that moment on the discount linen store became our best friend for all 4 boys. : )

    1. AWESOME ADVICE!!!!! I am 100% certain that everything I am doing is for ME not him, because he truly could head off to college with his phone and laptop and be just fine!!!!

  5. Don’t spend the money on PB linens for college. They will get ruined. You can find cute ones at Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond. Each of my kids seemed to need one of those 3 drawer plastic roller bins for extra underwear, socks, etc. I agree with the irons, there is always someone that has one in an emergency anyway.

  6. I second (or third) the idea of not buying really good things for the dorm. They get destroyed pretty quickly. Even if your kids are careful, there are other kids coming into the room, sitting, eating, hanging out on the beds. I also found that sending as little as possible as the best solution. Some kids were showing up with moving trucks trying to fit huge amounts of stuff in a tiny space. These kids have no time to take care of all that stuff. I also found that my son was forced to do laundry when he ran out of socks and underwear. Don’t be tempted to send huge amounts of clothes as they will wait for every single thing to be dirty before doing laundry and then it’s overwhelming. My son and daughter both loved the electric hot water kettle I sent with them as they could make there own tea, coffee, cocoa, and Thai noodle bowls in the dorm. We also didn’t send TV s, video games as they are commonly stolen.

    1. kelly, Thanks for all of these great suggestions saving me time and money! I got the Sunbeam hot water kettle pot thingy today!!!Yeah and we decided on no TV too. They do everything on their laptops…

  7. Oh and I recommend getting an extra-long mattress pad as the mattresses are pretty gross……

  8. So when presented the options T said, “I don’t need to look. Tell Mom not to buy anything.” Then he looked and said “oh wait. That one. I like that one.” Will leave the reveal to you.

  9. My son will be a senior in college. Definately less is more. Freshman year he went with just about everything on your list and I don’t think he touched 1/2 of it – nor did he remember he even had it. Sophomore year the stuff changed but it took 2 cars to get the stereo, tv, guitar, rug, floor lamp, bean bag chair, etc to school. After studying abroad in Budapest last fall and living with just what he could carry in a duffel bag and a backpack he realized he could make due with much less when he returned to fall last spring.

    – my son wasn’t at school a month freshman year before he threw away one of his Pottery Barn Teens sheet sets. Someone down the hall (maybe him, I’ll never know) got sick on them. Replacements came from Target.
    – freshman year he got the girls down the hall to iron his button-down shirts for him (I didn’t want to hear this) and ever since he puts them in the bathroom when he takes a shower to let the steam get at them
    – I definately 2nd the advice to get a nice thick x-long mattress pad. My son inherited my daughter’s down-filled one.
    – I regret getting him a duvet and cover rather than a comforter. The cover is never on quite right.
    – there are never enough electrical outlets so bring extension cords and power strips
    – my son liked to have a small fan to clip onto his bed for ventilation – most dorms are do not have A/C
    – tv, microwave and fridge are nice to have but they only need at most 1 of each per room and these days they don’t really need tvs (some schools have rules about types of microwaves and fridges)
    – basketball, football, frisbee for pickup games
    – make sure your son knows how to do laundry and what a proper size load is
    – the last couple of years he’s taken a set of plastic drawers like the kind you can buy at Target – top drawer is for small stuff and the other two drawers are for boxers and socks. One year it lived under his bed, one year it was a night table and one year it lived in his open closet under his hanging clothes.

    1. Carol,

      What a wonderful reply!!! I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to give me and my readers so many time worn suggestions!!!! You have given me so much help and saved me tons of time and $$$$$!!! xo

  10. Lots of great advise for this “first-timer,” and I agree with Lesli…the shopping I am doing is clearly for ME! I have ordered the mattress pad and added hangers to the list! I did stop myself from ordering a monogrammed pillow…LOL!

    1. LOL! I seriously almost ordered something monogrammed too!!!!

      I had a TON of luck today at Target – mattress pad, bedbug cover (yuck), hangers and extension cords…got TONS of those sticky wall poster hanger things…I will have to do this in shifts…it was exhausting…tape, pencils, wet wipes…Tate would totally NOT be into all this boring stuff…oh and I got an electric hot pot thing…

      I think we will learn a lot from each other and our boys in their journey…I am glad we will share it!

  11. I do have girls but I found if they drink a lot of water the Brita pitcher was great. This way if they have to refill water bottles and such, they can just get tap water and filter it. I am sure that there is probably nothing wrong with the water but try to convince them…lol. I have also found that if your school allows them the laundry pods are the best. That way they do not have to worry about measuring. A few basic medicines, tylenol, etc. Also, it doesn’t seem like much but the thinner the hangers, the better. I know boys may not use them, but you could not believe the difference going to the thin, flocked hangers made in my daughter’s school closets. Gave them much more space. I am sure there are other items but these are things we have suggested to others and that they say made a big difference.

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