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Most recent posting below. See other articles in the column to the right.

The Freshman 15: Essential Tips to Simplify the Move to College

The freshman 15: essential tips to simplify the move to college
(ARA) - The countdown is on: Before you know it, the day of your big move to college will arrive. A successful move is a well planned move. Not only will it make the transition to college easier, it can save you a lot of stress in the actual moving process.

These 15 tips can help you get started:

1. Check it out: Before you head to school, check out your school's dorm regulations. There might be certain items, like mini-fridges or microwaves, that aren't allowed in dorm rooms. Helpful hint- Bed Bath & Beyond has information on many schools available in stores and online.

2. Check it off: There's no better time than now to start keeping track of what you need. Bed Bath & Beyond offers a college checklist both online and in stores. This can help you decide what you need to buy and what you can take from home.

3. Split it up: Get in touch with your future roommate and split some of the shopping tasks. This will help make sure you don't both buy shared items; such as a full-length over the door dorm mirror.

4. Cheat sheet: When it comes to bed sizes, you might assume that a twin is a twin is a twin - until you go to college. Some dorms have twin extra long (TXL) mattresses that require special sheets.

5. Don't drive yourself nuts driving it there: Save time, money (and your sanity) by using Bed Bath & Beyond's "Shop Your Local Store and Pick Up Near Your School" service that lets you shop ahead of time at home, and then pick up your purchases at the store closest to school.

6. Layer on the comfort: Make a standard-issue dorm mattress more comfy by adding featherbed and a mattress topper to smooth out lumps and bumps. Don't forget a bed bug mattress protector.

7. Make your bed: Since your bed is typically the largest item in your room, it's the best way to liven up the decor. Comforters or duvet covers are one easy way to make a statement about your taste - go for bold and bright or mellow and cool - it's all about you.

8. Stack it, stow it: You're going to have a lot less room in your dorm than you did at home - and you're going to be sharing it. Finding smart storage solutions is essential; must-haves include bed lifts, under the bed storage and hanging shelves.

9. Know before you go: The last thing you want on moving day is to get lost. Map out your journey, but make sure to also find essential stops like the closest Bed Bath & Beyond where you can pick up anything you forgot.

10. Copy check: Keep copies of your driver's license and passport safely hidden away (dorm safes are a great investment), and get duplicate keys for your car and even your parent's house, in case your originals should go missing.

11. Social hour: Get to know your fellow undergrads by attending any social hours your college is throwing for incoming freshmen and check to see if your dorm is hosting any welcome parties.

12. Feet on the street: Take advantage of the days between move-in and the start of classes. Explore campus on foot and familiarize yourself with street names and building names.

13. In plain sight: Get a calendar, cork board or dry-erase board and, together with your roommate, write down your schedules and important appointments. A dorm wall clock is another essential for keeping yourself on track.

14. Contain yourself: It's easy for things to go missing, unless you have a good way to keep them contained. Keep grooming supplies, like shampoo, towels and lotion in a dorm shower caddy, so that everyone knows what's yours.

15. Keep in touch: You might not think you'll miss your parents, but you're guaranteed to have a pang of homesickness every now and again. Set aside time in your schedule for a good phone call that goes beyond texts and emails or status updates.

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