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Gifts for a College Student's Dorm Room

written by: Tia Ahmed•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 8/7/2010

The perfect gifts for college students' dorm room can be mind bogglingly difficult since every dorm room is like a snow flake. Parents should customize gifts instead of following trends. Provide only what is needed and not what is wanted.

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    Why are Gifts Important to Your College Student's Dorm Room?

    Generally speaking, gifts are a way of showing someone you care about them and are thinking about them. The same concept can be applied to your college student. They miss you and the things they will leave behind while pursuing a higher education. Although your student may feign indifference, at the end of the day though, they will somehow remember things such as not having to deal with buying laundry detergent or having enough quarters for snacks, etc.

    Since the recession, it is very important to choose your gifts wisely. This article will not only provide you will a brief list of items to send, but how to analyze your student's situation and customize gifts for them that they can use and cherish.

    In these times, sending a snow globe is not a good idea. Snow globes are useless items and will end up being used as paperweights. Since there is a high chance your student is a full time student make sure to know them and what they will be dealing with. For example, if your student will have a part time job, then send them something to help ease their struggle such as gel soles for their shoes. It is also important to understand the college student dorm behavior. Every dorm has some of the same features, a kitchen, a bathroom (usually communal), and a laundry room. In order for a gift to be ideal and perfect you have to understand what a college student goes through in college.

    It goes a little like this: sleep, eat, shower, study, sleep, eat, shower, study, and on weekends, sleep, party, party, party, party, and sleep. Although as parents or other family member, we want to exclude the knowledge that our student sends hours preparing and enjoying parties rather than focusing on studies.

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    Counter What a Student Wants with What a Student Needs

    Most parents have to constantly deal with one problem and that is a student's endless wants of things and their hopes that they turn into gifts rather than loans. Money is a top favorite theme of such a want. Why would a student want more money? They probably ended up spending most of their money buying useless junk or eating out.

    So, how do we stop our students from calling up late at night to whine about how they failed to make their cell phone payments on time? Stop, listen to their problem, and ask, "So, what are you going to do about it?" You must remind your student that the life of a student is to learn - not only the stuff in textbooks, but things that are directly related to real life problems.

    The Pocket Accounting Journal

    The pocket accounting journal or notebook can be bought in just about any bookstore. The journal will help your student learn the art of personal financing and learn to balance their actual accounts. It may be shocking to most people, but most college students have little knowledge of personal finance or they simply assume mommy and daddy will cover the costs if they accidentally go over. Teach them the value of the dollar and worth ethics and it will only cost you a couple of bucks.

    Now that finance is out of the way, let us focus on laundry. Laundry is another area where most college students have very little knowledge or experience, and could use a little incentive - unless they already have an obsessive-compulsive streak.

    A Self-Folding Laundry Basket

    Unlike a big bulky traditional wooden or plastic laundry basket, the self-folding laundry basket can hold a lot more clothes and then be easily folded into a corner until the next time it is used. This gift helps conserve space and a lot of trouble for your student. Remember, college dorm rooms in most colleges are tiny.

    Having finished doing the laundry, let us focus on storing laundry. We cannot assume our students will keep their clothes in their suitcase until the next semester; however, it is a good idea and some students actually do just that.

    Portable Plastic Storage Units

    These storage units are light, portable, and very cheap. They efficiently store your students' clothes and other junk like folders, stationary, etc. They can be found in all groceries stores or office supplies stores.

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    Continue on to page two for more ideas for gifts for college stuents' dorm rooms.

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    Best Ideas for Gifts for College Students' Dorm RoomThe perfect gifts for college students' dorm room can be mind bogglingly difficult since every dorm room is like a snow flake. Parents or other family members must know the difference between what a student wants and what a student needs in order to help them succeed in living in a dorm room. Read on for a list of ideas you can use - today!
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    Gifts for College Students' Dorm - Continued

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    Gifts for Decorating a Dorm Room

    The reason why gifts for college students dorm should be given to decorate a dorm room is obvious. Most college students want to hold onto memories of life outside of the dorm in fact, many students probably don't enjoy being trapped in a dorm room that is left not decorated. Decorations can be expensive or even dangerous. Since decorating room ideas can be vast, let us focus on the gifts not to provide to your students.

    There are certain rules by the college's fire hazards that rule out items such as candles, paper lanterns, high voltage light bulbs, glass lamps, paper lamps, large aquariums, large and old microwaves, excessively large refrigerators, fire extinguisher, and any item that their policy determines to be hazardous.

    Although paper is a good choice for decorating, keep in mind that it can lead to possible fires.

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    Highlighting Gift Ideas

    Remember, at the end of the day, your student will want a gift that is custom fit to them. If your student is bright and chirpy and enjoys folding his or her laundry, provide them with gifts that will allow them to take riskier choices such as which restaurant to dine or which dish to choose or which bookstore to buy from. Give them gift cards.

    Gift cards are amazing for three reasons, saves you time to go out yourself, provides your student to choose what they want, and is small and portable to any location. Another great thing about most gift cards is that they will never expire. So, pick out a gift card, put some money one it and wait for your student to sound positively delighted. One downside to gift cards, however, is that most gift cards have fixed amounts of money already set - so you may be cornered into giving more or less than you intended. Gift Cards for restaurants are a great way to help keep your student from starving or spending too much dining out.

    Once more, remind yourself that a college school dorm is tiny and your student must always abide by the college policies. There can be many gift choices when choosing gifts for college students' dorm rooms, but it is easier to narrow the choices down when you know who the student is and what they need versus what they want.