Riley Heruska
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As September hurtles towards us, thousands of teenagers across Texas are frantically dashing to The Container Store and Target to stock up on college essentials. The shopping list can be a tad bit overwhelming, covering everything from basics like bedding to fun knick knacks that can make a bare bones dorm room feel like home.

If you're not careful, that list can start to feel like a monster looming over the last days of summer. Don't let that happen! Here are a few tricks that will help bring a dorm room together, plus save your money (and possibly your sanity). 

Create a Comprehensive List (Include Prices!) 

First things first: You have to figure out what you need. There are several helpful checklists online, and those can provide a great structure to start with. However, I'd recommend making your own list to feel truly on top of things. Not everyone needs the same things, and your dorm room might have different rules or requirements. Once you've created an exhaustive list, write down a ballpark price next to each item. This will help you formulate a budget and stick to it as you toss various items in your cart. 

Pick a Color Scheme and Run With It 

With so many adorable setups being advertised in every store, it's difficult to decide exactly what design you want your dorm room to embody. Before you head to the store and pick out a bunch of items that don't match at all, pick two to three colors and stick with them. Trust me, it'll make picking out everything from shower caddies to throw pillows so much easier. Can't choose what colors you want? Start by deciding on the bedding you like and take it from there. 

Decide What to Put on the Back Burner 

Believe it or not, you don't have to show up to college with everything on your list checked off. In fact, it's often a good idea to hold off on some things. Not sure how many posters you can fit on your wall? Don't buy them all until you can measure the space. Wondering if others will try to fit a couch in their room? Don't purchase one until you know if that's what you want. Not only will holding off save you some return trips, but it will also keep you from breaking your budget. 

Coordinate With Future Roommates

If you can, reach out to your new roomie and ask them a few questions. Who should bring the mini fridge? Does he/she already have a TV? By communicating, you can save yourself a lot of hassle and money. Plus, if you care about color coordination, you can make sure you're on the same page with your dream dorm design.

Now take a deep breath and tackle the list! Before you know it, you'll be moved in and enjoying a dorm room that makes college feel like home. 

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