Since your kid will soon be moving their entire life to Champaign-Urbana, they’re going to need a lot of stuff. However, that doesn’t mean they need to bring everything. We’ve listed a few things that should be left at home:
Sorry, but, in the name of safety, there are things that your child is not allowed to have in the dorms. Resident Advisors (RAs) say the most common offenders are candles and extension cords. Other prohibited items include toasters, rice cookers, space heaters, and, most disappointingly, water beds. You can find the full list of restricted items on the U of I Housing website.
RAs will do a room check to look for these items, so it’s best to just keep them at home.
Sure, you want your kid to feel at home in their new room. But by the time you squeeze all of their picture frames, plush pillows, and decorative baskets into their 11’ x 12’ dorm, it will feel more crowded than ever and they will surely regret their accumulation of stuff come move out day. It’s better to approach the decor with a minimalist mindset. Items that pack easily such as photos on clothespins or hanging lights are nice because they can be wrapped up and squeezed into any crevice of your car.
We’ll start out by saying that Champaign-Urbana is generally a safe town for your child to live in. However, small crime is everywhere.
If your kid is bringing their bike to school, leave the cable lock at home. It’s better to have a security device that cannot be cut through, such as a u-lock. There are a few shops in town that can help you with your bike accessory needs. Neutral Cycle is a locally owned store on Fifth Street that has both biking gear and coffee shop right next door.
If your kid’s bike is equipped with a nice, comfy bike seat, they may want to take it inside when returning to their dorm room, as bike seat theft does occur.
With almost all classes using online portals and the chance that your child may add or drop different courses, you’ll save money if you and your child hold off on buying all of their notebooks, rulers, and textbooks.
Your kid may go to their first day of class and learn that their textbook is optional, that there’s already flashcard sets online, or that they don’t even want to be in that class in the first place. Wait it out. Let them discover what they need to succeed on their own. Doing so will ensure that less materials (and money) will go to waste.
If your kid’s room has a bunk bed setup and they plan on having visitors from out of town stay the night, then sure, a futon might be useful. However, your kid will get more seating room if they choose the side-by-side bedroom layout. When hanging out in dorm rooms, most students will happily pile onto the beds to chat with their friends.
If you’re going to put furniture in your child’s room, consider buying items that also double as storage spaces. For example, ottomans with removable lids are inexpensive, great for extra seating, and can be used wherever your kid lives next.
Finally, lugging a new printer to your kid’s fourth floor dorm room isn’t necessary for their success. Printing services are available all over campus, and your child should use them.
A better use of your money would be do give your kid some Illini Cash to cover printing fees. The convenience of printing all around campus outweighs the hassles of purchasing and maintaining a printer, which, in our experience, usually come with technical difficulties.