News

Oregonian: Best deals on dorm room, apartment essentials for those going back to college for fall term in midst of coronavirus
Author: Janet Eastman
Posted: July 6, 2020

To read the original story, visit the Oregonian.

It’s a big step to move out of your family home. Whether you’re going across country or staying in the same city as your parents, setting up a home of your own takes restraint. Not everything you want -- or had before -- can fit into a dorm room or first apartment.

What are the essentials you’ll need to get started? “Sheets and laundry detergent,” says Stephanie Blair, who organizes new student orientation for Portland State University’s Housing and Residence Life.

PSU will be opening its dorm rooms to new freshmen, transfer students and returning residents in the fall, even though most classes will continue to be taught online during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, 1,917 students lived on campus for convenience and, more important, the experience.

Most of PSU’s housing are apartment-style units outfitted with a bed, desk, desk chair and dresser, plus a private bathroom. “Students don’t think about needing cleaning supplies but they do,” says Blair.

She recommends students buy forgotten items after they move in. “There’s no reason to ship a lot here if you’re coming from out of state,” she says.

At past orientations, students attend a shopping event called Night at City Target. They ride the streetcar to the downtown Portland store, which is open for them after hours. As music blasts and a disco ball spins, students shop with special discounts.

Blair says she meets parents who have bought everything from the dorm section at Target. She shakes her head.

“No one thinks of laundry detergent until well after that first load of laundry should have been done,” she says. “That’s more needed than the cutest string lights.”

Some dorm beds are a standard twin size while others are extra long. The tip she heard from a resident assistant who moves around each year: Stretch jersey sheets work on standard or extra long twin mattresses.