College Essentials: Laundry Supplies

Laundry_0It’s the middle of May and you know what that means — Graduation! If your teen hasn’t graduated yet, you’ve still got time to find the perfect gift (and can check back here for some ideas), but you should start stocking up on College Essentials. College essentials is a new series we’ll be running here for the next few months in order to help your High School grad (or College student) prepare for a successful, healthy and happy year.

Doing laundry is hard, we’ve all been there. Carrying it down to the laundromat or laundry room in your dorm can be a pain, but determining what types of detergent to use can be awful! Here’s some questions to ask Mom (or for Moms to gently remind their daughters of) before you leave.

1. What type of laundry detergent do we use? You may not realize it, but you could be allergic to the “$2.99 special” at Duane Reade. You might need to shell out the extra cash for Tide or another name brand. Be sure to ask your Mom (or Dad, depending on who does the laundry) what you can and cannot use. No one wants to be friends with the girl who is itchy all the time!

2. Colors, whites, is there a difference? Back in the day, separating clothes was necessary and annoying. Now, there are these great little items called Shout Color Catchers which look like dryer sheets and can be placed in the washer before you start it. This way, you say time, money and avoid a load of all pink tanks — although that could be a fashion statement!

3. Dryer sheets: Dryer sheets make the towels and sheets (and regular clothes) fluffy and often leave them smelling fresh as a meadow, depending on the brand you choose. These could be considered a luxury on a college budget, they often start at $7 a box, but if your parents back up the basket we’ll describe below, you should be able to have some until at least Thanksgiving break.

4. Dry Cleaning: If you’re a freshman, you probably won’t be wearing a lot of dry-clean only clothes, but if you’re a junior or a senior with an internship, you might be. Look into Dryel, which is a home dry cleaning system that goes in your dryer.

5. Lingerie Bags and Steamers: Underwear and bras are personal items and you’ll be doing laundry with all sorts of people at college, so if you don’t want that hottie from around the hall to know you wear Victoria’s Secret cotton panties, you might want to invest in these bags. The dryers at college are also quite warmer than at home and often have one setting so beware when placing your bras in — I’ve melted quite a few underwires in my day! Steamers are great for those students who do have dry clean only clothes — this portable one from Bed, Bath and Beyond costs $29.99 and since it’s portable, it should fit in your closet. It’s great to give you that extra boost of confidence when you need it. I use a steamer exclusively now as an iron and ironing board is just too bulky.

The Ultimate Laundry Package

Parents — stock up now! Buying different College Essentials packages from now until August will leave your wallet slightly fuller when you drop your daughter off and it will give you time to prepare for the “big move.” Most students leave home and never return from college, but this is a good thing. You want them to seek their fortunes, so to speak. We’ll give you some tips for dealing with the empty nest in these essential articles as well.

Here’s the makings of a great Grad gift and a college essential for the freshman in your life:

1 Laundry Basket

1 Box of Dryel

2 Small Detergent Containers – the large detergents may seem like a deal, but many college dorms won’t have the space for them

2 Small Softner Containers

1 Box of Dryer Sheets

1 Tide to go Pen

1 Box of Shout Color Catchers

1 Travel Laundry Basket

2 Lingerie Bags

1 Drying Rack for their dorm – get on that collapses so that they can store it easily

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!