Last minute dorm shopping


Young man in supermarket comparing bottles of oil, rear view, close-up

After months of anticipation, the time has finally come for you to move into your new dorm room. Unfortunately, despite all your planning, all the shopping lists you scanned and all that stuff you crammed into your car, you may find you’re still missing a few items. Well, don’t worry about it, Urbana-Champaign has more than enough resources to cover you.

For one-stop shopping, your best bet is most likely one of the large-scale retailers in the area.

When I moved into my first dorm, I noticed a lack of storage options, which, to be fair, may have been a result of my own overpacking. So my family headed to Target to pick up an easy-to-assemble shelving unit, some cleaning supplies (that room’s not going to clean itself) and a couple of rugs to add some style and keep my feet from getting cold on the linoleum floor.

If you’re more of a Walmart person, you’ll find a couple of them in the area, as well as a Bed, Bath and Beyond and smaller retailers like Walgreens and CVS, both located on Green Street. As you probably know, these places are filled with basically anything you may need to survive as a college student. You’ll have your furniture, dining ware, room decorations, even clothes and food for relatively good prices.

Of course, you may also notice that your new dorm room is a little bare. You’ll find decorations at the aforementioned larger stores, but there are smaller stores with more unique options to choose from.

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    You can find string lights, wall decorations, desk supplies and other fun room accessories at the Urban Outfitters on campus. Another option is Ten Thousand Villages in Champaign, a fair trade retailer. Again, you can purchase wall decorations, as well as items like bowls, glasses and more for those nights you’d rather not eat in the dining hall.

    If you’ve got some time and are looking for truly unique decoration options, check out the I.D.E.A. Store. It receives donated items from business manufacturers and individuals — so sometimes there will be a large amount of a certain item or sometimes it’s the only one in stock — that you can purchase to create whatever you want. If you’re feeling particularly inspired one day and want a one-of-a-kind piece to spice up your room, head on over and start digging!

    So don’t fret if you move in and realize you may have forgotten a few essential (or not so essential) items for your dorm room! Know that you’ve got more than a few options around you to help you set up a functional and fun dorm room.

    Eleanor is a senior in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @eleanor_black14.