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A portable storage unit from Target.

If you're heading to college for the first time this fall, there's a lot more to worry about besides shopping for clothes and a few school supplies.

You will also need to outfit your dorm room, and the best advice from retailers and moms is to plan ahead — but not too much. You won't always know what your room will look like, or what your roommates will bring.

"If you're going somewhere where there is a Wal-Mart, you can get it there," said Ruthann Gibbs, a Murray mother who sent her daughter to Southern Utah University in Cedar City last year.

The things Gibbs bought in advance for her daughter were purchased at sales. They got extra sheets and bedding (remember, some college dorms have odd-size beds), and Gibbs gave her daughter a crockpot for Christmas.

The two also coordinated with roommates about what to bring.

Some tips Gibbs has for parents would be to buy their child a day planner and also give them a few rolls of quarters to use for doing laundry. Gibbs also sent her daughter with a 72-hour kit packed with medicines and other necessities.

Debbie Brown of Murray said she and her daughter shopped at Deseret Industries for used pans, dishes and an ironing board. They used lifts for extra storage under the bed and checked with relatives to see if they had any old items that could be used for school.

Catherine Gentile, spokeswoman for Bed Bath & Beyond, said her company offers a few products to provide students with extra storage space, including an ottoman that doubles as a chair and storage container. The company also has bed lifts, over-the-door storage racks and a shelving unit that goes over the bed.

Gentile advises students to create a comprehensive checklist before shopping to help save money.

"Walk around your home, see what you have and what you can take from home and figure out what you can purchase," she said. "That can help you stick to a budget."

Other companies, such as Target, offer storage supplies and check-lists for future students. The company also has bold accessories and bedding materials that are marketed for college students.