Back To College Tips from The Organized Lifestyle

Going off to college can be one of the most exciting and most stressful times in young adult’s life.  While the preparation and small living quarters can be overwhelming at first, I can say that I learned some of my best organizing skills moving from dorm room to apartments those four years.


The key to maximizing space in dorm room is first assessing what is absolutely necessary to live day to day in the space.  While many of our loving relatives and friends send us off with graduation gifts to fill our new space, not all of them are going to be the most essential for the room.  It with most college dorm rooms barely fitting a bed in the space it is important to use smart space saving solutions to maximize every square inch of storage.


When making these decisions, consider only bringing the wardrobe you will need until the next break when you can come home and get transitional clothing.  For instance, don’t rush to bring up all of your winter sweaters and jackets if you are if you are planning on coming home for a fall break.  Keep it simple with linens as well.  At most you should have two sheet sets and very few towel sets to keep storage needs down to a minimum.  I also recommend opting for soft luggage such as large duffle bags instead of bulky suitcases that you will have no room to store when transporting these items to college. 


When it comes to making decisions on how to store your items, there are few things that I believe are essential in a dorm room.  First are bed raisers.  These inexpensive items can lift the bed anywhere from 5 inches to a couple of feet depending on what you use.  Going with a classic cinderblock can easily accomplish this, but I prefer the much lighter weight plastic and wood ones that are available at most stores selling organizational products.


Other essential items are crates.  Crates are excellent because they are inexpensive, you can use them to easily transport items, and at the same time use them stacked sideways for instant bookshelves, a night stand or as quick under the bed drawers.


When it comes to clothing storage, closets can be tight in the dorm room.  However, you can create more space by using hanging sweater organizers which take up a little bit or rod space but fit far more t-shirts, jeans, sweaters etc. than could be hung in those 10 inches.  Hanging shoe holders can be great as well, not only for shoes, but also just to keep scarves, hats, gloves and purses. 


Other improvements you can make in a dorm closet is creating extra hanging storage space with a rod doubler.  This no assembly second rod just hangs off of a top bar and creates an extra three feet of hanging storage.


I also suggest using pop-up hampers or bags that can easily double as a lightweight laundry basket.  What makes these great is that when your laundry is done they can easily be folded up and hidden away.  They are also much more flexible to place at the bottom of a closet or in a tight corner of the room.


There are many more great storage solutions for a dorm room.  Just remember as you are picking out the items they should be lightweight, multi-purpose and easily transportable.  This will make packing and dismantling the room at the end of the year a much easier prospect.

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