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Get Organized for Dorm Life

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Going away to college? These tips are for you!
It’s no secret–dorm rooms are notoriously small. In order to embrace your itty-bitty home-away-from-home, it’s important to arrive organized and create an organized space for yourself.
Here are some organizing tips for the college-bound student:
De-clutter Before Leaving Home
Mom and Dad are having a tough time watching you ‘leave the nest.’ It won’t help matters if you leave that nest a mess before you leave. Sort through your belongings and decide what you’d like to take with you to college and what you’d like to leave at home. Purge out unwanted items and create a neat and organized space for yourself. You’ll want to come back to an uncluttered room at vacation time.
Ask for Information – Call Residential Life
Give the Residential Life office a call to ask about furniture, size of room and storage options so you’ll know what to bring and what to keep at home. Another good question to ask is what’s NOT allowed in a dorm room. Many colleges and universities prohibit microwave ovens, coffee makers, hot pots. and candles. 
Make Decisions – Call Prospective Roommate(s)
Once you find out who you’re roommate is, contact them—not only to introduce you’re self but more importantly to discuss who will bring what! You don’t want to stuff two DVD players, two TV’s and two fridges in your small, shared space. You need all the square footage you can get!
Shop at Home
Don’t wait to get all of your stuff at a store down the road from campus. Everyone else had the same idea and already bought out the coolest looking comforter sets and memo boards. Now that you’ve spoken to Residential Life and your roomie-to-be, start looking online and in brick & mortar stores for dorm room organizers and other needed items. Involve Mom and Dad in the process and let them help out. They want to know you’ll be OK  (and organized) when you’re away…
How will you know which products you’ll need to set up an organized dorm room? Start by asking older friends and relatives what they used to maximize space in their dorm rooms. Refer to college checklists offered by many stores. Before you start shopping, here’s a list of some popular and functional storage products to turn your dorm room into an organized oasis:
Bed Risers
 Bed Risers elevate a bed to provide more storage space underneath. It’s a great place for storing off-season clothes and rarely used items.
Under Bed Boxes w/Wheels
 This is the perfect container for storing those off-season clothes and rarely used items discussed above. Wheels make it easier to pull out from under the bed.
Bed Organizer
 A Bed Organizer or ‘bed pocket’ tucks under a mattress, hangs over the side, and contains multiple pockets that organize the little things that can create clutter in a small space. Perfect for holding whatever a college student needs by their bedside.
Hanging Hamper
 No room for a laundry basket? Use a Hanging Hamper! This type of hamper is equipped with a hanger at the top–hang it from a doorknob or closet rod. Some models have a carry strap—great if the laundry room isn’t close to your own room.
Closet Organizers
 Consider using a Canvas Hanging Sweater Organizer and/or Shoe Organizer. These items have mini shelves that are designed to store sweaters, shoes and much more.
Folding Bookcase
 A folding bookcase is the perfect solution to a shelf-less dorm room. It can be used as a freestanding bookshelf or as a hutch on a desk. Often, there is no assembly required and it folds for easy moving and storage during vacation time.
With a few phone calls, some shopping, and a bunch of cool products, you’re on your way to getting an A+ in Organized Dorm Living 101!

About Stacey Agin Murray

Stacey is a professional organizer & speaker in New Jersey specializing in residential organizing, time, and paper management challenges. She also authored The Organized Bride’s Thank You Note Handbook: Let Systems and 101 Modern Sample Thank You Notes Take You From Overwhelmed to Organized.

Categories: Back-to-School

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2 responses to “Get Organized for Dorm Life”

  1. Abby Tranter says:

    Being organized in everything you do is very essential most specially when you are living with other people. They might judge you the way they see how you arrange your things. Thanks for your advise, this is so helpful.

    bendigo student accommodation

  2. So glad you found the blog post helpful–thanks for stopping by!

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