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Prepare for the BIG college move!

Have a college student heading away from home in the fall? Now is the time to determine what they will need for this big transition and purchasing the best organizing tools can be an overwhelming task especially if it’s your first time!  Here’s our list of must-have items and the best approach to making these decisions.

1.  Ask yourself, what are you going to do in that space?  Sleep, get ready, study, hangout?  Space isn’t usually a luxury when it comes to dorm room living, but you can use vertical space to your advantage to create more of it!

2.  Next, how do you make decisions when assessing your current bedroom to then tailor it down to fit your needs in dorm room living? This is the hard part.  Ask yourself, is it something I love? Is it something I need? Is it something I will use?  Start with the mandatory items you know you cannot live without.

  • Take plenty of undergarments and towels.  If you get behind in doing laundry these are non-negotiable items that must stay clean!
  • Pack whatever type of clothing you normally wear, but make sure you have at least one nicer outfit in case you need for a job interview.
  • Also, hold off on the winter clothing until you visit home at the holidays, but do pack layering options as temperatures drop when Fall season sets in.

Memorabilia:  Designate 1 smaller bin and that is your limit!  If it doesn’t fit in the bin you need to make decisions of what goes or stays!

3.  Now is the time to determine storage needs and tools to help enhance unused space!

  • Use a tall laundry hamper, rather than a short wide one, as it does the same job all while taking up less floor space.
  • Consider purchasing Slimline hangers, as they can increase hanging space by 50% versus a normal hanger.  Depending on the closet or wardrobe space, a tension rod also may be added to create extra hanging space.
  • Vertical space in closets, whether above or below hanging space, can be easier to access by using small bins stacked and labeled!  Don’t let that vertical space go unused, but of course store items you don’t get to on a daily basis if too far out of reach.
  • Behind the door shoe organizer (used for many items such as first aid, undergarments, scarves, socks, etc) can be cut to fit any custom space too.
  • For folded clothing, in dressers use dividers to separate categories.  Purchase bins to fit underneath the bed for extra folded items, shoe storage or whatever it is you need to store!  Again if you put your bed on risers creating more under-bed storage you can stack bins or purchase ones with drawers.
  • Make the most of your countertop and desk space, with space-saving stacking clear acrylic boxes, for supplies and cosmetic storage. They can easily be cleaned and are designed to use vertical space for all the little items that can easily cause disarray.
  • If you can install shelving on the wall, do so!  However, if the walls are concrete, your only option may be the heavy duty command hooks to hang things on.
  • For the smaller items that can be magnetized, use a small magnetic pin cushion to easily collect your bobby pins, tweezer, nail clippers and things of that sort!
  • When it comes to papers, college will throw a lot your way.  Create 2 types of file systems:
    • Reference: papers that you may need to keep and refer to throughout your college experience within your desk drawers.  IE: Syllabi, phone directory, medical paperwork.
    • Action: papers you need to do something with or take action to complete placed on desktop in a lidded file box.  You need to have this file system at your fingertips.  IE: RSVP’s, bills to pay, papers to turn in.

4.  Lastly, how will you maintain this system you spent so much energy creating?  Set aside time to edit items and make sure the systems you put in place are working for you.  You may need to make changes or purchase different storage solutions. Make a list of things you could take home or need to bring from home for your next visit!  And of course, have conversations with your roommate through the whole process.  Always keep the communication open and remain flexible when working with them!

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