College Bound: Organized Boarding
Windowofworld.com – I still remember my shopping list for my first dorm room. Years ago we kept it simple – a must-have storage staple is an old milk crate and that’s all. The milk crate organizes everything from sweaters and t-shirts to books. Nowadays storage options are almost unlimited (although the budget may not be …), so furnishing your first dorm room or apartment can be a bit overwhelming. I have asked our summer intern student (a student) to share some of the organizing challenges she experienced first-hand. We have divided the college living room into 5 areas:
- – Common area
- – Kitchen and bathroom countertops
- – Bedroom or bedroom
- – A closet that’s always too small and functional.
- – Common area
Question: Many dormitory rooms are small and have one common area. What would you suggest to help students organize their common areas? Also, can you suggest some products that are useful for storing food, movies and CDs? ”
Answer: The public area can be tricky, as you have now entered the zone where your property belongs to the community. I would suggest a minimalist approach. If it’s for a dorm, keep it simple and portable. There are cheap multimedia shelves, drawers and even cubes (the “new” milk crate!) Available to store CDs and movies.
Trunks can provide an additional tabletop, store out-of-season blankets and sweaters, and even make a great hiding place for your laundry and bathroom supplies spare. If you equip an apartment, make it a group project so that everyone is involved with the choice and cost sharing.
Many students keep snacks and treats where they gather, so remember to label and stay away from glasses. Many discount stores have some really cool and cheap dry storage options.
Kitchen and Bathroom
Question: Can you give advice on how to separate your belongings from your roommates both in the kitchen and in the bathroom?
Answer: In the kitchen – labels, labels and labels. People are less likely to help themselves when something is clearly marked. An alternative system is to split the shelves in the refrigerator – maybe one for each person and one regular shelf? If your budget allows, buy a set of food storage containers and clearly label them with your name and any warnings you may want to include. Unfortunately there will always be very few people who will help themselves with anything and everything, so don’t sign with them next year.
There is never enough room in the bathroom, so keep it simple and portable. Buy a bath bag or caddy; a proven product that has been around for years. I recommend that women choose the largest you can carry while most men can probably settle for smaller ones. If finding the surface is a problem, consider a hanging dopp kit, which can easily be attached to a towel rack. Don’t forget your towels; consider a large hook for hanging wet towels. Additional towels and toiletries can be stored in a simple 4 drawer storage cabinet also available at many discount stores and retailers.
Question: What would you recommend keeping your desk tidy and school work organized?
Answer: There are lots of great things on the market today to keep your desk tidy and functional – you are only limited by your budget and your imagination! Consider increasing the surface area of your desk by placing your class notes and papers in a filing basket or creating a hanging file box that can neatly fit under or beside your desk. Organize your table by putting objects together or categorizing by subject. Take advantage of a bulletin board with a calendar for important dates and project deadlines, so you won’t be missed or forgotten.
Question: Do you have suggestions for students on how to maximize this space and keep as much of your personal belongings as possible in this small space?
Answer: You can be as creative as you want with this space. Take advantage of the total area, including under the bed, behind doors, walls, and even college-issued furniture. Look for a wide bottom drawer; they make the perfect secondary storage unit. Hang a shoe bag behind your door; These pockets can be used for more than just shoes – socks, extra toiletries, tiny camera, film, batteries, water bottles, and even that extra beer pot. Hang some hooks on the wall or, if left, install a small shelf. If you have a large table, consider adding a cage; extra shelves are very convenient and accessible when working at a desk.
Question: How to maximize this minuscule space?
Answer: Many years ago my first dorm wardrobe was about 3 feet wide and 9 feet high. Very cramped area to cram in clothes and shoes for 9 months and remember this was a time in my life when I suffered over every detail of clothing. Now, that confined area will be easy, because my “mom uniform” doesn’t take up much space.
Seriously, most of the wardrobe space of the time comes at a premium, so you have to make the most of every inch. The right type of hanger is key – items like multilevel hangers or trousers can save space and allow clothes to fit neatly in a small space. Consider adding another cane for short hanging items as most college wardrobes are heavy on short hanging pieces. Another product that is used to increase space and prevent items from falling is stacking racks. If you prefer your sweaters and sweaters to be at eye level, use a hanging sweater bag that attaches to the trunk. Don’t forget about floor space – short stacked baskets work well in this space.
Today’s students may have more organization and storage options than we did in previous years, but with a small budget, some prior planning, clear lines of communication with roommates and a sense of humor, organizing their space can easily be reached and they can focus on what’s really important about college. I’m referring to studying – what do you think I mean?