Big news here...My son moved into his dorm room at Beloit College in Wisconsin last Saturday and even though the sunny day helped, since there were lots (and lots) of trips back and forth from the car to the dorm, it's a huge job.
We came from a distance (Connecticut), so, we brought all of his summer clothes and all of his winter things too. Plus there were all the school supplies, all the linens, blankets, and towels, and the kitchen-type appliances like a small microwave. There were toiletries, laundry detergent, and some food for snacks as well. It's a major accomplishment to get everything into the dorm room and get it organized, especially since he has a roommate who had to do the same thing!
In talking to family and friends who already have kids in college, I knew to get underbed storage boxes (fabulous!), and lots of hooks to hang coats and wet towels, but there's many other ideas out there in keeping items somewhat neat and orderly.
From About.com: Interior Decorating, here is some advice on the best way to organize your dorm room.
"Use every space available to you," About.com said, "from the closet to the floor. For example...
• CLOSETS: install double hanging rack, closet organizers, and shoe shelves.
• UNDERBED: store luggage, out of season clothes, books.
• SHELVING: sports equipment, sound systems, photographs.
• TOTES: laundry supplies, shower needs, manicure products.
• DOORS: memo boards, hanging racks, hooks.”
Products mentioned by About.com which help with organizing a dorm room include:
Closet organizers – to fit more into a closet
Mesh shelves – for the corner of a room
Double hanging racks – for many clothes
Handy Drawers - for office supplies, stationery, or computer cables
Bed pockets - for the empty space at the end of your bed
Schedule Organizer - corkboard and memo board
Behind a door – could be an out-of-the-way storage area
Shoe shelves – to keep shoes neat and organized
Over Door Racks - for towels or damp laundry
Here’s some more helpful suggestions to have an organized dorm room from unclutterer.com:
Have all your shower products “in a tote that you can carry with you. You don’t want to forget anything and have to make that walk again.”
For doing laundry, a “hamper tote” is suggested because there are compartments to separate the clothes and there are storage pockets for laundry supplies. “Again, you must walk somewhere to do your laundry and you have to make sure you have everything you need to clean your clothes.”
With closet space tight, unclutterer.com recommends a “hanging organizer that adds six shelves to a tiny closet.”
“An overdoor shoe rack with hanging hooks can do the trick behind your door.”
“Dairy crates are great for storing and stacking books, media, and whatever else you can think of. They also come in handy when you are moving to and from school.”
There’s even more ideas on myroommateisdrivingmecrazy.com from “Lea Schneider, a professional organizer and member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. She has hauled things up nine flights of stairs and organized dorm rooms at Ball State University, University of Kansas and Florida State.”
She suggests (after checking dorm rules), making beds into a bunk or loft, or elevating beds onto cement blocks or bed risers to give added storage.
Another tip is putting seldom-needed items at the very top of a closet and add a shoe storage rock to the bottom.
“Top your dresser with a small bookshelf to hold stacks of books, CDs and videos,” Mrs. Schneider also offers. “Use over the door hooks or organizers on both sides of every door for wet towels, backpacks, jackets etc. On your desk, add another bookshelf or one made with boards and bricks to allow you to stack computer components and still have study room.”
I’m just glad we got all of my son’s things into his dorm room, along with all of his roommate’s things, and basically, it was a good fit. I guess they’ll see how it goes as the year progresses.
If you have other dorm organization tips, or have stories about your move into a new college dorm, please leave a comment and share with us and our readers!