Back to College Dorm Rooms

The time has come for college students to return to their dorm rooms. No doubt they are packing more than they need without regard to the space they actually have, or the practicality of getting all up to an eighth floor room. Regardless, here’s a few ideas for the dorm rooms to make them a little more fun and comfy.

If your student has overpacked clothing, an easy thing to do when you are between seasons, hanging cubbies can be incredibly useful. They hang from the closet bar, about a foot wide, and are made of stiff cloth that hangs down in three or four squares for keeping sweaters, sweatshirts, and other items that don’t fit in drawers out of the way… neatly.

A wall organizer can be purchased or handmade. They generally consist of a piece of lightweight wood covered in paper or cloth and then wrapped in various directions with elasticized ribbon. The directions of the ribbon should be random so there is space for various sizes of items. Once assembled, the organizer can be hung up and used for holding pictures, tickets, notes, and other reminders. This might be a fun project to do before your student leaves home! But if you don’t feel crafty or don’t have time, these are available in several stores and online.

Plants are supposed to be calming, as is the color green. If your student isn’t the type to nurture (water) plants, even some fake ivy along the top of the window will provide a warmness and calming addition to the room.

A desk can be fun and functional with a few accessories that are good-looking as well as useful. A desktop calendar that acts as a blotter ensures that there is always a place to jot a note or due date. Of course, to jot that note, you need a writing utensil. Use a favorite coffee mug (that won’t be used for coffee) or go to an office supply or stationery store to find a pen/pencil holder that is smart looking and efficient. Rather than picture frames that take up a lot of space, how about finding a few picture holders that use clothespins or clips to hold photos. They take up very little space and keep reminders of friends and family close by.

The rest of the desktop should be kept clear for workspace. At homework time, laptops, books, notebooks, and other resources need to be close at hand.

A couple of posters or wall hangings are plenty. Roomates will also have things for the walls, so remind your student to keep these to two or three.

The best thing a student can do once they are moved in is to keep their room neat. Once it becomes disorganized, it’s tough to find time to get it back on track. Disorganization leads to lost assignments, keys, and ID cards. It’s simpler to keep it neat from the beginning than to let it get crazy and try to recover. That’s one they’ll learn pretty quickly…

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