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Organize Your Dorm Room With the Help of Someone Who Knows!

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Organize Your Dorm Room With the Help of Someone Who Knows!

Photo courtesy of Bed, Bath & Beyond

I get lots of questions from parents of college kids and college kids themselves about what they should do to organize their dorm rooms.

Since my sister, Leslie Crecelius, has two kids in college, I thought she’d be the perfect source of this critical information!

Of course, as a mom, she is always thinking about how to get things organized for optimal function and practicality.

Read about the elements that she thinks are critical for getting a dorm room organized and how they’re used by her kids.

Horizontal Space is what’s generally lacking in college dorm rooms. Places to put things like books, papers, bike helmet, computer and printer, shoes, off-season clothes, sports equipment, CDs, etc., etc. are hard to come by unless you bring them yourself.

Most college dorm rooms have some standard issue furniture— a twin bed, a dresser, a desk, and (if you’re lucky) a bookshelf, along with a small closet area.

So the desk is the main place to set things down, and it gets filled up fast!

Here are some things we’ve found useful to purchase to add to the useable space:

  • A tall, folding collapsible shelf, about 18 inches square and five feet high.
    This takes up almost no floor space – and floor space is often at a real premium in dorms. And at the same time, it provides six shelves.

    My son fills them this way:

    • Laundry soap container
    • Bike helmet
    • All the stuff for a club he’s in
    • His bath tote (we’ll get to that later), etc.

    My daughter uses them differently.

    • One shelf each is designated to the four courses she takes in a semester – the textbooks and her notebooks for that class.
    • Two shelves are for bulky sweaters that she doesn’t have room for in her dresser.
  • A Shelf (or two) for the Desk
    We bought two inexpensive laminate shelves for each student. Or you could use simple boards from the lumber yard. We put these on the back of the desk.

    To elevate the shelves, my son uses 2" thick by 10" tall garden edging cinder blocks, and my daughter uses narrow (about 5 inches wide) stackable plastic drawer units from a container store. Each student keeps a printer on one shelf.

    They also use the desk shelves for computer paper, a letter bin to throw papers in, and a vertical filing unit with places for about 12 vertical files -- for bank statements, info on summer jobs, club info, and other papers not related to their coursework.

Read on for more ideas for getting a dorm room organized from a mom who knows!

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