So you have a teen headed for college. ..If you read my previous post you already have created a checklist, taken inventory and started shopping. But what do you do to organize a college dorm room? Let’s face it dorm rooms are tiny. Here are a few tips to help your college-bound student set up an organized dorm room:
- Think in zones: study, hanging out, sleep and storage. Assist them in organizing so things are handy. Nothing will ever be put away if it is too difficult. This is why I love clear storage bins or containers.
- Use expandable storage items such as multi-tiered hangers and an extra closet rod.
- Think carts, crates, bins, baskets, bed risers (for under bed storage), modular and stacking.
- Use vertical spaces. Buy a hutch that they can place on an existing desk or add shelves above.
- Be aware of dorm rules for painting, nails, etc. You don’t want to be responsible for repairs at the end of the year so ask questions about what is allowed.
- If rooms are small, closets are even smaller. Don’t bring their whole wardrobe. Have them pack only one fancy dress and one or two heavy sweaters. They can always switch out items on their visit home for break or on a weekend.
- Label personal items so there is no confusion of ownership.
- Encourage your college-bound student to have a conversation with their roommate to develop a shared list of items to bring such as the stereo, microwave and television.
- Help them plan for laundry day and think about supplies needed for showering especially if there is a shared bath area. Encourage them to have a system for drying towels (think smelly wet towel. Yuk!).
- Think about emergency items such as batteries, flashlights and extra blankets. Also, a power strip, stain remover and a lint brush.
- Have them include items that will help the dorm feel like home like a poster, framed photo or favorite pillow. These will add a personal touch.
Most importantly wait to see the room before you help them buy that whole fuchsia room ensemble at the store. While it looks great in the store there may not be room for it.
This is a great time to work as a team with your teen to make the transition from home to dorm organized and easy.