It’s the time of year when many students are heading off to college, if they’re not already moved in! When it comes to packing and purchasing the things you need, you may be wondering what you truly need, and what things will just take up valuable space in that teeny, tiny room! Here are our best ideas on how you can save space and pack smart for your new adventure:
Utilize all of the wall and door space: Many students neglect the over the door hangers and vertical wall space, when in fact, those narrow strips of blank space are perfect for hanging jewelry, stowing school supplies, and hanging things like headphones or hats. You can find inexpensive caddies at HomeGoods or TJ Maxx that are usually under $20, and can be hung up with 3M tape so you don’t need to hammer nails in. You can also hang small caddies off the edge of your desk or bed, to maximize storage.
Raise your bed: There are plastic bed raisers, as well as wooden ones, that can really increase your under the bed storage. You can also opt for a loft style bed, if you want to fit a desk and dresser underneath, but the plastic drawers made by Sterilite (you can find them at Walmart or Target) are perfect for your clothes and toiletries, as well as shoes. Many dorms allow a small fridge in the room, but you can also store snacks and food like ramen cups or soup cans in a plastic drawer (just be sure everything is sealed so that you don’t get any ants or unwanted bug visitors).
Crowdsource: If you are sharing a duplex or large dorm with other people, try to connect with them before you move in. Especially if it’s young women, you can typically share some larger items like hairdryers or irons/steamers, so that you don’t have to bring multiples of the same things. Be sure to set clear boundaries for usage if you end up sharing any electronics or utility items (ie: who replaces it if it breaks), and remember not to share things like hairbrushes, toothbrushes, or other personal toiletry items so that you won’t share any germs that may crop up.
Vacuum pack clothes to save even more space: If you’re able to, it may be easiest to store off-season clothes like jackets or shorts in vacuum packed bags at your family or parent’s home and transport them back and forth when the seasons change. But if that’s not an option, get rid of as much as you can before you move, and seal the rest into bags that store flat so that you can pack a ton into a closet. Be forewarned that these vacuum sealed bags can be very heavy, and can break particle board cupboards or wardrobes, even though they look lightweight. They also slid neatly under the bed or in large plastic totes.
Use multi purpose furniture: There’s not much room for furniture other than a desk or bed in typical dorms, but if you have availability for small ottomans or a bench, look for one that has hidden storage. And if you have a bedside table, look for one that’s very tall and has multiple shelves, so that you can store things like books, chargers, and things like Tylenol or personal items right by your bedside.
Check the guidelines: Some schools have strict guidelines about what you can and cannot have in your room (including stacking storage), so be sure to check before you purchase things like high stacking shelves. If you’re able to, these are the best way to maximize your storage (all the way to the ceiling), as long as they are properly anchored and secured so they don’t tip over. If you have a television, try mounting it on the wall if it’s allowed, or placing it on top of a storage shelf so you can stow your dvd’s or remotes underneath. Make sure you ask about all of the rules before you even start packing (you can call your school to request these), so that you don’t waste money on things you cannot use.