For her junior year at Washington University, my daughter, Rebecca, moved into an off-campus apartment. Lucky for her, ClosetMaid had provided furniture for her dorm room the previous year that could be repurposed and paired with some new pieces to create a mature and modern space.
When we arrived in St. Louis, the living room in the new apartment was filled with boxes. Some were filled with items that had been ordered or shipped from home. Others were packed by the school when the pandemic shut down colleges the previous spring. Armed with box cutters, the first four hours in the new apartment were spent emptying boxes and moving them out of the apartment.
The apartment filled with boxes.
Once the boxes were emptied, and the items were sorted by category, the fun began. We used two X-frame bookshelves (previously split between Rebecca’s dorm bedroom and the dorm shared living space) to flank the media stand, creating a wall unit with these versatile pieces. These shelves provide ample room for Rebecca’s books as well as candles, photos, and artwork. The drawers of the media stand store cords, chargers, and notebooks while the shelves hold fun books and games.
ClosetMaid bookshelves flank the media stand.
A new couch by Best Choice Products was selected for its clean and modern look as well as its ability to convert to a bed. The coffee table with shelves, taken from Rebecca’s dorm room provides useful storage. A tray corrals the remote control for the television, and games for small gatherings with friends are stored on the handy shelves.
Couch with ClosetMaid coffee table and art work by Romi Tannenbaum
Eighteen and a half years ago, we became an instant family when my twins wore born. Now, the reverse is inevitable as the empty nest looms ahead. In August, my twins will start college. We’ll fly as a family of four to St. Louis where we’ll move my daughter into her dorm at Washington University. Then, three of us will fly to Atlanta to move my son into his room at Emory University. Five days later, only two of us will return home. While this time is bittersweet for us, it’s also a time where strategic planning and preparation can remove some of the stress, and help us enjoy a special milestone. Although I’m a first timer, here are some tips that I’ve gathered from friends and family that have made this journey before me.
1. Book flights and hotels for move in and family weekends when you’re notified of the dates. The closer the hotel is to campus, the sooner it gets sold out.
By Guest Blogger Aviva Leshaw, McGill University Freshman
Now that I’ve settled into college life, I see how important managing my time and my space is. If you want to excel academically, socialize, and participate in extracurricular activities, follow these tips for staying organized.
1. Have a good calendar system: organizing your time will organize your mind, and eventually your space. Whether it’s paper or digital, keep your calendar with you at all times.
2. Don’t go to school with every single item you think you’ll need for the year. Plan to purchase some supplies after you live in your room for a while. You may think you’ll use a kettle, or have countless items to fill a 10pack of jumbo storage containers, but when you arrive these items may be unnecessary.
3. If you have a roommate, contact them beforehand to figure out who will purchase shared appliances, or purchase some of these items together when you both arrive at school.
4. As classes begins, if you do have a double room, keep in mind that you can’t control your roommate’s side of the room. Keep your area neat, and always how shared areas will be maintained.
5. Designate sensible spots for everything at the beginning of the semester. Your desk should be your study space, so keep books and supplies in that area only, while clothing and shoes should be in the closet.
6. Utilize all available space. This includes in your closet, under your bed, and on your walls.
7. Put items like extra linen and outofseason clothing out of sight, perhaps under your bed or on the top shelf of a closet, so that they don’t get in the way on a daily basis.
8. If you brought anything with you that you don’t need, bring it home with you on your next trip, or get rid of it. There’s no need keep something the whole year if you’ll never use it.
9. Keep snacks…snacksized. This will not only ward off the freshman fifteen, they’re also easy to grab when running to class. Stock your room with snack packs, rather than anything “jumbo.”
10. And finally, decorate! Make the space your own…it’s the only way you’ll want to spend time there and keep things neat.
By Guest Blogger Aviva Leshaw, McGill University Incoming Freshman
After working as Barbara’s intern for the past 3 years, I’ve definitely learned a few things about organizing. In less than a week, I’m moving to Montreal for my freshman year at McGill University. And, as my college move-in day draws nearer, I’ve been packing and planning. Here, I’ve shared my tips for college packing. Continue reading “Packing for College” »
By Guest Blogger Sarah Katzin, University of Pennsylvania Junior.
1. Whether running to class or coming home late, college students always seem to be in a rush. Put a hook right by the door for your keys so it’s one less thing you have to search for in a hurry.
2. With square footage so tight, maximizing your storage space is crucial. Bed risers are a great way to create that extra space, perfect for plastic storage bins or suitcases.
3. Organize your closet space seasonally. Store winter clothes in your luggage during the warm months, and switch them as the temperature begins to drop.
4. Hooks are essential to hang up towels, purses, and jackets since closet space is often limited. Hooks can be placed on the dorm room door, closet door, or wall – any inch of space that isn’t already in use.
5. Winter accessories should be kept together. Place gloves, scarves and hats in a bin near the door to grab on the way out and toss back in upon returning.
6. Use a bedside storage caddy if the dorm room lacks a nightstand. This keeps glasses, a cell phone, pens and a notebook in reach when half asleep.
7. Keep late night snacks in an airtight plastic bin high up to keep from attracting bugs and rodents.
8. Make your own “Desk Drawer”: fill a small clear bin or organizing tray with scissors, tape, white-out, paper clips, rubber bands, post-it notes, and extra printer ink. This will prevent a 3AM anxiety attack when a paper is due in the morning!
9. Don’t make extra work for yourself. If space permits, two laundry bags to separate whites and darks throughout the week will not only be the perfect time saver but also start first timers in a great habit from the get-go.
10. There is no room for hoarding in a dorm! Whether you sell or pass on to a friend, purging your room of old textbooks is key to dorm room success.