Dos and Don’ts of storage and organization issues in dorms

If you, or your children, are moving away to college soon, you may be concerned about how to manage storage and organization in the dorms. Based on my experience, having lived in tiny dorm rooms for the better part of about 6 years, here are some dos and don’ts that will make your life much easier.  

DON’T use Boxes and Suitcases when moving in. DO use Tote Bags, Fabric Hampers, and Storage Bins.
When moving in to your dorm, forego suitcases and cardboard boxes in favour of reusable fabric hampers and tote bags. These can be used to hold large volumes of clothes, bedding, shoes, you name it. After you have successfully moved in, these versatile utility items make for practical uses as clothes hampers, laundry baskets, and storing blankets, sports paraphernalia, canned pantry items, seasonal clothing and more. Use plastic storage bins that can be labelled or are transparent to move books and other smaller items. These storage bins are just as practical and functional as the tote bag, and holding extra clothes, books, snacks or cleaning supplies. When closet space is limited, these hacks can solve your storage problems!

DON’T buy Storage boxes all the same size. DO select storage bins in varying sizes.
While much can be said about a set of stackable, same size containers, you must include a variety of container sizes for all your different needs. Stationary, cell phone and laptop accessories like wires and stuff etc. that would otherwise clutter up your space can be housed in medium containers. Other things can be put away in mini containers to ensure they don’t get lost. Boxes that can slide under the bed can also be used to stash snacks and condiments, as well as other non-perishable food essentials. 

DON’T leave your supplies in the bathroom. DO store toiletries in a portable case or tote
Use smaller containers that you can carry easily to hold your toothpaste, toilet paper, shampoo, soap, and other toiletries, especially if you have a communal bathroom. If there isn’t any space to hide cleaning supplies, like laundry detergent, extra toilet paper, or extra toiletries, your plastic boxes make for great storage. Just make sure your toiletries box has handles and snaps tightly shut, so you can carry it to and fro easily.
Another alternate is to keep your shower supplies together in a sturdy tote bag with space for your towel, shampoo, soap, razor, brushes and shaving cream etc. so you can carry your personal grooming items easily from the dorm room to the shower daily.

DON’T use Generic Storage solutions. DO personalize your storage solutions so they are distinct from others
Personalizing your stuff so that it is instantly recognizable as yours is a great blessing when sharing spaces with multiple people. Not only does personalization make your things feel more special, they declare your ownership, which is great to avoid any confusion where someone might mistakenly assume your stuff is theirs or borrow something and forget whose it was. If you don’t want to put your name on everything, consider some sort of embellishment or personalization that makes your boxes visibly different from others. 

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