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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Organizing Tips > Tips for Heading Back to College

In September the school bells toll for the youngster, but August is when the college bound gear up. If you or anyone you know is headed toward a campus, read on...

Rise and Shine: Bed risers are a must. Definitely maximize the use of space under the bed. Before hand, check the bed leg style. Round or Square will determine which riser design you buy.

Pack Light: Unless the school is in the total boonies, wait to get all the laundry detergent, etc. There will be a Big-Mart type store in town. Plus, once you have really experienced the (small) size of dorm living you will be thinking differently about the product size you buy.

Quad Sale: Check to see if your college is having a Quad Sale. This venue offers students different types of storage bins, dorm sized carpets, bulletin boards etc. Again, the size of the average college dorm room can be quite sobering! Room items that multi-task are best.

Less is More: Less stuff = more time around campus! Understandably, freshman year the room can be a very exciting part of the process. Words of wisdom ~ err on the side of less. (No, we don't need to bring our high school pom-poms with us.) Here are the basic groups that need to be addressed. Keep it as lean as possible within each group.

  • Clothes
  • Technology
  • School supplies
  • Linens
  • Hygiene, general cleaning products
  • Personal

Switch Out: Dorm closets are small and can't handle an entire wardrobe. Before leaving home, separate clothes into Fall, Winter, Spring. Take "in season" clothes with you. Switch off "out of season" clothes when traveling home for visits. Otherwise, plan to accommodate a double load of clothes at the end of the year.

No Nails: Most colleges prohibit nails in the walls. The alternatives are adhesive putty, mounting tape, poster tape etc. All are available from 3-M, Scotch and Velcro brands. Leave extra in the room, there will be plenty more events that will need to be showcased.

A Rose is a Rose: Male or female, make sure there is some kind of room deodorizer in place. Fact: dorm rooms can get pretty stinky. Many scented options in the grocery and drug stores. Also consider reed diffusers. Check out options in the bath and body type shops. Remember that most colleges have a "no flame" policy in the dorm room, so skip the scented candles.

Thanks to Organized A to partner Holly C. S. Tunstall for contributing this article. Holly is President of  Cannon Clutter Control, LLC. You can visit her Web site at