Dear First Gen,
Part 2 of "Staying Organized in College" -
“Congratulations, we would like to offer you acceptance…” At that moment, you experienced a wave of emotions and realized you were about to embark upon a monumental journey: College! As a first-generation college student, you have set the bar high not only for yourself but for your family. And let’s be honest, that can be stressful because you want to ensure you succeed and don't disappoint anyone. On the other hand, you realize you have made it this far and have vowed to prepare yourself for this new academic challenge!
Your list for back-to-school shopping will be a little different this year than the last one. Of course you will need school supplies like pens, notebooks, binders, and bags, but those aren’t the only items that are necessary for you to be productive. Be mindful that if you are moving into a dormitory, your space will be cut in half because most likely you will have a roommate. On average, a college dorm room can range from 190 sq. ft. to 246 sq. ft. Dorm rooms are also known to be very limited on storage, which may leave you feeling cramped. So, what exactly should you purchase to ensure your new space is set up in an organized manner to guarantee academic success?
Paper Sorter for Cluttered Desks
A cluttered desk can leave you feeling drained, unmotivated, and overwhelmed, which hinders your productivity. When you feel that way, your work may suffer, which in extreme cases can lead to an impact on your grades and place you in a bind like academic probation. With your whole family rooting for you, you can’t let them down. Talk about pressure. Unclutterer states that getting rid of the clutter will be beneficial for you and increase your productivity level. How can you be successful and motivated to write a 10-page paper if your desk is filled with loose documents? How can you focus on studying if your desk is a leaning tower of books and other items? A paper sorter is a great tool to use to gather all those loose documents. Remember that everything should have a place. Take it a step further and label the paper sorter to quickly find the paperwork when you need it again. Clear away the clutter and let the productivity flow.
Over-the-Door Shoe Rack & Hanging Bags for Lack of Closet Space
In college (I won’t say how long ago that was), I recall that the closet space was very skimpy, which forced me to be very selective about the wardrobe I would pack to bring back to school with me. To ensure you’re looking your best in your fashionable threads, purchase a hanging bag. The hanging bag is hung on a closet rod and comes with several spaces to store items like shirts, pants, bags, and bath towels. This can easily provide you with more storage space and prevent clothes from falling out of the closet. Also purchase an over-the-door shoe rack to organize your shoes. This opens up more floor space that might otherwise be cluttered with your shoes. Imagine trying to get ready for your 8 a.m. class and clothes are falling out of the closet or you can only find one shoe, and now you’re irritated because it’s a nuisance to deal with. With proper organization, you should be able to just grab what you need and go.
Command Hooks for Vertical Space
I swear by Command hooks because they’re quick and affordable. Being away from home can be lonesome, so purchase Command hooks and twine to string across your wall to create a display of pictures of family and close friends. Are you a fan of baseball hats and scarves? Put them on display by using Command hooks. Streamline your to-do lists and school projects by using a hanging dry-erase board or chalkboard and hang them on Command hooks, too. It’s always best to utilize vertical space if applicable because it frees up countertop and floor space.
Bonus: Ottomans for Storage
Another fun thing about college and living in a dorm is that you get to tap into your creative side. You have to think outside the box when it comes to being organized and interior design. An ottoman is a great piece of furniture to purchase because it can serve as an extra seat and as storage for your personal items. They’re also a great décor piece because they come in many styles, shapes, textures, and colors.
Be sure to look up the dimensions of your new dormitory space to determine the sizes and colors of the different organizing products because it’s nice to have a cohesive look. Also, be aware of your school’s dorm policies regarding modifications like mounting shelves and temporary wallpaper before doing so. Remember you will be away from home for several years and your space should be a place that you find comfortable and peaceful. College is a great experience but it all depends on how much of an effort you put forward.
Proud Supporter of Risers and a Fellow Riser,
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