Dorm Room Organizing 101

September is just around the corner and if you find yourself moving into residence or preparing your child as they head off to university or college away from home, here's some helpful tips on setting up a small space for comfort and productivity.

1. Make use of vertical space. Over-the-door hooks placed on the bedroom or bathroom door are great for hanging clothes, bags and towels. Over-the-door racks placed on a cabinet door can house body care bottles, cleaning products and hair dryers.

2. Add a hutch to the desk. Utilize the wall space above the desk by adding shelves for books, binders, school supplies, or even a printer. Better yet, add decorative boxes and labels to keep this area clutter free and easy on the eye.

3. Buy lots of 3M hooks, and velcro too. Plastic hooks that you can affix anywhere are a fabulous invention. Pay attention to the weight the hooks can handle and pay the extra for heavy duty. Affix these removable hooks on a wall or inside a cabinet door to assign a home for keys, backpacks, cables and anything that could use organization. I recommend using the 3M velcro to hang mirrors, whiteboards and artwork.

4. Create order with clear plastic shoe boxes. Create a bin for first aid supplies, a handy tool kit, maybe shoe care, gifting supplies, or a sewing kit. Think containers and labels for any odds and ends that could be categorized together and stored neatly for ease of retrieval.

5. See under-the-bed storage as prime real estate. Some schools allow you to lift the bed high and use a ladder to retire to slumber, creating ample living space under the loft. For situations where this is not possible you could add risers under the bed legs to gain more height. Consider spray-painting the risers to match the decor. Whatever the under-the-bed height allowance, you can find rolling drawers for clothing, footwear or seasonal gear.

6. Remember your electronic needs. Bring long cables if you require reaching across the room, and purchase outlet adapters that increase a 2 piece outlet into 6.

7. Prepare for mobility. If the shower is down the hall, remember to add a hook for a robe, and use a caddy to carry toiletries effortlessly at shower time. Don't forget laundry day too - hamper, travel bag, laundry soap, and coins.

8. Think cozy and complete. Add a floor rug to make the space more homey and tie the room together with decorative cushions, blankets, bedside lamp and desk lamp, artwork, pictures of family and friends, and even functional pieces like a waste basket and recycling bin that all fit into a decorative style or theme.

9. Splurge on hangers. I recommend this for every closet, from dorm room to master bedroom walk-in closet. When all your hangers are durable and the same style and colour, getting dressed every morning feels a little more like self-care. I suggest wooden hangers, and buy more than you think you'll need. You're worth it!

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