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Lane: Controlling clutter in college dorm rooms

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By Sandra Lane
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

It's that time of year, when many of us preparing to send our kids off to college.

Small spaces can be difficult to organize and a dorm room is an even greater challenge. Here are a few suggestions that will help keep the clutter under control and help your student make the most of his or her room:

1. Get more space out of your closet with slim line hangers and/or Wonder Hangers which allow you to hang up to 5 items while using up the space of only one hanger (available at Target).

2. Bed risers are an easy way to get some extra storage space under your bed.

3. A plastic tote caddy is ideal for carrying all of your toiletries to the shower and keeping them contained in one place. You may want to get another caddy to hold cleaning supplies for your room.

4. Under bed storage boxes can hold items that don't fit anywhere else in your room. I suggest clear boxes to make it easy to see what you have stored away.

5. If you don't have a table near your bed, consider a mattress caddy; it slips right under the mattress to hold your favorite bedside essentials (available at Bed, Bath and Beyond).

6. Bring a file box and/or folders to collect important papers and memorabilia throughout the year.

7. When it comes to laundry, consider a pop-up or X-frame hamper to corral dirty clothes. A hamper with wheels will make it easy to transport. Using detergent pods are more convenient verses the traditional liquid or powder variety.

8. Over-the-door shoe organizers are great for more than just shoes. The pockets are large enough so you can use them for toiletries, socks, hats, gloves, leggings, snacks and more. I suggest packing at least two of them.

9. Avoid damaging the walls in a dorm room by bringing along plenty of 3M Command hooks to hang up essentials and sticky tack (available at craft stores) for posters and pictures.

10. Utilize an electronic or paper planner. There are various apps available to keep your student on course, for example, iStudiezPro or Fantastical. A daily planner helps a student manage their time and exercise a necessary life skill.

I wish all high school graduates a productive, organized and safe year ahead.

Sandra Lane offers organizing services for residents and businesses in Sewickley and surrounding areas. She can be reached at, 412-841-7169 or

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