Saving space

Among the most common college living experiences are the dorm room and the off-campus house or apartment. Though there are obvious differences between the two, they share something in common: They can easily get messy. Fortunately, there are several solutions to keep things in order.

A room can look cluttered because of an unbalanced stuff-to-space ratio. Add a roommate or two and it can be difficult to make that room look livable with two or three beds, desks, dressers and other items each roommate attempts to throw in the mix.

Here are some tips to save space along with must-have items to organize belongings that can be found in most department stores.

Push your desks together

This is ideal for dorm rooms. By pushing both desks side-by-side, you create more space for moving about.

Embrace shoe racks

For those with mounds of shoes, stock up on these great space-savers. Different types of shoe racks are on the market, but all of them serve the same purpose — to keep your shoes neatly organized and away from gathering dust on your closet floor.

Dresser organization

Getting tired of digging for that matching sock? Keep your top-drawer items organized with labeled plastic bins. For jewelry, ties, belts and any other accessories, try plastic ?accessory trays.

Try a stepladder bed stand

Unlike a typical bed stand, a small stepladder allows for more storage of your favorite items such as books as well as your essential alarm clock and lamp.

Invest in under-bed drawers

Though it’s not the most glamorous place to put things, the space under your bed allows for extra storage that might be hard to find elsewhere in a dorm room. Drawers are great for storing summer wear during the colder months or just extra sheets and blankets.

Textbook storage

Proper textbook storage is especially important for those renting or wanting to sell their books each semester. In a dorm, try placing bookends on your overhead desk compartment. They’ll help keep your textbooks in excellent condition during a semester of wear and tear. In an apartment or house, a bookcase works, too.

Get hooked

Over-the-door hooks are almost essential, especially in winter months when coats and other cold-weather layers need a grab-and-go spot. Hooks can also be used for handbags, keys and towels.

Know your laundry options

The most common route is the mesh hamper, an excellent choice because of its flexibility.

These hampers easily fit into any space and fold down when needed. Another option is the wheeled hamper, ideal for those who hate hauling clothing to and from the laundry room.

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