College Prep 101

August 2012

You packed hundreds of lunches.  You helped with countless hours of homework.  You drove to a seemingly endless number of after school activities.  Now, all of a sudden, it is time to send your child off to college.  Help them get a great start with advice on designing a fabulous dorm room and staying organized.

We asked the talented designers at Kaleidoscope Studio of Interior Design for their ideas on dorm room design.  Here are their top tips:

  • Using a series of mirrors or a large scale mirror, will provide you with decorative wall art and also give the appearance of a larger space.
  • To add life into your dorm room, use colorful fabrics with textures and prints on your bedding, rugs and curtains.
  • Floating shelves will help you make use of every square inch of space, while also adding décor.
  • If not given enough space for extra seating, make the best use of the bed. Adding pillows against the wall will make a comfortable day bed for you to study or relax with your friends.
  • For college students wanting to add instant square footage, loft living is a great alternative. Taking advantage of the vertical space in a room allows you to use the space underneath the loft style bed for your desk or a reading nook with a chair, table and lamp.
  • Storage can be challenging in a small dorm room, by adding colorful storage bins you are being practical while still staying aesthetically pleasing.
  • Multi-function pieces are a must in small spaces. Each piece in your dorm room should provide storage, such as an entertainment center and dresser or a nightstand and bookcase.

“Our favorite part of decorating a dorm room is using multipurpose pieces in unique ways to provide extra space and interest to a small room,” comments Christine Cook, Allied ASID

Kara Irvine, Professional Organizer and owner of Simply Organized Chaos, helped us come up with some great ideas to get your college freshman ready for campus.  Here are some things to think about:

Map your Distance – Will you be able to come home to get your winter clothes, or will you need to take them at the start of school?  Will you be able to come home to do laundry?

Practical Purchases for your Room – Make the investment in pieces that can move with you year after year. One example of a practical purchase would be a Metro tower from The Container Store.  It can hold a microwave and a bin with your snacks.  An over the door shoe organizer can be used for many things: storing extra bathroom products, holding hats, scarves and gloves for those students studying up north, and of course shoes.

Make a Schedule – When planning your schedule, make sure you take into account how long it may take you to walk or find parking near your class. Schedule time to study and put it on your calendar as a priority.  By doing this, you will actually find more time to enjoy your college experience.

Important Documents – Students should have the original and a photo copy of their Social Security card, passport or military ID. Start a pocket folder, where one side contains the copies of your identification, dorm assignments, class schedule, and any Rush information. Then on the other side, keep your financial documents including any financial aid, grants or scholarship information.

“My biggest piece of advice for staying organized in college is to take the time to map out a plan; knowing that there is a place for everything in your dorm and scheduled time for classes, studying and a social life will make for an amazing college experience,” says Irvine.

Copyright 2012 Absolutely! Focus Media

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