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How to Organize Your Dorm Room to Maximize Space

How to Organize Your Dorm Room to Maximize Space

So you’re finally moving out of your parent’s house and into your own dorm room. Your instincts though, are to take absolutely everything you’ve been saving since the second grade with you, if for no other reason, than just to remind you of home. You also want bring all of those special items mom and dad gave you, just because you love your parents and want to be reminded of them.

Well, when you finally arrive you soon begin to wonder just where you are going to put all this stuff in your new home, which is roughly a living space about the size of the upstairs bathroom.

Don’t despair; there’s still space for that Tinky Winky stuffed doll you haven’t played with since you were six, but felt compelled to bring with you, anyway.

Here’s a few of the things you should keep in mind.

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1. Maximize the space you do have

Before you start randomly placing household items when you first arrive, take the time to plan just how you can fully utilize every square inch. You will be amazed that there are all sorts of steps you can take in order to maximize the limited floor space you do have.

A dresser can be placed in the closet to save on living space, or a cloth cover can be placed on the desk in order to convert it into an ironing board. If you’re a hat person, they can be hung on screws in the small, wasted space above doorways.

There’s any number of creative ways to maximize space, so take the time to think of them.

2. Everything should have multiple purposes

When you’re living in a small space you need to maximize the use for every item you furnish. Absolutely everything in your dorm should perform multiple functions.

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For example, instead of just an end table beside the bed, use an ottoman or an end cabinet with a drawer, and shelving that you can actually store something in. Don’t just have a table to sit your laptop on, either, use a desk that will take up the same space, but offer more storage.

If you don’t get a bed loft, bed lifters are also a handy item for the dorm room dweller. Bed lifters slip onto the bottom of the memory foam mattress, or under bed posts, lifting it about another six inches. The nice part here is you are now able to use the wasted space beneath the bed as storage as well. The other advantage with bed risers is that they also have AC sockets built right in to them that provide more flexibility where you place the bed. No more worries about a hidden outlet tucked behind the bed with no access.

With a little planning, you’ll be able to come up with multiple uses for almost everything in the room, which will really reduce clutter.

3. Create a designated workspace

Another good idea is to create a space specifically meant for doing your school work. I mean, you can’t just sit on the bed juggling the laptop in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other. You need to create an area specifically for working.

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Most dorm rooms come with a desk or two; you can put it in the corner of the room that you can share with your roommate, where you keep your laptop and charge your phone and for where you do your schoolwork. This way when you sit down to work, you already know this space is for working and then keep it that way.

You may be surprised just how productive you become when you have an area specifically for working.

Another advantage to creating a workspace is that you are already conditioning yourself to recognize that there are certain spaces intended strictly for working. It is amazing the work habits that can be developed through a designated work area—when you sit down, you know it’s time to get down to business.

That is really going to help when you eventually enter the workplace.

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4. Be creative

Really put some thought into just how something intended for another use can also be used to organize your dorm. Vinyl shoe holders, for example, are great to hang on a wall to hold school books, a purse, or just as a catch-all for clutter.

There are so many items that can be used in this way. There are stackable shelves of various sizes that don’t necessarily need to be stacked. They can also be used to store and slide things under the bed, as well.

There are netted vinyl baskets that are easy to attach on a wall that can be used for light items that can easily be misplaced. These are perfect for things like knitted hats, gloves, and scarves.

If you use your imagination, you will come up with all sorts of creative new uses for common household items.

Featured photo credit: English106 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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