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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 November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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