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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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