By Joe Stych
We already outlined some of the best kitchen tools to stash in your new digs. So once you feed yourself, the next step in happy college living is utilizing your scaled-down lodgings in a way that makes them seem a little less small. Here are some cheap organizing ideas that will open up much needed space in your very humble abode.
Laundry day has a knack for ruining a perfectly good weekend. But on the other hand, wading through a clothes-covered floor for that one not-too-dirty pair of jeans isn’t an ideal way to go through life. Instead, pick up this super portable hamper from The Container Store. It will prevent your wardrobe from exploding all over the room, and the built-in handles let you maximize your load before hauling it to the washer. (Double Folding Mesh Cube ($14.99), Containerstore.com).
Remember: You went to college to actually, you know, study. And the most important step in acing your exams is proper preparation. Try this cork board from Ikea for organizing all your class calendars, important notes and other reminders. Don’t forget to dress it up a bit with photos and other mementos. (VÄGGIS Noticeboard ($6.99), Ikea.com).
Dairy crates are an old college standby. Seriously, your parents—and their parents before them—probably used these to stash their books, as chairs, and for makeshift poker games. Of course, they also probably stole them from their local grocery store (yes, the authentic ones are private property, so you can be charged with “illegal possession of milk crates”). Dodge the fuzz and grab these multi-functional—and much more colorful—replicas from The Container Store. (Authentic Dairy Crate ($6.99), Containerstore.com).
Space will be scarce in your new home, but you can maximize capacity if you get creative. Slip these fabric bins from Target underneath your bed as an alternative to tossing everything wherever. It’s a simple storage solution that really lets the room breathe. (ClosetMaid ArrangeMents Large Fabric Bin ($9.99), Target.com)
Cooking for one is rough. So instead of tossing your leftovers, invest in this 3-piece set of glass food storage containers from Crate & Barrel. Preserving extra food saves money and means less kitchen time in the long run. Just don’t forget about the spaghetti you stuck at the back of the fridge. Yuck. (3-Piece Storage Container Set ($19.95), Crateandbarrel.com).