Students have enough on their minds without having to fret about living space and storage. Trouble is, if you don’t spend some time planning both, academic life can quickly become a nightmare of lost equipment and missed deadlines. Taking the time to organise your space so it’s neat and efficient means you’ll have an uncluttered mind and time saved down the line.
Make the Most of Limited Space
Whether you’re in halls of residence or sharing a house with friends, you probably won’t have as much space as at home. You’re likely to have one room to call your own and especially if it’s in halls, it’s probably really small.
You may not be allowed to hang shelves, but there are other options. Over door hooks can provide hanging space not just for clothes, but also for hanging shoe organisers. Use these for all your smaller stuff like hats, hair accessories, toiletries or cleaning products, not just shoes. If you have a wardrobe or closet, put a small plastic drawer tower at the bottom as additional storage.
Seating can be an issue in really small rooms, but with your bed cornered by two walls it can become a sofa too. Add some big cushions and a daytime throw that you can quickly whip off at bedtime. If there’s space beneath, suitcases could double as storage for clothes or spare bedding. Folding chairs or stools are handy when friends pop around, and they don’t take up much space when they’re not being used.
Nifty Organising Tricks
Odds and ends such as cables and chargers, cosmetics and jewellery (not to mention stationary and study items) can quickly get out of control. Especially if you’re are a stationary obsessed and have enough diaries for your family and friends! Here are some neat ways of keeping everything tidy and organised:
- Tuck toilet roll tubes vertically into a shoe box or other similar sized containers to make a handy storage unit for cables. Roll up the cabe then push it into the tube so it stays put and you can see which is which. You can trim the tubes so they’re the right height, and if you leave a gap at one end, you have room for bigger items such as chargers and plugs.
- Pop a cutlery tray into a desk drawer to organise your stationary items from pens and highlighters to staplers.
- If wardrobe space is tight (a key issue for me sharing a wardrobe with my boyfriend), swap bulky hangers for slimmer ones. Velvet covered slim hangers are also great for preventing slinky fabrics sliding off. You can by hanger connectors to help maximise rail space, but a cheap alternative way is to use the ring pull off a drinks can.
- You can fit more T-shirts in a drawer if you fold or roll them and arrange them in rows from front to back instead of laying them onto of each other. Do the same with socks to keep them neatly in pairs. (me and my boyfriend are still debating which takes less space folded or rolled!)
End of Year Storage
At the end of the academic year you may face a lengthy journey back to your family home. Or if you’re like me you leave 40 minutes away but can’t take all the stuff (definitely not rubbish!) you’ve acquired whilst living away from home. Without hiring a small van, it can be a challenge figuring out how to transport everything in the car and still leave room for passengers. Plus, where will all your stuff go when you get home? The same problem comes around again when you go back to uni and new accommodation.
A growing number of students find a solution in self storage facilities close to their university. Renting a small self storage unit or locker makes sure your possessions are all kept together and stay safe until you return. By keeping your stuff in self-storage also means you can travel light and not have to find storage when you get home.
With a few clever storage and space-saving tricks during term time and secure storage solutions in between, you should be able to get everything organised for easier living and study.