Making College a Home Away from Home

We’re getting close to the time when students are beginning (or returning) to college. It’s an exciting time, but can also be an anxious one and it’s important that students are able to become independent; this may be the first time they are responsible for keeping up with their schedules and responsibilities, for getting their own meals, and keeping their living spaces clean and tidy. Here are some tips that can help students settle into their dorm rooms and new routines.

Start with Packing: Clearly mark boxes and luggage with contents. If you don’t want to mark these up, write the contents on duct tape since that will hold up on the journey and leave no marks afterward. By labeling, you’ll be able to prioritize unpacking by taking care of the most important items first. Begin putting together a checklist of items you need to pack for your room, desk, health, and hygiene well before it’s time to pack – you can always add at the last minute, but you really don’t want to forget the essentials! Overwhelmed? Here is a free downloadable checklist.

Code the Cords: Using colorful duct or Washi tape, match cords and chargers with their respective units.

Chores Are Inescapable: We can only avoid our chores for so long! In a living situation with one or more roommates, it’s a good idea to assign chores; whether one person is always responsible for a particular task or you switch, having the accountability in place will help maintain peace in the living space.

Command Post: The chore schedule can be kept at a command post. This area can be on a wall, a shelf, or desk, and should include class schedules, emergency contacts, and crucial information such as allergies or serious medical conditions in case of emergency; the more personal information can be tucked behind class schedules for privacy. You should also keep a well-stocked first aid kit in this area.

cheap-is-the-new-classy-28b93d1b739658addb65953e5fa85fadGet Vertical: With limited space, you want to use as many vertical storage solutions as possible. Think bookshelves, over the door (or back of the door) items, stackables and cascading hangers.

Bring Home with You: Create a photo collage for your wall from our friends at WeMontage (scroll to the bottom for the link!). They are peel and stick and require NO nails. Or add a photo board with images of friends, family, pets, and favorite places. Little things such as familiar detergent and fabric softener can also help students feel more at home.