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These four simple tips will help you pack, store and study like a pro, keeping you organized your first semester of college and beyond!

“A high school and college degree are linked to greater employment prospects, higher earning potential, and the ability to contribute more to our communities.”  -Lynn Schusterman.

Pack strategically, and get creative with the minimal space you have.

When heading off to campus, take the time to number each of your boxes and create a detailed, running list of the items within each bin. Doing so will allow you to promptly unpack necessary items while keeping things you made need later within a self-storage unit close to campus. Remember, your dorm will be small (like – 230 sq. ft. small), so every bit of space counts. With a bit of imagination and some creative ideas, finding ways to maximize space for you and your roommate(s) is possible and fun. Pegboards, hangers, and hooks are affordable options that, when used in non-traditional ways, can keep your dorm clutter-free and organized.

A college degree is the key to realizing the American dream, well worth the financial sacrifice because it is supposed to open the door to a world of opportunity.”  -Dan Rather

Find a storage unit nearby, splitting the cost with a roommate or two so that you can maximize space and keep items near campus when the year is complete.

Besides providing you with more space within your dorm, renting a storage unit close by will save you the hassle of having to lug your belongings back and forth to home when the semester is through—a big win at the end of the year. Units come in various sizes, so finding one that doesn’t break the bank is a breeze. Plus, if you go in to rent one with a friend or two, the cost dwindles to almost nothing per month. All storage facilities offer 24-7 security, with most offering climate-controlled locations as well.

I think I’m mostly looking forward to the college life. I’m looking forward to more freedom. Here everything is really structured and scheduled, but in college you’ve got to be more responsible and you can get things done on your own time. I’m really looking forward to that.” -Nerlens Noel

Set up a cleaning schedule to keep you and your roommate(s) on the same page to help ensure harmony within your dorm.

Sharing such a small space with one, two, or three other people (yes – you read that correctly!) can be a challenge for several reasons, such as divvying responsibilities. If expectations are not clear, fighting will ensue, which will make your living arrangements unbearable. Once you become privy to who your roommate(s) will be, we strongly recommend being clear about who is responsible for what by setting up a cleaning schedule. With chores and responsibilities listed for each person, there will be minimal opportunity for fighting.

“You have to stay in school. You have to. You have to go to college. You have to get your degree. Because that’s the one thing people can’t take away from you is your education. And it is worth the investment.” -Michelle Obama.

Do not forget to have a dedicated study area (or areas) to incorporate learning into your daily schedule.

You may enjoy heading off to the library to study or even review your notes within a shared common area – which is all well and good. However, sometimes, it may not always be ideal for heading to the campus library or local cafe. Create a designated study area you and your roommate(s) can use when needed within your dorm room. Murphy desks take up minimal space and can be a real lifesaver in making sure you can put your studies first.

My college experience was like everyone else’s. I learned a lot. I gained a new perspective on the world and on people that I’m so thankful and appreciative for.” -Kyle Carpenter.

We wish you a successful college career! Stay organized, remain focused, and learn all you can (personally and academically). Your future is looking bright!