here’s an old saying that state of your home reflects the state of your mind. This holds true for most people-- those with papers and clutter lying about often have rather disorganized thinking, and those who have neat and tidy homes have headspaces to match.
Perhaps you’ve been in college for a while-- or perhaps you’re a freshman who is just moving in-- but your dorm room organization will play a key role in your happiness as well as your success. A well-organized room won’t bring you down with depressing clutter or distract you with chaos.
You can accomplish this with proper storage, the OCM-- a leader in dorm-room solutions for over four decades-- and the KonMari method founded by Marie Kondo.
What is the KonMari method?
Marie Kondo is a “tidying expert” whose approach to lifestyle and organization is all about asking the questions: “Does it spark joy?” She has written several books on tidying every area of your life with her method called the KonMari method, and it subscribes to six basic rules for success:
- Commit to tidying up
- Visualize your ideal lifestyle
- Finish getting rid of things first
- Tidy by category, not by location
- Follow the prescribed order
- Ask: Does it spark joy?
Essentially what her method boils down to is this: Only keep what serves your current needs and future desires, and only if it still makes you happy. Her method has been successful primarily because of its focus on mindfulness in the present and hope for the future.
Marie’s advice makes perfect sense for the dorm room-- only take what sparks joy, and keep it all properly organized to stay in a healthy mindspace while at college. Maybe even consider taking it home with you after the year is over…
Commit to Tidying up
Being tidy needs to be a lifestyle in order for it to work properly. So you need to dedicate time to it every day. But first, take a day to get your dorm room fully tidied up so that all you need to do from here on out is simply maintenance work.
It can feel daunting to do a huge clean sweep in one day, but remember that you’re only responsible for doing it in one room-- not a whole house-- and in particular, your side of the room. So unless you’re lucky enough to have your own single dorm room-- or a roomie who wants to implement the KonMari method too-- you only need to worry about your things.
So pick a weekend day or a day without classes, do your homework ahead of time, and commit to a day of tidying up.
Who knows? If you get Student Affairs or Resident Life involved, maybe you can turn it into a KonMari day and get the whole community involved!
Finish getting rid of things, then tidy up with your ideal lifestyle in mind
Unless you’re a seasoned pro at packing, you’ve probably taken more than you needed from home. Start by setting aside anything that no longer works or that’s not in season. If you haven’t used it at home you’re probably not going to use it in college, either.
Go through your clothes first. This is often the biggest offender of the KonMari lifestyle in college because we often feel the need to overpack in order to have options. Narrow down your choices to what you can wear now, and store anything that you’ll need to wear a little later depending on the season. Try to only have one season’s clothing out at a time.
Next, attack nick-nacks and things like non-school books and entertainment. Will you really have time for all of those video games and dvds? Couldn’t playing online versions or using a streaming app save so much more space?
Right now your life is taking place in a college setting, in a tiny and most likely shared dorm room. So when you set about tidying up to manifest the look of your ideal dorm room, reflect a bit on where you are now and what you need out of your dorm room in order to achieve your best college life. What would your ideal, fully-functional, tidy dorm room look like?
Look at the furniture that you’ve been issued. How does it serve your storage purposes? What would you need to add or change in order to create flow and organization? Here are some ideas to help you out:
The Armored Storage Trunk
This is the perfect oversized storage solution that doubles as a table AND a stepping stool! You can even use it as a footrest or extra seating. Large enough to store an extra set of sheets but also perfectly suited to storing documents, nick-nacks and out-of-season decorations, this durable storage trunk is sure to spark joy once you see all of its potential.
Hanging Organization Towers
Hanging organization towers save space by being vertical, but are among the most useful storage solutions you can use in a dorm room. Their tiered shelving lends itself well to clothes, towels, books, shoes, and even chargers and makeup palettes or movies. All the benefits of a shelving unit with none of the bulk!
Under-the-Bed Storage Boxes
These boxes are wide and flat, ideally shaped to slide right under the bed and out of the way. The soft fabric sides mean you won’t ever stub your toes when climbing into bed at night, and the large dimensions make it perfect for storing bedding and other large items.
Vacum-Sealed Storage Bags
These ingenious little puppies come in a variety of sizes to suit storage needs. Simply fill them up with out-of-season coats, extra bedding or towels, or clothes and then seal the zipper-lock shut. Place a vacuum at the mouth of the vent and suck out all of the air-- watch it shrink! You’ll be amazed at just how much space this will save in storage and luggage alike!
Standard college-issued dorm room bed often don’t have headboards. Take advantage of this opportunity to both jazz up your dorm-room decor and get some extra storage space at the same time! A headboard with built-in shelves can store make-up, books, photographs, a charging dock, your alarm clock… all kinds of things! But remember.. It’s primary function is a headboard. So really channel your decluttering skills here and make sure you only have what you need and sparks joy. You don’t want to move a pillow and accidentally knock a ton of clutter onto the floor!
Follow the prescribed order
Make that list and check it twice! The KonMari method requires you to take a step back from wanting things and to examine the role each thing has played in your life. If it no longer serves you, thank it and get rid of it.
Marie has set up her method into an order that works. Take a whole day or weekend to really make sure that you’ve paid attention to each step.
Does what’s left in your dorm room spark joy? This has to include your storage methods. You really need to take the time to think about which storage solutions best fit your space and ideal lifestyle. Otherwise, you won’t be comfortable enough in your dorm room to make your best experience possible. You only get to do dorm life once-- you might as well take the time to KonMari your way into the best years possible while you’re there.