Can you believe KSU move-in is coming soon? That probably brings up a lot of mixed feelings. I know it will be exciting to go back to Manhattan, even though taking 15 credit hours will be exhausting. With a new year full of changes ahead, I’m overall ecstatic to move back to the dorms. All that said, you can probably tell I’m a returning KSU student (sophomore status baby)…so I have an idea what it’s like to be a K-State freshman. This article, among some of the others I have written, is dedicated to all you incoming freshmen. I want to help make your transition as easy as possible. Read on for 10 tips to save space in your freshman dorm!
1. Pack in tubs, not boxes.
This tip comes from experience. My roommate/best friend and I packed all of our belongings in boxes our freshman year. While all of our stuff made it there in one piece, we realized after unpacking we didn’t have anywhere to put the boxes. We didn’t want to throw them away because we would be moving out at the end of the year, and they wouldn’t stack on top of each other in any good way. What ended up happening was us two knuckleheads stacking the boxes to the best of our ability and leaving that eye sore there for the Whole. Entire. Year. Don’t be an us and create a personal Mount Wanna Hock a Loogie in your freshman dorm (it’s what I wanted to do whenever I passed by it, it was so heinous). Instead, pack your things into tubs so when the unpacking is over they can easily be stacked on top of each other and put at the bottom of your closet.
2. Don’t bring a bunch of technological-do-hickies.
When packing in the aforementioned tubs, make sure not to puzzle out how you are going to manage to fit your Wii, Xbox, speakers, amps, and every other 21st century invention in your tubs. It’s simply not worth it to bring them. The whole point of college is to get out and experience the opportunities around you. Supplementing the Sims for human interaction is not the same thing. Try to limit down your gaming to only one system with your most favorite games. Trust me…it’s worth it.
3. No excessive furniture.
Remember: your dorm room will come with a bunk bed, desk, wardrobe, trashcan, recycling bin, and dresser (unless you are in the Kramer complex). There is no need to bring your bedroom furniture with you to the dorms. It will just make the whole thing look like a mess. The whole point to the KSU furniture is to in fact be part of your new room…it’s all the fundamental furniture you need to get you started.
4. Here’s the kicker….still bring furniture.
You may have misread what I just said as, “Don’t bring any furniture from home.” I in fact did not say this; I said don’t bring all your bedroom furniture. In order to maximize the small space you will be calling home for the next year, make sure to bring the necessary furniture. My roommate brought a turquoise bookshelf for our room and let me tell you – we loved it. From textbooks to perfumes to vitamins to shower caddies, that bookshelf’s six shelves sure came in handy. (Confession: I am already figuring out what I want to put on the shelves for the upcoming year). Whether you want to bring a bookshelf or a comfy, foldable chair to read/study in (I am really debating getting one), don’t be afraid to bring one or two extra pieces of furniture on move-in day. Just make sure whatever you bring will hold a purpose for the room.
5. Rearrange the dorm room furniture.
Newsflash: you don’t have to keep your dorm room in the arrangement it comes in. The bunks, desks, and dressers can be moved to your liking. Last year, my roommate and I had fun doing this because we managed to open up our room and create a space that we both felt comfortable in. And by moving our furniture together, it made it feel like the space belonged to both of us. I highly encourage you not to be afraid to move your furniture around in different ways with your roommate to see what you both like because it will help you bond and create a cozy place for you the rest of the year. Two for one special.
6. Work around your heating/cooling unit.
An important component to rearranging your furniture is making sure you take into account where the heating/cooling unit is located in the room is. Unfortunately, the units are usually right smack in the middle of the wall opposite the door right under the windows. It is big and bulky, but with enough determination (and a best friend’s Mom) you can arrange your furniture in whatever fashion you so choose.
7. Maximize the closet’s potential.
While your closet may appear small, it’s only as small as you imagine it to be. With the right tools, your closet can hold a lot of your valuables easily. I recommend buying a hanging shoe rack and a BUNCH of clothes hangers (the dresser can be used for storage rather than clothing). And remember those tubs I was talking about earlier? Stick them at the bottom of your closet packed with miscellaneous belongings you have nowhere else to put, and you will be maximizing not only your room’s space but its potential as well.
8. Use the Siberia Shelf.
In any KSU dorm room there will be a remarkably high (nearly unreachable) shelf located just above the wardrobe. Personally, I refer to it as Siberia because it is practically in no man’s land, and I have no desire to visit it often. However, it is just as handy storage space as any other piece of furniture in the room, and should be utilized as such. Put the items you won’t need in any immediacy up there like extra shampoo, conditioner, toothpastes, medicines, etc.
9. Christmas lights instead of lamps.
I love anything Christmas, including Christmas lights! They are lightweight, easily transportable, and give a room a nice dose of character along with brightness. Use these in exchange for pesky lamps and not only will you be living in a well -lit room, but a cheery room as well.
10. Keep your bed on a bunk.
All KSU dorm rooms have their beds on bunks. This is to your advantage because under your bed you can easily fit your desk and dresser (if your room comes with one), and have the rest of the room’s space to play around with. It isn’t necessary to keep your bed as lofted as it will come (it will be a good six feet in the air when you arrive), but I wouldn’t deloft it (i.e. the process of taking it down) completely. Keep your bed lofted enough that you can fit your dresser and mini fridge under it. That way you can easily move your desk in front of your bed and call it a day.
The environment you surround yourself with will affect you. A clean, well-kept dorm room will firstly take some stress off of your plate (which will be heaping with other things by the way), and secondly act as a sanctuary for you to retreat to at the end of the day. Start the year right by organizing your dorm room, and settle into your new home in Manhattan at ease. Welcome to Kansas State University, and the beginning of the rest of your life!