As the weeks pass in a new school year, college students and their parents may start to realize that something needs to change about the way a student’s belongings are sorted and organized. If a student is off to college for the first time, her parents may be wondering what to do with all the things she left at home, while she tries to organize her dorm room efficiently. If another student is back at school after a summer at home, he may be trying to get used to life in a new apartment or house.
No matter which of these stages you’re in, we have some tips that might help you make these transitions a little easier.
If you’re a parent of a college student who has just left — whether for the first time or after spending a summer at home — you might be baffled by all the “stuff” your child seems to have left behind. How do you know what to hang on to? Where should you put it all? What about your plans to turn their bedroom into a painting studio?
A little communication will go a long way. Ask your student what absolutely must be kept and what they can part with. Pack what you can in boxes and label them clearly. Larger items like furniture could be relocated to another room in your home, sold secondhand (or donated if they are in poor condition), or kept in storage.
Don’t be afraid to let go of things. Chances are, if your student didn’t take it to school with them, they don’t really need it anymore. Pare down sentimental items to the ones you have the strongest ties to, and put them away for future trips down memory lane.
If you’ve just moved into a dorm for the first time, you are probably a little surprised at how much room you don’t have. Dorm rooms are notoriously small, which can be a blessing and a curse: it will help you prioritize your belongings and hang on to only the essentials, but it also means a little extra effort to keep everything organized and uncluttered.
Likewise, if it isn’t your first year away from home, but you’re moving into a new apartment or home of your own, you are facing the challenge of fitting all your possessions into a new, unfamiliar space, which is not always an easy task.
Either way, after you’ve had some time to settle into your new living space, take notice of the things you use regularly, and the things you don’t. Set aside some time to declutter and organize the things that you need to have on hand.
If you’re having trouble keeping the chaos at bay, a great solution is to rent a small storage unit to keep some of your belongings in. Find the things that you don’t want to get rid of, but don’t really have a place for, and move them over to your storage unit. They’ll be accessible when you need them, but for the most part, they’ll be out of your way.
Finding the right organizational balance at the beginning of a new college year can be tricky for both parents and students. With a little patience and work, you’ll find the right place for everything and be able to get on with a well-organized school year.
Arizona Storage Centers offer affordable rental storage units in a variety of sizes, in many locations. Let us help you get the “stuff” under control this school year! Visit one of our centers, contact us online, or give us a call at 480-386-6022 to discuss your options.