Tools to Tame the Clutter Without Breaking the Bank

As a parent who is sending kids off to their new university dorms or apartments, I wanted to make sure that they had the tools to be able to keep their lives organized and to maximize their small living space. As we’d done this a time or two before with older children, we knew the whole spiel and the lack of storage space in the dorms.

Labels can be your friend

As one of my daughters has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, we learned that she needed order in her things so that she could maintain a level of calm. As such, we purchased a small label maker from the office supply section of our favorite mass merchandiser. Sure, we could have done chalkboard paint, calligraphy, color coding, micro chips, but that took more time, money, and effort than what we wanted to deal with. Basic and simple, the label maker came to the rescue.

Curtain and/or shower curtain rods rule

As the area on the walls needed a way to be utilized, we went with creating hanging storage space with a basic cheap curtain rod attached to the wall. She could use it much like a towel rod. She also used another that we threaded shower curtain rings onto to hold her scarves, necklaces, and other odds and ends.

We created another level for hanging clothes in the closet with a shower curtain rod hung at a lower level. This worked well, but she needed to remember that it was not going to hold a lot without bending. Not that she put heavy coats, etc. and broke it or anything!

Know when to throw in the towel and get professional help

In spite of our best attempts to maximize her space, we simply did not have enough room for her belongings. After much thought and some rather comical MacGyver-esque attempts to find a place for everything, we decided that we needed professional help. No, we weren’t able to bring Mac out to fix the problem; we settled on the next best thing – we looked for storage in Lafayette, CO, exactly halfway between school, and home so that she could swing by on her way home for weekends to do laundry, etc. We’re not rookies at this college thing; we knew that she’d be bringing laundry at least a few times per month.

Of all of the nearby storage units, we decided on Elite Storage. For starters, they laughed at our stories and failed attempts to MacGyver-ize the room. Other than that, they were accessible, reasonably-priced, and offered temperature controlled storage.


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