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It’s the end of August, and that means most of you college students out there have probably already packed up and shipped back off to school!

Let’s be honest, you probably have some mixed feelings about everything. It was nice coming back home to see everyone (and not have homework for a few months), even if it was a little awkward moving back into your parents’ house, and while it’s exciting to be out on your own you’re going to have to deal with a lot of stuff once you get back to your dorm.

And speaking of dorms, what are you supposed to do with that once you get there? You’re probably pretty sick of packing and unpacking by now, and you may not be looking too forward to having to set up your dorm room all over again after moving back and forth already.

We understand that feeling, and we’re here to help! Included here are five easy tips to get ready for the semester without taking a ton of time away from the important things, like studying, video games, and getting to know your classmates: 

Step 1: Overprepare
A lot of colleges try to encourage you to pack light due to a lack of space, but in many cases bringing a little more storage than you’re expecting to need can help keep things much more clean and organized in the long run. Stock up on things like plastic storage bins to line your shelves and keep smaller items, even if you don’t have anything to keep them in right away. You’re going to find a need for them as the semester goes on, and you’ll be glad you have them when it comes up.

Step 2: Use All The Extra Space You Have
So you’re in your dorm, you’re unpacked, and you’ve finally figured out where everything is going to go. The next question to ask is how much room do I have left? There’s bound to be some unused wall space or room in the closet that you can utilize. Got a door? Get an over the door organizer or two to hang onto smaller items or even extra snacks if you don’t have any kind of pantry space. Is the space by the door not being used? Small entryway storage can come in handy there to organize things like shoes and coats (especially since fall is right around the corner this semester). Whatever blank space you have, try to use it as effectively as possible to reduce clutter somewhere else.

Step 3: Focus On Your Workstation
It isn’t perhaps the most exciting part of going to college (unless you’re the sort of person who loves studying – they do exist!) but you’re going to spend a lot of time in your dorm doing homework, and that means you’re going to need a well-prepared desk. Get some desk organizers and develop some kind of filing system – homework goes here, study materials go here, etc – to help keep all of your work organized and ready to hand in.

Step 4: Don’t Get Tangled Up
At college, you’re going to have a lot of devices to plug in – we’re not saying that to make a joke about ‘you darn Millennials’, but between all of your cell phones, laptops, smart watches, and anything else you took with you, you’re going to have a lot of cords to deal with. Charging stations are going to be a lifesaver when you need to save room on your desk and keep that new iMac charged up for your next class, and cord organizers can stop everything from becoming a huge mess (and stop you from getting yelled at for “creating a safety hazard” by the RAs when they come by to check).

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but this should get you started on your next semester and give you a good base to go from the next time you have to clean your dorm.

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