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Use college dorm ideas at home for college prep

Move-in college dorm ideas for college-bound
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

While freshmen head off to college ready to organize their dorm rooms for the first time, high school students and their parents may take a fresh look at their own spaces at home. With a little reorganizing, families may better prepare for the rigors of high school life and college prep.

Increased work loads come from harder classes, studying for standardized tests, jobs, extracurricular activities, and researching college, career and scholarship possibilities. On top of this are the responsibilities teens assume from getting their driver’s license to dealing with social issues. Expect to need room for more real and online books, college brochures/mail/paraphernalia, and family/friend/school commitments. Fitting it all in and not becoming overwhelmed is challenging.

Take a cue from students living in college dorms who must maximize space usage and tailor it to studying. Before stress has a chance to take hold, create an environment that will help the college-bound take care of business and enable parents to team with them for best chance of student success. Use the following three college dorm ideas to create cool college prep spaces at home.

Focus on the goal. College dorms are usually stripped down to the essentials of a desk, chair, bed, dresser and closet. Often a common area nearby has a sofa and coffee table. These dorm basics hone in on family necessities. Students need a work space dedicated for studying and college prep. Parents and students need a spot to brainstorm and work together towards the common goal of student success. To motivate usage, these areas must be quiet, fully equipped with easy to reach supplies and materials, well lit and comfortable. Chances are the spaces already exist in the home but could use some sprucing up like better lighting, more shelving, clutter clearing and ergonomic furnishings. Strengthen the family bond while focusing on the goal by together forming some formal rules for parent-student team meetings, healthy snacks and adding some fun.

Add organization. There are tons of products aimed at making life easier for college students. Get extra use from these supplies by purchasing and using them now such as desktop organizers, schedule planners, storage bins, power strips, cords and cables. A large write on/wipe off wall calendar shows tasks and appointments at a glance and are easily updated at home or in the college dorm. Those college tech essentials like cell phones, laptops and/or tablets also help high school students especially if they have current anti-virus protection, surge protectors, memory sticks, back-up storage, and access to a printer and scanner. Virtual tools help too such as spreadsheets for filing info, apps for organizing time, managing money, and to-do lists.

Delete distractions. College dorm rooms are filled with posters, college give-a-ways, and photos reflecting the personalities of their occupants. Both parents and children want to personalize the spaces where they will be spending a lot of time. Only the college-bound know what will distract from or spur action to achieving their goals. Inspiration may be added with decor touches such as favorite motivational sayings, pictures of objectives, and college logos. During team meetings, display the wall calendar to review and revise the to-do-list. Handily find a college mailing in a portable filing system or on a tablet. Hold a college ball when speaking.

Having developed organization and time management skills, the college-bound will be ready to pack their already purchased college gear and set up their dorm room. Parents will have peace of mind knowing their child has the tools leading to success in high school, college and beyond. Through it all, families may work and celebrate accomplishments together.

For more tips for parents of the college-bound, click “Subscribe” under the photo and get an email about future articles. Connect with @pocsmom and comment below.

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