Dorm Room Organizers

August 20, 2009

I called this post Dorm Room Organizers, but these ideas could be used in any student's room or anyone's office.  I can personally ALWAYS use more organizers.  I'm a little bit of a fanatic about them…ok, a lot fanatic.  One perfect obsessive example is my pantry.

But enough about me.  Back to the organizers.  You say organizer, I say Container Store!  Oh, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found you!  I adore Container Store.  And you may know it's the #1 company to work for, at least in Texas.  Their employees seem so darn happy, don't they?  I think I would be if I worked in organizer mecca, however, I wouldn't be happy when payday rolled around because I would owe the company money.

First of all, the Happy Organized Home Sale is running until September 7th.  My favorites:  Those skinny huggable hangers for $6.99 ($3 off) and their slim folding step stool for $19.99 ($10 off).

Back to back-to-school!  You see how easily I'm distracted in this place!  As always, Container Store has some incredibly cool things for your back to school organizing needs.  I love their organizing tips section for back to school.  You can shop by closet, walls & doors, desk, laundry, bath or storage.  Or you can search by your style of dorm: artistic expression, booksmart, a natural fit, high fidelity, big ideas or fashion forward.  Choose natural fit, for example, and you get this:

Container Store Natural Fit

Container Store Natural Fit

Gorgeous, isn't it?  Below the photo, you get a list of all the products used, along with their prices.  I'm loving the bamboo clothing rack ($129) and the coordinating magnet bamboo boards ($14.99 each).

Container Store Mini Mantel

Container Store Mini Mantel

Also, in the category of things-you-didn't-know-you-need-but-now-must-have is this little mini mantel ($14.99) that grips onto your bed post.  This would be perfect if your dorm room didn't have room for a nightstand.

And before we leave Container Store, don't forget all of the awesome Elfa carts that make organizing simple.

And, one last thing.  There is a really cool web site that you must check out if you're an organizing junkie like me.  It's Jeri's Decluttering and Organizing News.  She's done posts recently on cool ideas in cork bulletin boards and on memo boards with pretty fabric coverings. Love these!

That's it for today, gang!  Now get out there and organize something!


Meningitis Vaccination for Back to School

August 18, 2009

As your kids head back to school, you probably have a to-do list a mile long. There are clothes and uniforms to find, school supplies to buy, transportation arrangements to make, dorm rooms to set up, and schedules to coordinate. In the midst of all the chaos, don't forget that a meningitis vaccination could save the lives of your children, and may be the most important to-do of all.

I didn't know much about the risk of meningitis until the son of a family friend passed away from it during his first semester at college. Here's what I know now and want to pass on to you:

  • Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
  • There are two kinds of meningitis: viral and bacterial. Bacterial is the more severe kind, and can lead to brain damage and death.  There are several causes of each kind.
  • The Meningococcal vaccination does not prevent all cases of the disease, but it does protect against most types.
  • The most common symptoms of meningitis are headache, fever and a stiff neck.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends vaccinations for these individuals:

  • Children: MCV4 is recommended for certain high-risk children from ages 2 through 10.
  • Pre-teens/Adolescents: MCV4 is routinely recommended for all 11 through 18 year olds. If your child did not get this vaccine at the 11- or 12-year-old check-up, make an appointment for him or her to get it now.
  • Adults: Either MPSV4 vaccine or MCV4 vaccine is recommended for adults if you:
  • Are a college freshman living in a dormitory
  • Are a military recruit
  • Have a damaged spleen or your spleen has been removed
  • Have terminal complement deficiency
  • Are a microbiologist who is routinely exposed to Neisseria meningitis (the causal pathogen)
  • Are traveling to or residing in countries in which the disease is common

There are also some individuals who should NOT get the vaccine.  Please check out the meningitis reference information on the CDC's web site and make an informed decision for your family.


Big Boy Room

August 17, 2009

I love all those great ideas for decorating dorm rooms that BigSis just shared with us. It's nice to know that there are some retailers that make it easy and affordable for us to get just about everything we need in a one-stop shopping trip. Luckily, we've got three years to go before we have to prepare for that big move!

Honestly, it seems like school just let out for the Summer and here we are talking about getting organized to send the kiddos back to school.  When we talk about how fast time flies, here's a perfect example. Last year right before HayHay was about to enter his Freshman year of High School, we all of a sudden noticed that he was literally growing out of his bed.

Well, I wonder why? We bought the bunk beds when he was four years old! So, one day he's a little four year old with brand new bunk beds and the next time I turn around, he's a 5'8″ fourteen year old sleeping on a little twin bed. (You gotta give him credit, he never complained or even mentioned that his feet were hanging off his mattress.) I just ran across the photos that I took for my ad .

Here's what he was sleeping in just last year.


And here was his cute little desk on the end.


I don't even think he could sit in that little chair and fit under the desk!

After one trip to IKEA and some fresh new paint colors, here's what the Big Boy Room looks like now.

Hays room

The IKEA bed, dresser, and nightstand are all from the Hemnes collection. The bed was $299, the dresser was $299 and the nightstand was under $100.


We got the Quick Silver comforter, sheet set, pillow cases, shams and two pillows at Bed, Bath and Beyond all in one “Bed in a Bag” for under $200.00. They may not have the exact set right now, but I know they have some awesome deals going on for bedding.


Finally, drawers big enough to hold big boy clothes.

Led Zeppelin

Yes, the Led Zeppelin wall covering is a ‘hand me down' from BigT.

Rugrats pillowcase

But, I love that he still loves his Rugrat pillowcase!  🙂

I'm not crazy about posters being hung all over the room with thumbtacks, but HayHay managed to do this himself without asking and I've decided that I need to choose my battles.

We never did totally finish his room, so that's one of our projects for this week. We're going to head back to IKEA to try to find shelves for his trophies and some sort of storage unit for all his sports memorabilia and his collection of hats. And, if I find some reasonably priced frames, maybe I can convince him that his surf posters would look better if they were framed.

While at IKEA, I'm going to try to focus on buying just what we need to finish up his room, but in looking through the new 2010 catalog, I'm going to be tempted to browse through the home organization section and the office workspace area.

There's something about getting the kids ready to go back to school that makes me want to reorganized all the cabinets and drawers in preparation for the school books that have to stay at the house and all the new school supplies. I love shopping for school supplies! I probably haven't mentioned it lately, but I do have an office supply fetish. (I could get lost in Staples for hours.)

If I find any amazing bargains or any fun, new items, I'll be back later this week to share them with you.


Dorm Room Decor

August 16, 2009

It's here already…back to school!  Where did the summer go?  Regardless of where it went or how fast it flew by, the time is here to get our act together for the fall.  For lots of folks, that means getting your dorm room set up and organized.  Thankfully, there are lots of resources available to help!  Since time for online ordering may be running short for some of you, we're focusing on retailers with “real” stores as well as web sites.

Bed Bath & Beyond has a “Shop for College” section online.  It includes a super-helpful checklist for equipping the space, and a College Practical Solutions section with solutions to common problems, like too little clothing storage or too little light.  There is even a Decorating Ideas feature.

How about this Grover Beach theme for a young guy?

Grover Beach

Grover Beach

Ok, well, maybe it is a little over the top and packed with stuff, but you don't have to buy all of it.  All of the items pictured in the example are listed below the photos of it, with prices and the option to add them to your shopping cart as you see fit.  Pretty cool!

For a young woman, I think their Juliet room is a little wild and fun!



Target Paisley Comforter

Target Paisley Comforter

Not to be outdone, Target has a whole line of stylish dorm room decor items, including bedding, bath items, furniture and accessories.  I'm crazy about this brown and blue paisley comforter ($14.99) and can see a whole room built around it very easily.

Target also has some pages put together to help you.  You can click on the Contemporary Total Dorm, for example, and see photos and prices of everything they think you will need.  I'm not sure if the 32″ Vizeo HDTV they show is essential or not, but maybe it is for some students!  You can also view their suggested items for the Classic Total Dorm, The Trendy Total Dorm, the Dorm Lounge and different girls' and guys' dorms styles.  Lots of fun stuff.

JC Penney also has their own Dorm Life section with useful resources: a checklist, tips on finding your own style, living in a small space, and doing what you need to do on a small budget.  They have lots of affordable options for furnishing and decor.  I love that their seating section is comprised of one faux fur butterfly chair and ten bean bag chairs!  It doesn't get any more dorm-ish than that!

We hope we've given you have a few ideas for decor to get you started.  We'll be back all this week with more back-to-school info, including some organizing tips!