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Making the Most of Your Small Space
by Erika Peterson

College life is tough. There's no denying that. There's a lot to remember; a lot of it pertinent; some, just forgettable. Papers to write, events to attend, keg parties, spring break, and, if you're so ambitious, even studying. So, what's the key to getting the most out of your university years and attempting to live a stress free life? While stress free and college don't seem to pair together well, I can assure you that utilizing some of these suggestions can make for a more tranquil atmosphere and peaceful college life.

  • Keep it clean. Now I know you are probably thinking that you have no time to clean or that there are a zillion other things that are more fun than staying in to clean. But here's a tip for you. It is easier to keep things clean than it is the clean the mess. So before you let your small space look like a tornado disaster area, pick up your clutter on a daily basis. A little bit everyday makes a huge difference in the long run.
  • Make the most of your vertical space. A lot of us are just aware of our immediate space and surroundings. We don't always take to time to step back and analyze. The next time you enter your living space, look up. Imagine organized shelving units with necessary information right at your fingertips. Picture a loft-style desk suspended from the wall or ceiling that, when not in use, makes for optimal use of space. There are a plethora of ideas you can utilize that give vantage to your chaos. Visit your local do-it-yourself store for some great suggestions or assistance in making it work for you.
  • Minimize the clutter. There are always things that we don't realize we can do without. And, while certain items may carry sentimental value or maybe even good luck, be practical with what you keep or chose to display. As you are thinking about what is necessary to keep, remember the space you have available and that by lessening the "stuff" you'll get an immediate feeling of relief. Being a minimalist is great forward thinking and preps the brain for powerful absorption in other areas.
  • Purge. Purging is something that should be done a few times a year. By asking yourself "Have I worn this in the past 3 months?" or "Do I really need 25 pairs of sneakers?" helps students realize the value of what they have in their life. By purging frequently, it can lead to getting a better handle on finances, recognizing shopping habits, and once again, minimize the stuff that accumulates.
  • Get creative. Own your space, that is, make it yours. Don't be afraid to use your favorite color or textures where you want to. Chances are, the color you like makes you feel good, and feeling good is how you want to be. Feeling good comes with many perks: we eat healthier when we feel good; we work better when we feel good and our brains function in a better capacity. Your living space should reflect your personality so let it shine!

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