Monday, September 23, 2019

College Dorm Apartment Storage Hacks

Dorm Life

MBE partnered with IKEA for this post

by Neima Pollak
MBE staff writer

Storage Solutions for Students

College students like easy, inexpensive things, especially when it comes to maximizing dorm space and functionality. Thankfully the product designers at IKEA have recognized this desire and have created the new Ombyte collection. The goal of this innovative line which is both practical and featuring fashionable prints is to make the transition to college living as smooth and enjoyable as possible. 

The Ombyte line-up available exclusively at IKEA stands out this season to offer convenience with a variety of fold up style products perfect for easy storage in crowded living spaces. I just love the moving cart ($49) and collapsible moving boxes offered in two convenient sizes ($3.99-$4.99) which can be reused again  and again whenever kids decide to change roommates and move to new locations. 

If your son or daughter is typical, believe me, you can count on multiple changes of address before they get their diploma. So these products can be really helpful especially when Mom or Dad aren't there to help with the latest move.


College Student Product Picks 

As a student in college myself, I think that the Ombyte collection is absolutely wonderful and I can appreciate how this can make moving so much easier and less stressful for me and my classmates.

My favorite product in the entire collection is this stylish Ombyte bag (pictured below), made of 100% sturdy polypropylene. The first version of this bag is narrower and taller measuring 11"wide by 15 3/4" long. It has two convenient ways to carry it: either as a handheld tote bag or to wear hands-free as a backpack thanks to its well-placed shoulder straps. This especially versatile bag is of course useful for the initial move-in to the dorm. 

Then, throughout the school year, it can also be used for carrying groceries from the store or for bringing clothes to and from the laundry machines. This style is currently available in an orange/white print and a black/clear print and it sells for $7.99 on the IKEA website. 

The second style carrying bag (pictured below), is also constructed of sturdy polypropylene but is shorter and wider and measures 31-1/2 inches long by 15-3/4 inches high by 15-3/4 inches deep. This zip closure duffle style bag is a convenient way to transport assorted stuff both on and off campus and when you head home to visit your family on short school breaks. Like the bag above, this one you see below has multiple uses and can be used to move in and out, for grocery shopping or laundry, and so much more. You'll find this bag on the IKEA website in a multicolor print as well as a white/clear print available for $7.99. 

It's cozy too, LOL! As you can see my cat loved this bag so much that he found his way inside and practically tried to go stealth as a stowaway when I was packing to return to school this fall.

Stylish Wall Hanging Storage

For in-room storage that's both chic and practical, I'm loving now is the Nordrana Hanging Storage system, a unique hand-crocheted accessory made by talented craftspeople in Vietnam. It is made from a sturdy material in a lovely shade of navy with brown bamboo buttons accenting the sides, selling on IKEA's website for $19.99. 

This three-pocket organizer features a hanging strap connected to the top pouch, and two more pouches for a total of three pouches, one of which is divided into two compartments making it a great place to store smaller items. I love the versatility of the ways this can be used. It can be hung vertically with all three pouches as shown or you can detach the pouches from each other and hang them separately using the hooks on the sides of each pouch. 

I can think of lots of ways to use this in my dorm room. The pouches help keep things organized but out of sight, such as a hairbrushes, pens, notepad, and other small items. You can even personalize this, turn it into a fun and easy crafting opportunity, like I did, to showcase your own style.

Storage Not Just for Dorms

Even if you are not a college student, you can still benefit from these fashionable yet durable and functional products. Some items in particular are great for moving into a new home, for redecorating your current living space or just creating more functionality in your home. One such item that has multiple functions is the Ombyte storage combination on casters which is available for $59. This rolling cart features two sturdy boxes, stacked on top of the other, with a removable lid on the top box. The brilliant design of this is that you can use it for your initial move, and then keep using it for years to come as a trendy home decor item or as a storage container. 

Small But Mighty

Another quick and easy must-have to help take the stress out of all the moving around students do is this colorful set of three elastic loading straps. Until I found these, I had no idea how useful these would be to us college students who seem to move more frequently than others. A small investment in a set of these for $4.99 would have been a fabulous help as I tend to pack a lot of stuff and usually end up precariously piling one bag on top of another bag hoping that nothing topples over. These loading straps are an excellent way to ensure that your bags, both big and small, don't fall during the move. An added plus is they can be used with Ombyte's moving cart or with any other cart you use to move your belongings.

With so many options to make college life run more smoothly you're not going to want to waste any time checking off all these cool lifestyle products. Be sure to check out the full Ombyte collection at IKEA and pick up some new items that will make living away at college a whole lot more simple.

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