I’m the first to admit that I love to go shopping for any and every occasion. For me, there’s nothing better than throwing on a new dress and pairing it with matching heels. I feel super confident, elegant, and ready to take on the world. When I was in college, I found that my closet space couldn’t handle the mayhem of my clothing collection. Plus, I was sharing space with my other teammates, and I didn’t want to be the one hogging the closet. Here are a few tips that will help you manage your closet and maximize space.Girl looking at her closet

Mix and match outfits

Due to limited space, there is no need for you to take your entire wardrobe to college. Believe me, you’ll barely wear half the clothes in your closet, and there will be days when sweats might become your go-to if you’re not a morning person or don’t like to layout your outfits at night. As an athlete, I wore sweats to my classes almost every day, especially if I had morning workouts and only had time to shower and run across campus for an 8:30 AM class. There was a running joke at my school that you could spot the athletes on campus because we wore sweats at all times and didn’t put much effort into our appearances. For my fashionistas, I’ve learned that if you have a great pair of jeans, skirts, and shorts; you can mix and match your tops, creating so many different looks while maintaining closet space.

 Maximize containers

During the summer, invest in containers for your dorm room. Containers can be used to store and organize makeup, jewelry, and small items. Place them on top of dressers or desks to maximize your space effectively. My roommate was notorious for placing plastic tubs underneath her bed that held her purses and shoes. Drawer dividers are an excellent way to keep underwear and socks separate in your dresser, so you’re not left with your dresser looking like a hot mess and unmanageable. Another trick that helped me when moving to Charleston was space bags. I filled the bag with the majority of my clothes, then used a vacuum hose to remove the air. The bag compressed and I was able to place them in my suitcase.  Afterward, the bags were easy to store either under my bed, on the floor in my closet, or on top of a dresser or shelf until I needed them again.

Bring/bring back clothes over breaks

An idea for your school breaks is to take home some of your seasonal garments and other items you’re most likely not going to wear. The rule is if after six months you haven’t touched a particular piece of clothing, chances are you’re not going to wear it and are wasting valuable space. If you’re going out-of-state for college, research the weather in that city and ask current students (if possible) what you really need to pack. When I lived in Charleston, I was told by my coach and some teammates I was more likely to use my rain jacket versus a winter coat. During my junior year, I had one last final to complete before winter break, and I vividly remember rocking a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals to class—it was December! Meanwhile, my family and friends back home were breaking out their winter coats gearing up for snow showers and frigid weather. For that reason, if you’re coming home for Thanksgiving break, bring your winter coats and boots to school then. If you’re home for Christmas, pick up your spring clothing and footwear. Finally, during spring break, take back some items, so it makes moving out at the end of the school year much easier and saves money for those who ship things home.

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