Whether it's off to college or back to school, start a new year with a game plan. From homework station organization to dorm room decor, we've got design inspiration and expert tips to make life easier.
We love the plastic rim on these sandwich cutters, which make it easy for even little hands to help make lunch. From cars and airplanes to crowns and flowers, these whimsical accessories will make lunchtime a treat for boys and girls.
Maximize your living space by going vertical. Use shelving to store books, computer equipment and paperwork that needs to be filed away.
Summer's tip: Use height anywhere and everywhere possible. Bookcases and wall racks can help de-clutter and maximize vertical space. Photo courtesy of Jen Ramos
Organize Your Space
Dorm rooms are small, so make your space as efficient and organized as possible. Customize your closet to effectively use space. Create extra wardrobe space for things that won't fit into small dorm room closets.
Vanessa's tip: Use storage bins that can be placed beneath your bed to save space. Photo courtesy of Vanessa De Vargas
Buy Pieces That Are Multifunctional
Invest in furniture that serves more than one purpose. An ottoman can give you seating and storage in one piece, while a trunk can also function as a table.
Summer's tip: Use a filing cabinet as a side table that holds papers and pencils and offers space for a reading lamp. Photo courtesy of Summer Thornton
Invest in Study Aids
Good furniture is one of the most important study aids you can have. An ergonomic chair is a wonderful investment in a piece that you will use often.
Vanessa's tip: A chair in a cool color like green or turquoise can also liven up your space. Photo courtesy of Vanessa De Vargas
Bring Diverse Styles Together
Find ways to merge your style with your roommate's. Maybe you're into modern. Maybe she's more traditional. Pick colors and pieces that incorporate the best of both styles.
Vanessa's tip: When you share a small space be clear about what kind of style both of you can live with. Photo courtesy of Vanessa De Vargas
Create a Home Away From Home
Whether your dorm is far from home or just around the corner, you want a space that's comforting. Buy textiles in graphic patterns and colors to make your space feel personal and cozy.
Vanessa's tip: Stores like IKEA, Target and Kohl's sell affordable sheet sets and accessories to customize your bedding. Photo courtesy of Vanessa De Vargas
Decorate Your Walls
Wall decals are a great way to add style to your space. They're affordable and can be customized for just the right look.
Lana's tip: Apply wall decals to doors, windows, mirrors and furniture. They'll look like they're painted on but can be easily removed when it's time to move out. Photo courtesy of Lana Kole