Back to School Tips

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Get Organized

As the summer draws to a close (sigh), get ahead of the game and start the school year off right with expert organization tips.

Storage Essentials

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Colorful Storage Cubes

When the weather turns cool, kids come inside to play. Why not keep things cozy — and neat — with patterned baskets that double as storage containers and chic decor?

©Kids' Storage Cubes, Pottery Barn Kids

Dry-Erase Calendar Wall Decal

This isn't your average bulletin board. It's meant to be written on again and again but, like decorative vinyl wall decals, this peel-and-stick calendar can go up — or down — anywhere, anytime.

©Mini Dot Plum Dry-Erase Calendar Wall Decal, PBTeen

Fun Sandwich Cutters

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.

©Lunch Punch Sandwich Cutters, Pottery Barn Kids

Flea Market Wire Ball Bins

From football to field hockey, back-to-school season also signals the start of many sports seasons. Keep the equipment under control this fall with heavy-duty, non-toxic storage bins.

©Flea Market Wire Ball Bins, The Land of Nod

Skinny Strip Magnetic Board

Big enough to display photos, notes and keys yet small enough to hang anywhere, it's hard to beat this mini magnetic board to keep things organized.

©Skinny Magnetic Bulletin Board - Self Stick, Organize.com

Zoo Zebra Lunchbox

Cute enough for girls but cool enough for boys, this insulated lunchbox from keeps food warm or cold all morning long.

©Skip Hop Zoo Zebra Lunchie, All Childrens Furniture

Limbo File Folders

Whether you're keeping track of household bills and to-do lists or kids' permission slips and homework assignments, this set of clever file folders will do the trick.

©Limbo File Folders - Set of 3, Organize.com

Kids' Pencil-Style Coat Rack

'Tis the season to bundle up and there's no cuter way to keep fall clothes off the floor than with this colorful coat rack made to mirror a giant pencil.

©Kids' Pencil-Style Coat Rack, Accent Furniture Direct

Colorful Mobile Organizer

For gloves, balls, ballet shoes and more, it's hard to beat the cheerful organization offered by this rolling set of nine colorful shelves.

©Nine Shelves Organizer, All Childrens Furniture

Back-to-School Organization Kit

Need somewhere to store new school clothes? With shoe racks, hanging storage, drawers and cylindrical containers, everything has its own place in this organization kit.

©Honey-Can-Do Back-to-School Organization Kit (White), Target

Smart Small Spaces

Small doesn't have to mean cramped and cluttered. Make the most of your small space with brilliant storage solutions.

Dorm Room Design

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Make a Personal Statement With Art

Dorm rooms lack architecture and detail, so add some of your own by framing your favorite prints. Shop sites like Etsy for fun and motivational prints, or create a DIY piece.

Summer's tip: Contemporary artwork can be a great way to add life to an otherwise boring space. Photo courtesy of Jen Ramos

Maximize the Entire Space

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

DIY Headboards

Browse a collection of inventive headboards and get ideas for adding a wow-worthy focal point to any bedroom.

Space Saving Ideas

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