Storage solutions


Here is something that plagues the K-State student body at the beginning of each semester, sending students and parents into fits of Target and Wal-Mart shopping sprees.

It is closet organization, and it is almost always an issue.

The female fashionista is worried her closet will not hold her car loads of shoes, the out-of-state student is nervous he will not have enough room for his flip-flops and winter coats, and the unsettled parent is concerned her child’s room will soon turn into a sea of dirty laundry and month-old pizza boxes.

Fortunately, the cure for the frenzy is smart closet and storage organization.

Dorm closets are usually much smaller than what students are used to at home. Even apartment and rental-house closets tend to run a little on the narrow side, so strategic organization is key for every K?State student’s room. Some of the best storage options are over-the-door racks and hanging shelves.

These shelves typically are made from reinforced fabric to eliminate sagging. Fashioned vertically, the storage cubes – there are usually four to six of them – hang from the closet’s metal rod and face outward for easy access. T-shirts, jeans, socks, underwear, towels, sweatshirts, blankets and just about anything that will fold, fits securely into the shelves while leaving room for hangers.

Another great over-the-door option is a purse/storage rack. These racks come in all different shapes, sizes and hook numbers. They also are ideal for hats, scarves, belts, ties and light jackets. They fit well on the outside or inside of the door, depending on desired visibility.

Instead of taking up precious floor space with rows of sneakers and heels, suspended 24-pocket closet organizers are the perfect fit for stowing shoes. These canvas or plastic storage units hang from four hooks that slide between the ceiling and closet door, and they leave room for the next best storage option: rollaway bins.

Rollaway bins are available in various shapes and sizes, but are most commonly found as a 15-quart plastic storage unit with two to four separated drawers. Once again, these drawers are ideal for holding bedding, T-shirts, jeans, towels, etc., but are also great for stowing coats, bulky sweaters and winter blankets for the upcoming cold weather.

With these items, the closet might be close to reaching its capacity, but do not worry. There are tubs and bins available for clothes, shoes, and other odds and ends that fit perfectly underneath any standard sized bed. Even if a bed is too close to the carpet for these units, bed risers are inexpensive and easy to come by.

Collapsable laundry hampers also fit neatly under beds or in closet areas and are great for saving space. Accordion drying racks are best for hanging damp clothes. Easy to put up, take down and store, these drying racks are light yet sturdy and will not leave rust or wood marks on clothing.

Though these solutions might not cure the fly-ridden pizza boxes strewn across the floor, mom, dad, and student can all rest assured the too-small closet crisis can be solved.

Elise Podhajsky is a junior in print journalism. Please send comments to