For the off-to-college set, here are some ideas for dorm storage solutions. Kristin Mears, McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers
One of the simplest ways to make your dorm room feel like home is to add a minifridge. The Supercool Fridge will add a pop of color to an institutional space. It has convenient shelves and a water box tray, and an all-metal exterior for posting pictures, notes or even your schedule. It comes in five colors: silver and navy for dudes and those who like classic colors, and pink, lime and ice blue for those who want a little fashion with their fridge. 19 ½ inches wide, 20 inches deep, 19 ½ inches high. $199, PBteen, pbteen.com.
Brighten up ordinary tasks with chic school and dorm supplies from Pretty Tools; the wide range of items includes a calculator, tape dispenser, scissors and hammer. They come in a variety of whimsical patterns and prints. $6.99-$10.99. Online at christmastreehill.com/prettytools.html.
Shopping can be quicker and easier with the new Flip & Tumble ball-to-bag shopping bags. The small nylon ball (which is the size of a peach and can easily be stuffed into your crowded dorm room) transforms into a full-size tote large enough to hold three half-gallons of milk and then some. Comes in six colors and prints. $5-$10. flipandtumble.com.
Get a lift
Beds are always the biggest logistical problem of a dorm room, as they take up so much floor space. Bed lifts elevate the bed 5 inches and are a practical way to create additional storage space. They come in a package of four, and are easy to attach to the bedpost. $7.99, Bed Bath and Beyond, multiple locations. bedbathandbeyond.com.
Stock up on towels, as a few will inevitably end up at the bottom of the closet or lost in the laundry. Room Essentials towel sets come in a variety of solid colors and some fun stripes. Get a set of four bath towels ($15.99), four hand towels ($11.99) or four washcloths ($9.99). All cotton. Target, multiple locations. target.com.
Have all your study needs right at your side with a bedside caddy. The organizer features six compartments and two pockets to hold textbooks, cell phones, iPods or even a tissue box. Easy to use: Just slide the back flap of the caddy between the mattress and box spring or bed frame. Comes in fuchsia, true blue and parrot (in other words, green). $9.99, Bed Bath and Beyond, multiple locations. bedbathandbeyond.com.
Maude Asbury's magnetic memory board is large, heavy and durable enough to hold your most precious and needed items. Each board comes with eight magnets and is beautifully crafted with fine fabrics. $36.99. For retailer locations: maudeasbury. peachhost.com/.
Girls, primp up your bed this fall with the Eclectic Bed in a Bag comforter set from Xhilaration, which includes a flat and fitted sheet, comforter, two shams and two pillowcases, all grouped in an attractive fabric tote. The stripes feature colorful patterns in blues, purples and gold. Comes in three sizes: twin for $59.99, full for $79.99 and queen for $99.99. Target, multiple locations. target.com.
For those with a little more space, try PBteen's Cushy Lounge Collection. This trendy collection of three pieces — a corner chair, armless chair and ottoman — is made with super-soft faux suede and upholstered with plush cushions. The collection, available in seven colors, was on sale at press time: $249 for corner chair, $199 for armless chair, $159 for ottoman. PBteen, pbteen.com.