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Dorm Decor

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WSVN -- Cindy Burkett and daughter Tracy are back-to-school shopping at Ikea in Sunrise. A junior at Florida State this year, Tracy's got the routine down.

Tracy Burkett: "It's very easy to get overwhelmed, so you want to be as organized as you can but keep it simple, don't try to do too much because that will make you crazy."

It's the first time away from home for Matt Tomonto. He's getting ready for life in a dorm.

Matt Tomonto: "There's already a bed, there's a dresser. I'm just going to have to fill in the gaps."

Start by checking out your dorm. If you haven't seen it, you can go on-line for pictures and a floor plan. Some even have virtual tours. You can download an approved checklist from your school or get one from your store.

Chantal: "The checklist serves as your to-do list in the sense that it really organizes your visits, you cover all the different functions that the room will have."

For dorms, you have to think small. Use large stacking boxes for storage and smaller ones to minimize clutter.

Chantal: "A lot of these dorm rooms are small areas, but if you go up and think vertical, you can also store much more stuff."

David Baez: "I just got all types of storage bins under my bed to maximize all of my space."

Also, make your room multi-task. Beds are for sleeping, but they can also serve as extra seating. Also, know your school's rules.

Chantal: "Find out what the requirements and the limitations are. I know certain campuses don't allow you to hang things or paint, so we have stickers and other decorative pieces that are alternatives."

Whether you're shopping for a dorm or, like Tracy, getting furniture and appliances for an off-campus apartment, you should try to buy things that you can use for years.

Candy Burkett: "It works in their apartment, it works in their dorm and can be carried over with them into the future, whatever and wherever they go."

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Collegeboardwww.collegeboard.com/student/plan/college-success/9763.html

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