I remember walking into my first-year dorm, wondering how I could possibly keep a clean and functional space in such small quarters. The room didn’t feel like mine, and I was worried that I wouldn’t make it work for a whole semester. There simply wasn’t enough area to transform it into something homey—or so it seemed.
I quickly found that the biggest key to small-space living is quite simple: organization. Ironically, it is also one of the most challenging things to keep up with when starting college. With bare walls, limited school issued-furniture, and a roommate to share the space with, it can get increasingly difficult to organize everything in an easy and functional way. But with a little planning and some strategic purchases, it most certainly can be done by taking advantage of:
Instead of looking for more area on the floor, look to the walls and get creative. Over-the-door shoe racks are a great way to not only get your shoes off the floor, but to stow away belts, hats, scarves, and other stray items. Add lightweight shelves or baskets to the walls via Command hooks or other adhesive strips and place small objects, books, plants, or whatever else it is you’d like to have on display. If shelves aren’t your thing, cork boards provide a way to tack up important documents, letters, and photos onto your walls without much hassle.
Hidden Floor Storage
Let’s talk about under-the-bed storage, the saving grace of college organization. There are a few ways to go about maximizing this area. The most simple would be finding shallow boxes, things like foldable cube storage or trunks, that can fit easily underneath the bed frame. This a great place to store extra linens, off-season clothing, and bits and bobs that you use only on occasion. If you’re looking for something that can provide a little more storage, bed risers may be for you. These come in a variety of heights, materials, and colors. Some risers even come with outlets and USB ports built in.
Although previously mentioned, these are worth talking over in more depth. Command hooks truly are a lifesaver when organizing your dorm room. When you’re not able to use nails to adhere things to the walls, these non-damage hooks work wonders! They’re also genuinely very versatile.
For example, if you’re prone to losing your keys, hang one by your door to keep them in place. In need of a place to hang your purses or jewelry? Command hooks can make for great hanging storage. Using a heavy duty Command hook can even suffice for a place to hang your wet umbrella or raincoat to dry.
Despite not having a nightstand, there are a few options that are both space-saving and easy to install. One is a bedside caddy. Some fold out accordion style and offer folder-like storage, while others have more of a compartmentalized style to them. To install, you simply slip part of the caddy underneath the mattress. The weight of the mattress and bedding keeps the caddy in place. Another option is a bedside shelf. These install easily as well, attaching to the bed frame damage-free.
With all these organizational tips in mind, hopefully you all can find yourselves making the most of your dorm living. Here’s to setting ourselves up for a successful school year!