When you’re outfitting your dorm, you have to get creative. Thankfully, there’s plenty of dorm room hacks, awesome space-saving products, and smart storage solutions to assist you in taking advantage of every square inch of real estate in your new home away from home.
Clever Tricks For Staying Sane In Your College Dorm Room
When you get accepted into a college you might start dreaming about creating a comfortable and homey college dorm room – a place where you can relax after a long day of classes, hang out with friends, buckle down for those late-night study sessions, and finally sink into a cozy bed for a night of relaxing slumber. But dorm living can be tough. It’s a small space to share with another person (or more than one person), and you have to be smart about how you use your space.
Don’t let your dorm room turn into a disorganized mess. Use these dorm room hacks and tricks to stay in control of your shared space.
1. Don’t Mix Up Your Phone Charger
College may be the first time you have to live with another person in the same room. Fighting with your roommate over phone chargers? Mark yours with washi tape so you don’t get confused.
2. Create a Unique Dry Erase Board
A cork board or whiteboard acts is a place where you and your roommate can leave each other notes and reminders. Put it up on the front door or near communal spaces. Add push pins or hooks to hold keys, and include a hanging file organizer to store student IDs, mail, flyers, and more.
Instead of a plain whiteboard like everyone else has, why don’t you make your own? Use fabric scraps (or scrapbook paper) and a picture frame to create a custom dry erase board that will stand out on your hall.
3. Go Vertical With Your Storage
One handy dorm room hack is utilizing vertical storage! Items like over-the-door shoe racks, over-the-door towel racks, or hanging baskets are perfect for storing everything from accessories to cleaning supplies. Another way to free up valuable floor space is to use a hanging laundry hamper.
Another great idea is to hang baseball caps or other hats on the wall with shower curtain rings instead of putting them in drawers (or on the floor!)
4. Take Care Of Cleaning Chores
Living on your own means that mom is no longer there to help clean up after you. If you’re living with several roommates, make divvying up the chores easier with a chore wheel. If kids can do it, you can, too!
5. Save Money By Reusing Plastic Bags
You know those plastic bags you get when you can afford to go food shopping? Use them again in your teeny tiny trashcans. And if you need a space to store all those bags, a wipes container is a good choice. Just think along the lines of everything is reuse, recycle to reduce cost and dorm room hassles!
6. Space Saving Dorm Room Hack For T-Shirts
A college student can never have too many t-shirts. No matter how many you may bring with you, you will find that your collection doubles once you start getting involved on campus. Stack your t-shirts on the other way to save room in your drawers. You can also use those shoe organizers to hold rolled-up t-shirts and store even more!
7. Maximize Under The Bed Storage
Every inch of space counts, so don’t forget to look under your bed. An excellent dorm room hack is to use the space under your bed for storage. Many dorm room beds can be lifted to make space for storage bins, drawers, or boxes. You can also loft the bed to keep a desk, dresser, or futon below. If your dorm room bed doesn’t adjust, consider purchasing bed risers to create extra space. Adjust your riser based on your needs, whether it’s a few inches off the ground or maximum height for a lofted look. If you’re worried about the space under your bed looking cluttered, add a bed skirt to hide your storage!
8. Shower Caddies Serve Many Purposes
Lugging toiletries to the shower doesn’t need to be a hassle. Keep your shampoo, conditioner, razor, and other necessities stored in a mesh shower caddy. The quick-drying mesh leaves the water in the shower, not on your dorm floor.
Or, hang a wire shower caddy up by your desk for a unique and creative way to hold notebooks, pens, and pencils, or other things that you don’t want lying around on your desk.
9. DIY Phone Speaker
Sharing music with your roommate or new friends is easier with a speaker. But if you have a limited budget, there’s no need to waste money on phone speakers. Make your own easy dorm room hack with cups and a cardboard tube. I didn’t even know that genius hack was possible!
10. Binder Clips Are Essential
Put a binder clip on your chips to keep them fresh. Seriously, get a ton of binder clips. You can use them for everything from a smartphone stand to a cool way to display your latest photos.
Find more creative ways to use those binder clips in your dorm room.
11. Don’t Forget The Command Strips
To maximize dorm room space, using the right combination of command hooks and strips can open up a lot of opportunities—beyond simply mounting decor. For example, attach command hooks to the ceiling and use them to hang a curtain around the bed to create a private nook. Or, add a go-to spot to hang your backpack, clearing up your floor.
You can never have too many useful command hook tips.
12. Upcycle Dorm Room Hacks
College students should keep the space they do have as organized as possible. Make a desk organizer out of empty cereal boxes and toilet paper rolls. Add pretty scrapbook paper, and you’re ready to rock.
Check out these other articles for more ways to upcycle things you can find at your parent’s house for organization on the cheap:
13. Personalize Your Dorm Room Storage
Extra storage drawer units are a must-have on your college shopping list. Class up your plastic storage drawers with some chalkboard paint. These plastic stacking drawers are perfect for:
- school supplies
- cleaning supplies
- hair dryer, hair straightener
14. Make the Most of Your Desk Space
Use a double-decker tray to keep all the school supplies and miscellaneous items in your desk drawer organized. Trust me, it can quickly turn into a junk drawer if you’re not careful.
If you don’t have desk drawers, mason jars are also an inexpensive and cute way to store writing utensils.
15. Many Uses For Shoe Organizers
Instead of using valuable drawer or closet space, try using an over-the-door shoe organizer as a dorm room hack. The pockets can be used to store shoes, as well as belts and scarves. You can also use plastic shoe organizers to keep your snacks off your desk and dressers. Check out other smart ways to use shoe organizers to get more ideas!
16. Instantly Double The Size of Your Closet
No matter the size of your closet, it never seems big enough to fit all the clothes you want to bring. Instantly double the capacity of your closet by hanging another rod, then add ultra-slim hangers to maximize the number of items that can easily fit in the space. Just like that, you don’t have to part with your parents and your beloved overalls at the same time.
17. Designate A Kitchen Area
Do you have a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker in your dorm room? Set up a kitchen station using a rolling utility cart or adjustable cube storage — a kitchen cart! This is where you can keep appliances and other kitchen items together. Don’t forget to add storage baskets so you can keep all your food and pantry items organized! Wonder what you might need for optimal snacks, coffee, and utensils storage:
- Eating essentials: bowl, plate, silverware, glass/tumbler
- Cooking essentials (think microwave cooking): large bowl, something to cover food in microwave
- Prep essentials: small cutting board, knife, can opener (bet you would forget that one!)
- Food storage solutions: jars, plastic containers with lids, resealable containers, bag clips
- On the go items: travel cups, travel mugs, small cooler bag or lunch container
18. Create a DIY Entertainment Center
If you or your roommate has a small flatscreen TV, try making an entertainment center with cube shelves! Simply stack the cube shelves and place the TV on top. Cubes make a great storage option for books, game consoles, movies, and more.
19. Add a Creative Touch With Washi Tape
Washi tape comes in a rainbow of patterns and is easily removable without leaving damage or residue. It’s the perfect material to use to decorate a dorm room and personalize college belongings. One way to use it is to hang as many pictures from home or artwork you like without damaging the walls in beautiful washi tape frames. You can also skip the pictures and use washi tape to write out words or phrases to cover a big or small part of the wall.
Bonus Tips To Pack Up Your Dorm Room For Move Out
Normally this is considered a chore and even a burden during the rush of the end of the year, but what if packing up and moving out of your dorm could be simple? Use these moving hacks when you’re getting ready to organize and pack up your stuff at the end of the year.
Here are some more college dorm related things you need to know:
- 23 Dorm Room Decor and Organization Ideas
- Best gifts for teens that you can DIY
- 19 Genius Apartment Decorating Ideas Made for Renters
- 9 Ways to Save Money as a Broke College Student