50 Smart, Space-Saving Tricks for Dorm Dwellers

Posted June 13, 2010

If you’re getting ready to head off to college in the fall, you’re most likely going to end up living in a dorm. Dorm life can be fun but it is almost certain to be cramped quarters. This fact of dorm living doesn’t have to be a problem, though. Read on to find out how you can save space in your dorm room.

General

Keep these general tips in mind when thinking about your college dorm.

  1. Go vertical: Use shelving, vertical bookshelves, stacking, and more to make the most of your space.
  2. Keep things clean: The more picked-up you keep your dorm room, the more space you’ll have.
  3. Don’t gather so much: Only take what you need and avoid bringing too much.
  4. Find out what’s included: Consult your university ahead of time to find out if you’ll have shelving, closets, and more.
  5. Use double-use items: Move with containers that can be used for storage in your dorm.
  6. Use hooks: Hooks can help you hang coats, bathroom items, and more.
  7. Talk to your roommate: Find out what your roommate plans to bring so that you don’t double up on furniture and supplies.

Style

Maintain your style, even in a small space.

  1. Add mirrors: Mirrors can make your tiny space look bigger.
  2. Buy a rug: Soften up your room with the help of a rug.
  3. Hang curtains high: Make small windows look bigger by hanging your curtain rod high.

Furniture

These furniture ideas can really help you conserve space in your dorm room.

  1. Construct a loft bed: With a loft bed, you can add seating, desks, or storage underneath.
  2. Use a futon: If you don’t already have a bed in your dorm room, consider getting a futon that can do double duty as a couch.
  3. Stackable chairs: With lightweight, stackable chairs, you can be ready for guests in an instant.
  4. Build around your bed: Build shelves that can stand around your bed for storage.
  5. Add hanging lanterns: Get soft light from above without sacrificing space using a hanging lamp.
  6. Stack it up: If you have a fridge, use your fridge as a table top for another large item.
  7. Consider a Murphy bed: If your dorm doesn’t already provide beds, think about moving in a Murphy bed for space saving.
  8. Get a storage ottoman: An ottoman with storage can do double duty for you.
  9. Get dual purpose items: Use a storage trunk as a decorative table and more.
  10. Get furniture that folds up: Get a folding table or desk to use for eating or working on with your laptop.

Closet

Use these ideas to make the most of your dorm room closet.

  1. Use double rack hangers: You can hang several items with the help of double rack hangers.
  2. Add another rack: Make space for jeans and more by adding another rack to your closet.
  3. Use the door: Hang shoe bags and other door storage.
  4. Get a pop-up laundry hamper: Pop-up laundry hampers can be folded away when not in use.
  5. Get a hanging shelf: Use a hanging shelf for shoes, sweaters, and more.
  6. Get vacuum bags: Store off-season clothes with vacuum bags.
  7. Roll it up: To save drawer space, roll up shirts and other items.
  8. Leave it at home: Keep off-season and unnecessary clothes at home instead of trying to store them.

Workspace

Add space to your dorm’s workspace with these tips.

  1. Use a file cabinet: Keep papers carefully tucked away in a file cabinet, either as a part of your desk of a freestanding cabinet.
  2. Hang files on the wall: Use a hanging wall file for efficient paper storage.
  3. Use corkboards: Instead of cluttering your desk with photo frames, put photos on your memo board.
  4. Put a shelf over your desk: Store textbooks and more with a shelf over your desk.

Bathroom

Find more room in your bathroom.

  1. Use wall storage: Add shelves and racks to your dorm’s bathroom walls for more storage.
  2. Use under the sink storage: Even if you don’t have cabinets, you can store bins under the sink.
  3. Get a shower head storage unit: Find extra space in the shower with the help of a shower storage solution for your toiletries.
  4. Suction cup holders: Put storage on your shower wall or mirror using suction-cup storage holders.

Technology

Make smart space saving decisions with your technology.

  1. Avoid CDs and DVDs: Make use of smaller, more efficient storage like flash drives or your iPod.
  2. Store DVDs and CDs in carriers: If you must use DVDs and CDs, leave cases at home and make your collection a little slimmer.
  3. Get a flatscreen TV: A flatscreen TV can save space over a big bulky one.
  4. Use a cell phone: Instead of a landline, just use a cell phone.
  5. Go wireless: Avoid cords with the help of a wireless mouse and keyboard.
  6. Invest in a laptop: Instead of using a computer tower, use a smaller, more portable laptop.

Storage

Here are some great tricks for dealing with dorm room storage.

  1. Think vertical: Tall, vertical shelving can help you store more with less room.
  2. Milk crates: Milk crates can hold items neatly while still allowing you to see the contents.
  3. Use your suitcase: Don’t let your suitcase sit large and empty; fill it with off-season clothes.
  4. Get plastic drawer sets: Make use of plastic drawer sets to keep clothes, snacks, and more handy and organized.
  5. Add tables or shelves to the end of your bed: Put a fold up table or a shelf set to the foot of your bed for storage and more.
  6. Use bed stilts: Raise your bed for even more under the bed storage.
  7. Use small storage baskets: Large plastic tubs may be too big and cumbersome-smaller solutions can help.
  8. Use under the bed storage: Take advantage of what would be wasted space by storing items under your bed.

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