College is one of the most exciting and life-defining experiences of your life. However, with the number of things going on, making your dorm room as comfortable as possible is advisable.
Dorm rooms are notoriously small, but if you’d like to maximize space, then you’ll need to make the best out of what you have.
Here are 10 space-saving ways to arrange your dorm room:
- Use multipurpose furniture.
- Take advantage of verticality.
- Keep everything in its place.
- Use the space under and above your bed.
- Make use of hooks.
- Use collapsible furniture.
- Make the most of your dresser space.
- Make the most of your closet space.
- Keep things you don’t need at home.
- Stay organized.
Keeping everything you’d like in your dorm room can seem difficult if you’re used to having more space. If you’d like to make the best use out of the space, however, then you’ll need to start thinking out of the box. Thankfully, this article is here to help you do just that
1. Use Multipurpose Furniture
Coming from a regular house, having all your furniture do many different things can seem like an absurd idea. However, this is one of the most important steps to getting the most out of limited space. With the number of things you have to store, few methods are better than giving your furniture different uses.
A rule of thumb is to combine utility with storage. For example, your study area can also double as a good way to keep some extra things sorted with this Roomfitters Console Table (link to Amazon).
This table comes with attached drawers, which are useful for storing extra clothes that won’t fit into your closet. An extra idea that goes along with this would be to use ottomans. Ottomans can be used both for sitting at your table and for some extra storage space.
Once you start looking at furniture and spaces in general as multipurpose instead of them being suited to just one task, the possibilities are endless. Also, if you don’t want to break the bank by buying specialized multipurpose furniture, you don’t have to.
The space beneath any regular 4-legged table can double as a storage space. Look at the top of your mini-fridge—that’s a bookshelf waiting to happen.
All you have to do is visualize all your extra space as useful, and you’ll soon be wondering why you worried so much about space in the first place.
2. Take Advantage of Verticality
Verticality as a storage tool is severely underrated, in my opinion. Far too many people think horizontally when they think of storage rather than maximizing the space they have. Understandably, if you live in a house where space isn’t at a premium, then this might not be something you worry about.
However, in a dorm room where you need to make the most out of every inch of space you use, thinking vertically in terms of storage can work wonders. Of course, this is provided that you do it right.
There are two major ways to organize things vertically. The first is to use vertical storage rather than horizontal. What this means is that when you look for the best dressers, shelves, tables, etc., to buy, think tall instead of wide.
Logically a 4-foot (1.22 m) wide dresser will give you the same mileage as a 4-foot (1.22 m) tall dresser. Both have equal storage space, but one won’t take up as much of your floor space as the other.
The second way to maximize your vertical space is to stack things on top of themselves. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to create the tower of Pisa. Rather work on arranging things vertically wherever you can. Instead of keeping books side by side, stack them vertically.
If you’re running out of closet space, fold your clothes and stack them rather than hanging them. Think vertically as much as possible.
3. Keep Everything in Its Place
Honestly, this is an overarching theme that should guide how you live your life. It’s far easier to manage your room (and life) when everything has a place and is kept there. You could go through a million articles, blog posts, and YouTube videos on maximizing your space but all that would be unimportant if you don’t learn to keep things where they should be.
This trait comes as naturally as breathing for some people, as they’re inherently organized. For others, it can be very difficult to drum up the drive to arrange your room when you should. This problem is one many people struggle with, but there are two major ways to get past it.
Return Whatever You Use
It’s far easier to keep your room tidy if you never untidy it in the first place. If it feels like your room is constantly disorganized and you don’t know how to sort it out, you probably don’t return things when you use them. Leaving that mug on your nightstand might seem like a small thing to do, but these things add up. Before long, that mug will be joined by a plate which in turn will be joined by your shoes, and eventually, everything becomes disorganized.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is to create a habit of returning things immediately after you use them. Doing this will keep your room as tidy as possible and make sure you don’t have to spend massive amounts of time when you decide to do some cleaning up.
Set Out a Specific Cleaning Time and Stick With It
Of course, it would be impossible to keep your room perfectly spotless all the time, even if you return everything when you use them. As a result, your room will require cleaning from time to time. The best way to go about this is to set out a specific time every week.
Once you have a time set and stick to it, cleaning your room will become as routine as going to class.
4. Use the Space Under and Above Your Bed
Your bed is your best friend at the end of a long day, and understandably so. However, it can also be one of your best companions when it comes to organizing your room. All that space under your bed is free real estate, and you need to start treating it as such.
Of course, you can’t just throw anything you feel like under. You must organize them and keep the space beneath your bed as straitlaced as the rest of your room. One good way to do this is to keep things in containers such as the IRIS USA Storage Bin (link to Amazon), which is affordable and adaptable. These containers have buckles that securely latch onto the quality plastic lid. They also have built-in pull handles that make pulling them easy.
The space above your bed isn’t left out either. That expanse of wall and empty room right above where you sleep is one of the best ways to keep yourself organized when you start the day.
An easy-to-set-up shelf such as the OAPRIRE White Floating Shelves (link to Amazon) is a great choice. They’re especially great for displaying room decors or keeping things like water bottles, glasses, facial products, and other small things.
5. Make Use of Hooks
College dorm life will likely be your first introduction to the efficacy of hooks. However, once you get going and see how convenient hooks are, you’ll likely never look back. Hooks make it incredibly easy to hang things that might otherwise just clutter up the ground.
You can use hooks for a wide range of things. They give you somewhere to hang your coat. Hook also make a great place to drop your bag when it’s not in use. Furthermore, hooks make for great aesthetic purposes if you need to hang up a picture or painting to add some personality to your room.
With hooks, you’re usually aiming for quantity, as the more you have, the more things you can hang, such as the PRIGVOT Coat Hooks (link to Amazon), for example, is a great value for money. The only thing to be careful of is to make sure you don’t damage the walls or doors when trying to screw them in.
When looking for areas with free space, don’t forget about your doors. Doors are an amazing place to hang a hook or two and get a little bit more storage for your room.
Coat hangers especially go very well here as it’s more accessible than a closet and will also free up a lot of potential closet space for lighter clothes.
6. Use Collapsible Furniture
Collapsible furniture is another one of the things that you’d likely never have thought about if not for college. Those types of furniture are generally associated with events.
However, they’re also a wonderful tool for dorm rooms. While most people are only familiar with event chairs, collapsible furniture can come in many forms. As a result, owning a few of them is a great way to save space you’re not currently using. Packing away unused furniture declutters the room giving you more open ground.
7. Make the Most of Your Dresser Space
If the storage sections in your drawer are empty, then that could be a great way to free up even more space than you already have. Generally, people like only to keep loose stationery in their drawers. However, these spaces can double as a storage space for things like clothes and books.
You can keep most of your study stationery in a bag; hang the bag on a hook. Once you free up this space in your dresser, you can use it for so much more.
The extra dresser space isn’t limited to just the drawers and compartments in it either. Use the top of your dresser to keep a TV, game console, or speaker.
8. Make the Most of Your Closet Space
Dorm closets are usually small. Fresh students coming into college tend to overpack while trying to account for everything they need. As a result, being stuck with an extremely small closet can be frustrating.
You can do a couple of things to optimize your closet space and make it comfortably fit as many clothes and shoes as possible. The first of these is to make sure that you don’t just pack your clothes haphazardly into the cupboard. It’ll take more time, but the closet will fit in far more clothes if you properly fold them.
Another way to maximize your closet space is to put up a rod for hanging your clothes. Most closets should come equipped with one, but if yours doesn’t, then any wooden or metal tod should do the trick. Doing this doubles the available space you have to keep your clothes and keep your closet neat and presentable.
9. Keep Things You Don’t Need at Home
It’s tempting to pack everything you own when going to college, but realistically, you don’t need everything. Once you’re done packing, it’s a good idea to go through everything you’ve packed and ensure the things you don’t need stay behind. That isn’t to say you must pack only essentials but rather that you should pack the stuff that you know will get some use.
Doing this will drastically reduce the number of mental gymnastics involved when setting up. Imagine having to worry about where to keep that piano that you haven’t played in five years. Try not to pack too sparse or too much. Instead, find a comfortable middle ground between both options.
10. Stay Organized
Finally, staying organized is the one thing that’ll make all the different things you’ve done come together to keep your dorm room comfortable. Staying organized is important not just for your dorm but also for your college life. Getting organized will keep your room clean, ensure that you keep things in their place, and keep you disciplined.
Furthermore, keeping your room and life organized will give you significantly more time to do other things. One good way to stay organized is to start a schedule. Scheduling is one thing that’ll make you significantly more efficient than you would be otherwise (source).
Now, instead of pushing, picking your clothes up, and taking out the trash to some unspecified date, you can simply add it to your daily routine and use that to keep yourself organized.