As much as I loved my college years, it can be totally stressful at times. Whether it's getting along with a roommate, or simply living away from home for the first time, adjusting to living in the dorms can tough AF. One of the biggest sources of stress (other than that annoying 8 AM class) is staying organized and finding a place to put all of your sh*t.
Even if you don’t have a roommate, storage will always be at a premium. Those rooms are just too damn small. No matter how much or how little stuff you have there simply never feels like there's enough space to put it all.
So, it’s crucial to take advantage of every square inch available, which isn’t too hard if you know how to hack it. From organizers to decor, here are nine ways to maximize the storage space in your dorm room.
1) STORE YOUR SHOES ON THE WALL
Whether you’re a sneakerhead or simply need a place for everything from flip-flops to high heels—shoes can take up a lot of room. While you can try to stash them on the closet floor—there may not be enough space for all of them. So, a hanging shoe organizer can be a smart buy. Install it on a wall or behind a closet or bathroom door. Best of all, shoe organizers make it really easy to find any pair you're looking for quickly.
2) TRACK FOOD IN YOUR MINI FRIDGE
One of the biggest sources of roommate conflict is when one takes something that belongs to the other person, particularly when it comes to food. After all, there are few things as frustrating as coming home after a long day planning to eat last night's leftovers and they're gone.
It's a wise idea to set up systems to avoid conflict in the first place. Try using colored food storage containers and designate one color per roommate.
3) SHARE SCHEDULES WITH A STYLISH WALL CALENDAR
Having a good relationship with your roommate is often the result of open and frequent communication. One easy way to do this is using a shared wall calendar such as this one from Rifle Paper Co. Use it to note when you might be away for a weekend, plan to have guests staying in the dorm, or when you could use a little extra quiet time to study for that physics final.
4) TURN THE SPACE UNDER YOUR BED INTO A STEALTH STORAGE SPOT
Secret storage is the key to an organized dorm room. One smart way to do this is to utilize the space under your bed. While doing this is rarely aesthetically pleasing, using an extra long long bed skirt can cover up everything from drawers to cubes and boxes. This bed skirt from Dormify comes in a choice of four colors making it a useful decorative accent.
5) MAKE EXTRA SPACE ON YOUR DESK
College dorm desks can be tiny. So using a riser to create extra space will allow you to spread out. It may even make it more comfortable to work. This riser can also be useful for printers, books, and other miscellaneous items.
6) NO DRESSER, NO PROBLEM
Your college may or may not provide a dresser. Or the dresser they provide might not be big enough to hold your entire wardrobe. So hack and create your own with these stackable and collapsible drawers from Dormify. They’re ideal for thicker items like sweaters and sweatshirts. Loft your bed and keep these underneath.
7) CREATE MORE CLOSET SPACE FOR CHEAP
Dorms rarely if ever have enough closet space, especially if you have one closet and have to share it with a roommate. But these hanger organizers from Amazon provide a quick and easy solution to this problem because they take advantage of vertical space. Use these for lighter items like shirts. At approximately one dollar per organizer, there’s no cheaper way to create more space.
8) ADD STYLISH STORAGE WITH FLOATING SHELVES
Taking advantage of walls is a savvy move when it comes to dorm decorating. Floating shelves not only look nice, but they are useful for displaying everything from framed art to keepsakes. You can use these shelves year after year, even for your first apartment — making them a worthwhile investment.
9) KEEP YOUR BATHROOM NEATER WITH THIS COUNTERTOP GARBAGE CAN
Who doesn’t want a cleaner countertop? Dorm bathrooms tend to get messy. So using a countertop receptacle, such as a mini garbage can, keeps things neat and organized. It’s ideal for quickly tossing smaller things like paper towels, used deodorant sticks, razor blades, and other products.