Dorm room storage ideas you and your roommate can both agree on

Organized AF 💅

Colorful dorm room on rainbow background
(Image credit: Dormify)

Moving into the dorms at college is a super exciting core memory. But, as exciting as it can be, figuring out how to fit all of your dorm supplies into a compact room is a tad challenging — which is why storage solutions are absolutely necessary to keep you organized and make the most out of your new space. 

Dorm room storage varies but there are some key essentials that everyone should consider, including cube organizers, shoe racks, and caddy carts. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the different types of dorm storage and are not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered with everything from bedside caddy pockets to cubbies to storage ottomans (which is the one item college students swear by). 

Ready to maximize your dorm space? Keep scrollin’ for the best dorm room storage ideas. 

1. Use a utility cart for pretty much everything  

Storage caddy cart with desk

(Image credit: @lifelovelarson)

Utility carts are one of the most versatile dorm storage options out there. You can use them to organize your desk and studying essentials, as a skincare and makeup caddy, to hold all of your snacks and breakfast bars, or even as a side table alternative. With so many different storage options, this is one dorm room item you’ll definitely have long after dorm life, too.  

2. A storage ottoman is your ultimate dorm room storage hack  


♬ Spongebob Tomfoolery - Dante9k Remix - David Snell

One scroll through TikTok for tried-and-true dorm room storage ideas and you’ll definitely come across storage ottomans, which many college students swear by. Storage ottomans are multi-functional and used to house everything from studying materials to snacks to makeup to even shoes. You can also use them as a makeshift ladder to climb into bed or as extra seating (some even come with seatbacks and can literally double as a desk chair).  

3. A bedside caddy keeps your necessities close by  

Bed with bedside caddy holding notebooks

(Image credit: @janesaddictionorganization)

The key to dorm room storage is to maximize your space as much as possible. Rather than take up space on a side table, you can use a bedside caddy or pocket to store your necessities such as your phone, tablet, laptop, glasses, and books within reach. Some caddy options even come with a water bottle pocket while others are large enough to have side pockets for smaller essentials like AirPods and chargers.  

4. Cube closet organizers are the most versatile  

Stacked storage cubes in living room

(Image credit: @4seasonshomegadgets)

Wire closet cubes are designed to be as functional as possible, aka have a customization component that allows you to literally build cubbies that fit your space. We love the idea of using a few cubes to create a vertical bookshelf while using the leftover cubes for storing accessories and shoes in the closet, or snacks in the kitchenette area. You can even use them as under-the-bed storage by adding collapsible storage bins. 

5. Functional side tables help save space  

Beside storage containers and backpack on floor

(Image credit: @rlprofessionalorganizer)

When living in the dorms, you really need to use all of the space you’ve got, which is why even your bedside table needs to be as functional as possible. We love the idea of transforming a bedside table into a caddy situation with drawers, shelves, and hidden vignettes that allow you to store your items in every nook and cranny. Many of these can even be repurposed after dorm living as bathroom and laundry storage, too.  

6. Over-the-door shoe racks are a closet must-have 


♬ Summer day - TimTaj

It’s no secret that dorm room closets are supremely small and require some planning. To make sure you have enough space for your entire shoe collection, an over-the-door shoe rack is a dorm closet essential. These over-the-door organizers come in all sorts of designs, including clear plastic cubbies, pockets, and even slanted shelves that allow you to fit a variety of different shoe styles.  

7. Cabinets and cubbies create a kitchenette  

Cabinet in between two beds filled with snacks and microwave

(Image credit: @dorm__decor)

Some dorms come with small kitchenettes where you can store your snacks and a mini fridge. But, if yours doesn’t, cabinets and cubbies are the best storage solutions for creating a mini snack stand for you and your roomie — and the tops double as counter space where you can keep a small microwave. For added storage, you can even use small baskets to keep your coffee pods, breakfast bars, and fruit neatly organized on shelves. 

Jessie Quinn
Freelance Writer

Jessie Quinn is a lifestyle writer with words published in The Spruce, Byrdie, Well + Good, Shape, PEOPLE, and more. Jessie has a Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Journalism from Academy of Art University and leans on her background in fashion to inspire readers to hone their personal decor style as if it's their wardrobe. When she's not writing, Jessie can be found browsing the aisles of her local antique stores, creating DIY home decor projects, and taking care of her dozens of houseplants. Her eclectic decor style balances vintage, modern, and artisanal pieces that reflect her artsy style and love for handmade goods.