Written by Anna Stephens
For many college freshmen, the transition to college is a massive shock because of all the free time you get in between classes, the cafeteria food, and the distance from home. But why doesn’t anyone warn you about the shock of having no storage when you move in to your dorm? Most dorms only have a bed, a dresser, and a small closet. Throw your roommate into the mix, and you’re left with half a closet and two drawers to store all of your belongings in. For some, this is manageable, but for those who tend to over pack (most people!), this simply isn’t enough space.
Our advice is to ensure everything you own has its own space, so the floor doesn’t become an ocean of clothes and random items. Creating enough storage takes serious creativity, and from personal experience and our own research, we’ve created handy storage ideas that will make your dorm room seem bigger.
- Sneaky storage. Areas underneath the bed and under the futon are full of storage potential. Depending on how high the bed and futons are off the ground, you can place smaller boxes or storage containers in the space under them filled with essential items. As you plan for your room, note the ideal color, material, and size box for this area. If you love DIYs, use a cardboard box and decorate it with wrapping paper. Another tip is to use labels for these boxes, as it’s easy to forget where everything is stored amongst the move-in chaos.
- Bathroom storage. Get a plastic shower caddy to keep all of your toiletries together. This will make it much easier and faster on your trips to and from the bathroom. It’ll also keep all small bathroom items, like toothpaste and shampoo bottles, organized and out of the way.
- Closet storage. Maximize the space in your closet by creating a two-level closet. You can purchase a closet rod that comes with hooks to attach to the top rod. This way, your top closet rod can be for your tops, and the bottom rod can be for your bottoms. Another handy hanging item is an over-the-door hanging shoe organizer. All of your shoes will be off the ground and your floors will be clear. Lastly, you can purchase foldable hanging sweater shelves so you have more space to hang items in your closet. This is convenient for foldable clothes that are too bulky to put in your dresser.
- Night stand/TV stand storage. Small night stands/TV stands are inexpensive and easy to assemble. These often are paired with square foldable storage bins that go in the different compartments of the night stand. They come in several colors, so they’ll match your décor and offer more places to store your stuff.
- Seat storage. Purchase furniture and décor that will serve more than one purpose. You can buy inexpensive cubicle ottomans that open in just about any color and material. These are great places to store items, and also serve as a comfy chair or foot rest.
- Drawer storage. In the dresser, you can place foldable dividers so you have separate compartments within each drawer. This will maximize the efficiency of each drawer so you can fill the entire space.
Our best advice is to look for deals along the way. Make a list far in advance of the items you need to purchase for your dorm and make a budget. Scope out different stores for special college deals and do some research online. Remember: the cleaner the space is, the bigger it’ll feel.
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