Moving into a new place? There are many things you need to know before moving in. If you want to know how to maximize the little space you might have, then you're going to need to learn some tips and tricks for that. Luckily for you, we've got your back. If you need some ideas or you want some hints, then feel free to peruse the list of tricks we have collected for you to get the most out of your dorm room.
1. Leave The Extra Seasonal Stuff Behind
Firstly, we should say that you don't need to take your entire room from home with you. You are almost certainly going to go back one way or another, so it's best you leave all the things you don't need behind. Things like summer clothes in the winter or vice versa take up a lot of the space you could use to store the clothes you actually do need that season.
If you really must have something that is out of season, you should limit it to one or two. But it's your choice in the end. Just don't say we didn't warn you.
2. By A Bunk Bed
Chances are you're going to need to get yourself a bed. Maybe you won't, but if you're allowed to and can get one, you might want to consider getting one for yourself. You can turn the space underneath into anything you want be it a kitchen area, a living space, or a place for your desk. This is one of the best hacks as you won't have too many ways of using the height of your room to your advantage.
And if you don't think they're cool, just wait until your friends see your awesome room with extra space to hang out together. That'll show them!
3. Make A Kitchen Space
If you have a bunch of kitchen appliances like a coffee machine and a mini-fridge that you don't know where to fit, you can designate another area of your room to be the dedicated kitchen space. There are tons of storage options whose space can be made useful for a mini-fridge and you can put anything you want into the cubbies and have all of the appliances on top.
This might take away some of the space in your room, but the added verticality an the extra cubbies allows you to store things that would otherwise be taking up that same space.
4. Fridge Caddy
Speaking of kitchen spaces, you might not want to get yourself a storage box for your fridge, and if that's the case this option might appeal to you more. You can get yourself a mini-fridge caddy to make extra space where you might not think to put it. This will allow you to put snacks, plates, silverware or whatever you want as wel as providing a cushion for anything you want to put on top.
This one might not be your style, but rest assured they come in all sorts of shapes, colors, and materials to customize your kitchen.
5. DIY Charging Station
We've all been there. These days we have tons of electronics that need to be charged and they can take up a lot of pace on our desk, in our room, or all over the place wherever you charge them. If you buy or craft yourself a charging station, you'll be able to place all of your devices in one place. If you do it right, you'll be able to store them in a way that they take up less space than they would anywhere else.
They aren't very hard to make if you're crafty and they can also be bought for a relatively cheap price at stores. You should try doing this if you have more than just a phone and a laptop with you.
6. Wire Organization
We haven't yet become a fully wireless community, and you're guaranteed to still have tons of them across all of your devices. If you need to keep them all in one place without the hassle of getting them mixed up, you can clip binder clips to the end of your desk and slide the wire through. That way, they'll all be conveniently separated and ready for you to reach out and grab them anytime you need.
You can also use a zip tie to keep all the wires together closer to the outlet so that they don't spill out from behind the desk. Just be sure not to put it too close to the front or else grabbing one wire will pul them all.
7. Use Drawer Organizers For Your Office Supplies
When you have a drawer full of loose office supplies, it can be pretty annoying to find the exact item you're trying to find. Whether it be a paper clip, pen, pencil, or any other thing, it's best to try to keep them organized in some way. You can find boxes to organize your desk in the very same way that you organize the silverware in your kitchen. Seems easy, right?
As well as keeping everything in one spot without moving around, the extra walls that these organization boxes provide will allow you more verticality in your storage so you can start building up rather than just throwing things in.
8. Drawer Organizers Are The Best
While we're at it we might as well tell you that there are also specially made organizers for your jewelry. These can be the best for your accessories as it allows you a way to keep them organized and pretty to look at. It'll also help you keep your necklaces from getting tangled, which is always a plus. this is super necessary if you have a lot of things you like to wear.
If we haven't convinced you yet... well, we're sure we have. Honesty it doesn't make sense to throw all of your stuff randomly into a drawer and these help remove some of the chaos of that.
9. Use A Shower Caddy
It doesn't matter if you share a shower with the whole floor of your dorm, share a shower with just roommates, or have a shower all to yourself. A shower caddy can come in real handy anytime, anywhere. The waterproof totes can be the perfect place to store your toiletries whenever you need to use them. And the best part is tht you can take them anywhere, so there's no hassle if you need to run.
Having everything all in one place (even if you have a shower to yourself) allows you to move it anywhere you need and they're all ready to go any time. And they can be really stylish, too!
10. Use The Right Units For Your Television
If you have a TV and a videogame console or any other kind of entertainment system, it's important to choose the right shelf for your living space. If you buy one of these cubed shelves instead of the average TV table you'll be giving yourself access to a wide range of storage options. You'll have space for all the DVDs/Blu-rays or video games you have as well as an open bac for all of the cables you need to plug.
You can also use that space for more decorations if it's feeling a little empty. A regular TV table is nice when all you need the space for is a few things, but in a dorm, these shelves can be quite handy!
11. Under Bed Storage
If you can't find any more storage around the dorm, you can always put stuff under the bed. Don't worry, it won't crowd it up under there if you find the means to organize it. If you get some shelves that fit under the bed then you can put plenty of things there. And if your bed s too close to the ground, there are options for that too! There are items you can buy that lift the bed by putting extra height under the legs safely.
if you can't find anywhere to put your stuff, you should try this option. It's a really easy way to maximize the limited space of your dorm room.
12. Use A Bed Skirt, Too
We want to let you know that you can also use a bed skirt to hide all of those things underneath your bed. You may opt not to get one as you might think it's a bit of a hassle to lift the skirt anytime you need to go under there, but we think that this is a great buy. Why? Because it helps hide everything under your bed and keeps your room looking really neat and not cluttered.
On the other hand, if you like the way it looks with all the shelves underneath, it could be a cool theme to your room. It's really up to you, but this will help your room look more empty and roomy.
13. Bedside Pocket
For extra storage, or if you didn't like the idea of having all of that stuff underneath your bed, there are other options available to you, such as a bedside pocket. These handy things are literally pockets that you slip under your mattress and hang off from the side. They can hold anything from a remote control to a notebook. All sorts of shapes and colors are at your disposal. And why just get one?
And pro tip: you can also put them on your couch. You're not restricted to putting them next to your bed. They'll pretty much stay anywhere with a cushion or something to hold them in place.
14. Hang Your Jewelry Like A Decoration
If you don't have any space to put your jewelry anywhere (yes, it's small, but sometimes it's not efficient to put it anywhere) you can try putting it on the wall. There are plenty of decorative wall hangings for jewelry and plenty of people do it. It also doubles as a way to spruce up your room when you have no other decorations you want to put up.
There are so many options to choose from that you're guaranteed to find something that fits whatever theme you're going for! Check online or your nearest arts and crafts shop.
15. Hat Collection
If you have tons of hats and there's no good way to stack them or store them, try hanging up some extra hanging bars on the wall or in your closet. It can be a cool way to decorate your room and show off your collection at the same tie! of course, if you don't want to hang them up where everyone can see them, you can always put them in the closet.
Either way, this can be a really great way to store your hats instead of stacking them up loosely with the risk of them falling all over the floor.
16. Store Blankets In A Cute Basket
We all love having a comfy blanket or throw around to snuggle up in, but they can end up all over the place laying sprawled out on the floor or stacked up on the ed of a couch. If you want your place to feel nice and tidy and have a space for your blankets where they're easy to reach, you can buy a cute wicker basket to throw them in. It's decorative and eye catching!
Not only does it help organize your living space, but it also looks nice and homey. And they're small enough to be fit under a chair that you might love sitting in so it can take up even less space.
17. Stackable Shelves
We keep telling you to maximize the verticality of the spaces in your home. Buy yourself a vertical shelf or stackable storage! They can help you store things up against your wall without taking much floor space. They can be shoved into a corner neatly and decoratively. They come in all sorts of colors and materials whether you like a white metal or a clear plastic.
If you've been looking for any amount of space to use, then this is what you need to get. They make your house look neat and maximize the space in your house that would otherwise be wasted.
18. Make Use Of The Space Above You
You might think you used up all of the space in your dorm with tons of furniture and decorations, but there's oh so much more that you can do. If you install some shelving units, you can make so much space above. This can be especially useful in your bedroom where you can store anything from extra blankets and sheets to books and anything you use at night.
And if you're worried that all of this storage will make your dorm feel claustrophobic, it can actually be a really cool way to make your room feel architecturally efficient and unique.
19. Hang Your Scarves
If you have tons of scarves and you have no real space to put them, you can craft yourself a DIY hanging space for them. You just need a dowel, a few screws, and a set of shower curtain rings. The rings can come in any color you want, but we think the nicest ones are the clear ones since they go with everything. Then you can hang the scarves from the rings which will also keep them from wrinkling.
This project doesn't take very long and it's also pretty cheap. If you want to add a bit of flair to your closet or room, you can make this for yourself and brighten up the space by color-coding them.
20. Sticky Hooks For Everything!
Do you know those hooks with the super-adhesive sticker on the back that you see all over the place? Well, they're actually super handy. You can place them literally anywhere and take them down whenever you want without any risk to the wall and without any hard work. Some of them are even reusable! Anything you have that might be hangable can really benefit from something like this.
Use it to make use of any space you find in your house that might be able to take advantage of this. Even somewhere like the door of your medicine cabinet can be the perfect option.
21. Over-The-Door Storage Unit
Speaking of taking advantage of the potentially wasted space in your room, did you know that your door can be the best space to hang things? Sure, you can make it a place to hang jackets or towels, but why not use the front door and bathroom for those things? In your room, you can get a metal hanger like this one and put all sorts of things on it.
If you didn't like the idea of hanging your jewelry on the wall, you can put that here. Or anything you need to leave with like keys or literally anything else you might want to put up can be safely stored on your door.
22. Boxes, Boxes, Boxes!
Shelves are only so helpful because it gets to a point where you don't want to store one thing on top of another because it makes getting to it harder. Well, if you put your stuff into boxes, then you can store them on top of each other without and hassle! Boxes will keep your closet or shelf space organized and neatly tucked away without anything blocking the door or being inaccessible.
And the more boxes you have, the better you feel. Everything will have its place and it'll be like opening a package every time you go to reach for something. That's always fun, right?
23. Use A Magnet Board
This is one of the coolest ways we've seen to store your favorite makeup. Instead of putting them in a drawer, why not make them easy to access by hanging them on a magnet board? You can put them right next to the mirror for easy access and you can also hang all of your accessories from the board as well. Whether that be Q-tips, cotton pads, or your makeup brushes, this can be a really efficient way to make use of wall space.
Just make sure you're sticking strong magnets on the back of your makeup. We absolutely hate it when our eyeshadows fall and break into pieces. Sure, it's still usable, but that doesn't make it look nice.
24. Hanging Storage Units
These are some of the best things we used in our own dorms. Instead of using your entire closet for your clothes, you can use some of the space you have (and hopefully you don't need all of it) to hang up some extra shelving units. There are ones for shoes, ones that act like more cubbies for your t-shirts and pants, and some higher-end ones create a second space for you to hang more clothes.
And, like we mentioned before, you can hang some of these from the closet door and really make use of all that extra space that you didn't realize you had.
25. Magic Hangers
If you want to expand that storage space even further, you should consider investing in some magic hangers. These as-seen-on-TV-esque products are the most amazing hangers we have ever seen. When hung up on the rack they allow you to hang multiple pieces of clothing and then you unhook one side and it all folds onto itself providing more room.
Tell us this doesn't look amazing. If you're as stoked as we are about these hangers, then you should order some for yourself as soon as possible.
26. Under Desk Storage
Have you ever thought to use your chair as extra storage space? Well, there are options for that, too. Some boxes are sturdy enough to double as ottomans or sitting spaces. If you really want to make use of all that leg space under your desk, you should consider getting one of these. You can store everything from you class textbooks to your homework binders and have space to sit down.
And don't worry, if a back rest is what you're looking for, there are chairs specially designed to double as a storage space so you can also sit comfortably.
27. Verticality Is Your Friend
Underneath your sink is space for you to put any toiletries or cleaning supplies you need to keep a tidy house. But you might notice that there's never any shelving in said spaces because the piping runs from top to bottom. you can really make use of that space by putting mini-stacking shelves in there. Trust us, this is something that will change how you use the underside of your sink forever.
And, if you're feeling really handy, you can even get some custom shelves to permanently install in there. They're sturdier and can be made to create an entire extra shelf. Or you can even get one of those slide-out shelves like in the image above (some assembly required).
28. Clip Lights Are Your Friends
You may be considering getting yourself a lamp, but we want to tell you to stop and think about that decision before you go through with it. Desk lamps typically need to be plugged in and take up room on your...desk. But if you go with some clip lights, you'll not only be saving space on your desk, but also be saving ports on your outlet. They typically need batteries (which might be a con) but the clip lets you put them just about anywhere.
You can move them from place to place without needing to find room to put them, and they also come with adjustable necks so that you can get the best lighting possible even if you clip them from a shelf.
29. Use A Cork Board And/Or Whiteboard
When you want to add some customizable pizazz to your room, boards are the way to go. A dry-erase board is best when you want to be able to draw all manner of things and replace it later on. With a corkboard, you can pin up anything that you made on paper or even decorate it with all your favorite pictures. We actually recommend some mix of both for the best effect.
If you don't have space for both, you can actually just get a whiteboard and find cork strips to hang all around it. That way you're only increasing the size of the board by a few inches and can use it both for markers and pins.
30. Increase Your Desk Size
If you wish you could increase the size of your desk then look no further than the desk hutch! They come in all types of sizes and materials so that you can match (or mix!) it to your own desk. It effectively adds another level to your desk without taking away any of the space for you to do your work. You can then put anything you want from more boxes to decorations.
If it's big enough, you could even put our laptop or monitor up top so you can have space for all your written work below. If you're living without a desk hutch, we recommend you go out and get one today.
31. Roll Up Your Clothes To Save Dresser Space
There are some arguments to be made as to whether or not rolling up your clothes actually saves you space. This does seem to work really well if you have a rounded dresser because folding your clothes makes them boxy where as rolling them can fit that curve. Honestly, it all depends on what type of clothes you're rolling up, but you should be able to squeeze out some extra space this way.
We think you should try it a few different ways before you decide how to organize it from then on. If it works for you, then we've just helped you make some more space! Congratulations!
32. Use Furniture That Can Go Against The Wall
The best real use of your room can really only be done if you are making the best use of your space. In order to do that, you have to use furniture that can go up against the wall. Things that take up space in the middle of your room are not the best for this. Instead of having chairs in the room, save that for the living area if you have one. You can also use fairy lights instead of a floor lamp for the mood lighting.
Either way, whatever you have would be best used to save room if you can shove it off to the side. But if you have plenty of space or you don't mind the clutter you can obviously feel free to decorate however you like.
33. Use Magazine Holders And Binders
Having a three-hole punch is actually pretty useful. If you have no idea how to organize the hundreds and hundreds of papers you receive and a folder isn't doing it for you, you can use big binders like the ones seen on the shelf below to keep them nicely stored on your bookshelf. Alternatively, you can use magazine holders to store all of those folders that you do have.
This is a great way to repurpose items that you normally wouldn't use in your home and a great way to make use of them to create new storage options.
34. Full-Length Mirror Storage
Let's be honest: you're going to need a mirror. If you're planning on getting a mirror, why not invest in a full-length mirror that has extra storage behind it? They have as much storage space as the height of the mirror and are super handy to have when you're low on space. Also, they double as a mirror, so you're really getting your money's worth out of this one.
If you're already going to get a mirror, these aren't that much more expensive, so you might want to think about getting one of these instead.
35. Repurpose Your Mason Jars
Everything should be recyclable. We've all seen those college students on TV and in movies who use jars instead of cups. This is both handy and environmentally friendly as you are literally recycling the materials you bought. You can do anything with them. As we said, cups are a good idea, but you can also do all sorts of art projects with them.
You can also use them as containers for homemade food or use them for your office supplies. So why not use them to decorate your room and help save the Earth one jar at a time? Sounds like a good deal to us.