3 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Dorm Room

It is a universally acknowledged truth that dorm rooms are tiny spaces barely fit for human inhabitants. Right, so maybe not exactly Jane Austen, but you get the point – we all know that dorms don’t have much space in them.

So the question arises: where is all of my stuff going to go? And if you’re anything like me, you have a lot of stuff. But fear not, you little hoarders-in-training, for I’m going to teach you the secrets of maximizing your space, tiny though it may be.

  • Storage

The first key to maximizing any small space is storage, storage, storage. The best kind of things are those that can serve double or even triple purpose. Find something that is decorative, and can hold some clothes, or other necessities, and also serve as a bedside table.

You can pick up plastic drawers for under $10 just about anywhere, and here’s a great tutorial for dressing them up so they’re a little less industrial looking.

This is something you can set beside your bed, or by a chair or desk and use as a table as well and decorative storage. Plus, you can pretty it up with fabric or paper that goes with your color scheme (if you have one) or otherwise tickles your fancy.

Another great DIY project found on Pinterest is making a multipurpose bookshelf out of a few basic items at Ikea (or Walmart!).

The original blog post explaining the project has been since removed, but the idea is simple enough.

Take a cheap bookcase, attach it to an equally cheap lazy susan, then add a cork board, a full length mirror, and a couple hooks on each side, and voila!

You’ve got yourself the motherlode of multi-tasking furniture.

This is great for a number of reasons. First of all, you’ve got a nice shelf to store books, items, knick-knacks, or whatever you choose. Then you have a full length mirror, which is a huge asset, as most dorm rooms don’t have any. They’re great for getting ready in the morning (or early afternoon, whatever suits you).

But wait, there’s more! Give it a spin and you’ve got a nice big cork board to tack picture, memos, and other important documents up for your viewing pleasure. And finally, there are a couple of hooks conveniently placed to hang backpacks, jackets, and what have you from.

Another great double duty item are those ottomans that are hollowed out and have removable lids. They can be put by chairs or couches to put your feet on, or used as seating themselves in a pinch. Plus you can stash anything inside them and clear the clutter in your room.

  • Beds and Desks

This is something that needs to be discussed with your roommates first, and everything depends on the room set up, but it is often a good, space saving technique to either bunk or loft your beds.

Bunking is, of course, stacking one bed on top of another. This can save a lot of space in your bedroom if you don’t have to deal with finding the space for two beds.

And lofting is where you put your bed up on stilts, in a way, and often people choose to put their desks underneath to further save space. This can be efficient, although there are still two beds in the room taking up space.

It often creates a cramped feeling in the room with two lofts in one small space. However, if there is only one person to a room in your dorm, then this might be a great alternative.

  • Utilize Your Resources

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how much space goes underutilized in small rooms. If you’ve got the bottom bunk, or haven’t lofted your bed, you can use the space beneath the bed for storage. This works great for shoes, or other things that would normally take up precious floor space.

You can also purchase bed risers to give your bed a little more lift, and thus more room for storage underneath. If your bed has posts, as most dorm beds do, you can flip it over to get more space as well.

Often too, closets in dorm rooms have shelves up high. These are great for storing items you don’t often use, such as seasonal clothing items, or cookware.

With these great tips on hand, you’ll be able to stash all of your stuff in your room, and it won’t look nearly as cluttered in your dorm. So get organizing!

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Elizabeth Benson

Elizabeth Benson

Elizabeth Benson is a freshman at Central Michigan University, currently pursuing a degree in Journalism. Elizabeth is a member of the CMU Honors Program, and is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life, the student run campus newspaper. When she’s not in school, she can usually be found reading, writing, or watching movies, and enjoys traveling and performing in plays.
Elizabeth Benson

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