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How to Maximize Space in a College Dorm

How to Maximize Space in a College Dorm

School is back in session and fall is the perfect time to spend a little extra effort on organization. Whether you’ve recently moved into a shoebox-sized dorm room or small apartment, chances are you’re trying to maximize your space and make it feel like home. There are plenty of helpful ideas circulating on Pinterest and Instagram when it comes to saving space while living at college, but we’ve put together a list of the basics.

Focus on functional furniture. If your dorm or apartment doesn’t come furnished, investing in multi-use furniture is a must. Find an ottoman that opens to store blankets, a desk that has multiple drawers for organization or a nightstand that doubles as a bookshelf.

Take advantage of vertical space. When maximizing space in a dorm room or small apartment bedroom, take advantage of vertical space where you can. Over-the-door towel racks, customizable hanging organizers and tall dressers or bookshelves can help store tons of items without the area feeling cramped.

Maximize under-the-bed storage. Most dorm beds can be lifted—If you don’t plan on creating a space under your bed, consider purchasing plenty of storage drawers or boxes to keep towels, clothes and miscellaneous items out of the way. You can also invest in bed risers to lift your bed if the option isn’t already available and find a chic bed skirt to hide any unsightly storage containers.

Create over-the-bed storage. Create shelving over your bed by purchasing floating shelves or corner shelves to store belongings you don’t want to toss under your bed or in your closet. If you want to save space, skip a nightstand and keep your alarm clock, overhead light and other necessities above your bed.

Carefully craft your closet space. Over-the-door shoe organizers, thin felt hangers and hanging organizers for folded clothes are a must when maximizing closet space. Never underestimate the power of Ikea and The Container Store’s storage solutions with cloth bins, collapsible hampers and caddies. 


Use over-the-door shoe racks for storing your snacks.

Ice cube trays make for great jewelry organizers.

Shower caddies can be hung near a desk for storing notebooks and office supplies.

If there’s no outlet by your bed, invest in bed risers that double as power sources.

Organize chargers by attaching binder clips to the edge of your desk or bed and slipping the cables through. 

Add wheels to small bookshelves or storage pieces so you can easily pull them out from the closet or under the bed when you need to sort through them.

Hang or place shelving above your desk and use cardboard boxes for easy storage.

Command hooks are great for hanging headphones, keys and laundry bags.

Set your microwave on a crate or mini fridge and stack mason jars to organize dry foods. 

If your closet doesn’t have doors, hang a tension rod and curtains to conceal clothes. 

Hang christmas lights creatively above your bed or as a headboard to eliminate the need for a table lamp.

Have you already decorated your dorm? Show us your decor style by using #MOREatx on Instagram.

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