A college student in his dorm room.

Dorm Rooms: How to Make the Most of Your Space

As excited as you surely are about starting college in the fall, we’re sure you’re not quite as excited about living in a room that’s the size of your walk-in closet at home. How can this place ever feel like home when there’s barely enough room to walk around? It can be, if you make the most of your limited space. Then, your room won’t feel like Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs and you may actually end up becoming quite fond of your little home.

Raise the roof (or just your bed).

You’ll need to face the fact that you won’t have much storage space in your dorm, so if there’s anything you can live without, leave it at home. The less stuff you have, the better. For the stuff you do need to bring with you, you can purchase bed risers and store a good amount of it under your bed. They’re cheap and they can raise your bed up to eight inches, so you’ll have plenty of room to store out-of-season clothes, extra sheets, blankets, food, or whatever else you don’t have space for in the rest of your dorm.

Go over-board.

Get creative with your hooks and shelves and purchase ones that can go over your door or your bed. You can use your over-the-door hooks to hang up coats, purses, towels, and more, which will save space in your closet. You can also buy a shelf that fits over the head of your twin bed, which will save you a lot of floor space (you can find the Dorm Space Saver Shelf at Bed, Bath, and Beyond). 

Expand closet space.

Your dorm closet will be significantly smaller than the closet you had at home, so it can be a challenge fitting all of your clothes in it. So, what will save you a lot of room is purchasing either flat hangers or wonder hangers. Flat hangers are (obviously) very thin, so they’ll take up a lot less room on the rod, allowing you to hang more clothes. Or, you can invest in wonder hangers, which allow you to hang five items on one hanger!

Don’t cut corners.

It can be difficult to utilize corners in your dorm because A) they’re small, and B) you don’t want to put your clunky desk or anything in the corner and feel cramped while you’re trying to do homework. Well, your solution is corner shelves. Places like Sears and Home Goods sell corner shelves that are specifically made for small spaces, and you can store your books and school supplies on them and decorate with photos. 

Climb vertically.

Even though your dorm lacks an adequate amount of floor space, you do have the benefit of having four empty walls to make the most out of. Command hooks or strips are perfect for dorm rooms because they won’t leave holes in your walls, which can cost you a bundle to fix at the end of the school year. You can use the hooks to hang up bags, clothes, and accessories, and you can even use the strips to hang some lightweight shelves to display artwork, decorations, and more. 

Last Updated: August 20, 2015