Living in a dorm sounds so exciting, basically a semester-long sleepover with old friends, new friends, and classmates, am I right?
Once you start packing up all your stuff, and see how much space you’ll actually have (and be sharing), it becomes a little less glamorous.
Whether you’re starting your second semester at college, or a senior about to go off to college next fall (and just got your room assignment!), or you just have a small bedroom – I wanted to share a few tips on getting your dorm/bedroom organized, and maintaining it.
1. Walls and doors
Vertical space is easy to forget about, but it’s actually a great organizing solution. Chances are, you have at least three door sides to work with – both sides of a closet door, and the inside of your bedroom/dorm door.
Use an over-the-door shoe rack to hold shoes (duh) or snacks/pantry items, cleaning supplies, or even small clothing items like tank tops rolled up. There’s a couple different types of door shoe racks, too – there’s no end to what you could store in those things!
Another over-the-door solution is a door hook, which is perfect for holding bathrobes, towels, outfit of the day, scarves… Or, if you’d rather, get some command hooks (the kind that are removable and won’t damage the wall/door) and place a couple of them on the back of your door, or anywhere on your wall. These are great for holding what I already mentioned, or keys, lanyard, ect.
Don’t forget to save some wall space for artwork, picture frames, or any other decor you want, to make your dorm/bedroom feel more homey.
Disclaimer: 18 year old me did not realize the quick photos I got of my dorm would eventually be used in my own blog, so I do apologize for low photo quality.
My roommate was super creative and decorated our walls really well (and yes, I used to have an extensive Angry Bird collection. Let’s just call that a quirk and put it to rest).
2. High places
It’s true, we should have friends in high places. BUT we should also have storage in high places, too. If you have a desk backed up to a wall, what are you doing with all that space above it?! Wasting it? Hope not. You could find a cheap desk hutch and go all DIY on it with some cute paint, or you could do a simpler approach by adding some shelves to the wall. Add all that annoying stuff on your desk that gets in your way, like post-it notes, office supplies, photo frames (because if there’s not a photo of you and your boyfriend on your desk, are you even really dating?) to the shelves. Cute, easy to reach, and now you have more elbow room on your desk.
Speaking of office supplies, I really feel like I shouldn’t have to tell you this, because we all know that our pens, paper clips, scissors, and so-on, should be separated. Especially if they’re on your new desk shelves. I’ve found really cute and inexpensive office supply containers in the dollar section at Target.
Okay, more shelves. Does your closet have any above your clothes rack? Could you add some? Don’t let that space get wasted, even if you’re short (keep a little stool in the back of your closet!). This area is great for baskets and bins filled with out-of-season clothing, bulky hats, more shoes… Anything. Just please, please don’t throw stuff up there and be done with it. Keep everything separated and organized in baskets or bins, like I’ve got here in my closet.
3. Low places
Just because you don’t see it every day, don’t forget about all that space down low. What’s below your clothes rack, in your closet? Add a section clothes rack – or a shower rod (what I used), or curtain rod, whatever – and hang scarves, belts, and/or tank tops over it. See below, I use it for scarves.
Most dorm beds can be lifted a notch or two, if they aren’t made into bunkbeds. I mean, you could lift your bed with your roommate’s bed above, but she would probably like to sit up in bed without hitting her head on the ceiling… Use the space below your bed, and just like everything else, whatever you put under there, sort it by some sort of easy to use bin, box, or basket. A while back I found some cute storage bins at, yeah, you guessed it, Target (I can’t help my love for it), for $3.
Remember – vertical space is space, too! If it isn’t already, put your dorm microwave on top of your mini-fridge, so it isn’t taking up so much counter space. If you have those plastic storage drawer sets, you can stack them on top of each other, or put them side by side and use the tops as a base for something else. Glance through your dorm/bedroom and take notice of all the flat spaces, and see if you can stack something on top!
5. Drawer organization
Out of sight, out of mind doesn’t apply here. Your dorm or bedroom could be as cute and organized as it can be, but if your drawers are a mess, you’re still wasting space and losing things in a mass of stuff. Meet your new best friends: drawer organizers. Perfect for desk supplies (if you don’t want them on a shelf like I mentioned in #2), socks/underwear/bras, hair supplies, makeup, anything else. You could buy an actual drawer organizer, yeah, but you could also use a silverware tray, drawer separators (I have some like these), or even make your own. I made one once with old cereal boxes and my much more artistic sister painted it for me.
6. Decorative storage
Some things are pretty and you don’t want to hide them away in drawers. If you have cute containers for desk supplies, go for the shelves option instead of drawers! In my dorm, I used Izze bottles to hold bracelets, and it also looked cute on top of my dresser. I went more in depth on my jewelry organization while in a dorm in this post, but you can also see partially what I did below.
I was lucky to have an awesome first roommate, who didn’t mind my 8×10 black framed collage that spread across multiple walls, as you can see.
Happy organizing! I would love to see how you organize or decorate your dorm or bedroom – use the hashtag #120blogdecor
What do you think? Have you used any of these tips for your dorm/bedroom?
Let me know in a comment!