Space-Saving and Dorm Decorating


A model room of the standard dormitory furniture. The old furniture is in the process of being replaced with newer furniture.

For many people, living in the dorms their freshman year marks one of the best times in their lives. The dorms can be a great memory, but when going into the experience, it’s a good idea to prepare for the inevitable downsides that come along with dorm living.

The key staple of dorm life is a lack of space, and is one of the most prominent problems that a freshman will encounter in terms of living arrangements. Dorm rooms are designed to be fairly small, and the beds and desks take up a majority of space available. What room is left, though, can easily be utilized with a little bit of dorm room DIY. Here are some easy space-saving tips:

Can tabs: Save the tabs from your sodas and loop them through the hook of your hangers. You can then hang an additional hanger from the tab and store twice as many clothes in your closet as before.

Tension rods: Utilize tension rods to make the most of closet and wall space.

Mattress caddies: If you don’t have room for a bedside table, you can use a mattress caddy instead. Doubles as both a storage space and (potentially) a work space.

Hamper: Use an over-the-door hamper and hang it from your closet door. Floor space is limited, so having a hanging hamper will allow you more ground room for other things.

Under-bed storage bins: Buy long, thin storage bins that slide easily under your bed. These look neat, and allow you to keep a good amount of items in a convenient location.

Shower caddy: Shower caddies are great for the shower, but also for saving desk space. Attach a shower caddy above your desk and use it to hold notebooks, pens and whatever else you may need that simply takes up space on a desk. A quick paint job with craft paints could help make it a bit more visually appealing.

Loft your bed: Many dorm rooms have loftable beds. Raising the height of your bed will allow for more storage space, or more space for a couch, desk, etc.

Snack holder: For dorms without kitchens, you can purchase a shoe rack and hang it on your door, and use the shoe slots to hold snacks and food. Keeps everything neat while still allowing easy access to breakfast.

All of these tips are good space-saving tactics, but once you’ve found a home for all of your things, then what? The next step from there is generally decoration. Everyone chooses to decorate their dorm in a different way, but the key is to work with your roommate to make sure that the set-up fits what both of you are looking for.

Once a consensus has been been reached as to the theme of the dorm, you and your roommate can set to work putting things together. As (probably) poor college students, DIY is generally the best way to go with decoration. It’s surprisingly easy to get creative with a few arts and crafts supplies, and with colorful tape, paint, lots of push pins and nails and some miscellaneous supplies you can create a tidy, well put-together living environment for both you and your roommate.

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