Calling all college students! This blog is for you. Let’s be honest, unless you’re at a posh school I don’t know about, your dorm room is not what you see in a catalog; bright painted walls, white washed wood floors, tons of storage space, new and clean…it’s more of a 10’ by 10’ square cell with painted cinderblock walls that you’re forced to share with someone you probably don’t know. Whether you’re a freshman or a soon-to-be graduating senior, here are some items we think will make your small space feel roomier and more functional.

  1. Bed Risers: This set from Bed Bath & Beyond is my personal favorite. Or if you want to go extra fancy, try these risers with plugs and USB ports. With the small space you’re suckered into, adding bed risers is like adding another NYC studio apartment in your space. Turn the new quarters under your bed into a place for storage using a bin like this from The Container Store. Fill the bin with your extra set of sheets, blankets, towels, shoes or off-season clothes.
  1. Shoe organizers: Our everything sorter. I know, we use this all the time. But that’s because it’s so darn useful! Hang this over your closet door to maximize your shoe storage, to store extra school supplies, cleaning supplies or even roll up your washcloths, hats, gloves and scarves to put in the pockets. There are so many uses for this one item.
  1. Lights & Darks: Perhaps this is your first time doing laundry; make life easier by having a bin that separates your light and dark clothing so you can easily dump the lump when you’re headed into the laundry room and you don’t end up with newly pink clothing unless that was your plan. Plus this bin has handles making your transport so much easier.
  1. Cord issues?: Try using this flexible power strip from The Container Store. Not impressed by a power strip? This protector can even wrap itself around the leg of your desk to free up floor space! Trying to take your organizing to another level? Use these cable twisters to corral your cords and keep them from looking like a jumbled mess.
  1. Bathroom Basics: Let’s get real, you’re about to share a bathroom. With between one and fifty of your best friends – we’re looking at you, big 10 schools! You’re going to want to keep your toiletries to yourself and not have your toothbrush end up in someone else’s mouth (gross!). The nice thing about this versatile caddy is that you can remove the middle section to transport just a few small items if that’s all you need, like your toothbrush and toothpaste, and keep your heavier shower items separate on the outside.
  1. Cozy Closet: Use our favorite slimline hangers to maximize your closet space and keep your tanks from slipping off.
  1. Command Hooks: Use these to hang your purses, grocery bags, robes, towels, keys, you name it. An added bonus is that there won’t be any holes or damage to your walls when you move out. Take that, security deposit! Check the weight restrictions before hanging heavier items, just in case.
  1. Personalize it: One of the first things I hung up on the door to my room was a whiteboard inviting people inside to say hi and introduce themselves. This one allows you to also pin up any flyers or photos you’d like to share. You can also bring some of your home life to school with you with this fun photo display without cluttering all of your walls.

Make your dorm space a clutter-free zone. You already have enough mental clutter with your schoolwork and social life. Having your room in order will allow you to waste less time searching for things and give you more time to meet people and get things done. Time to start shopping and packing!

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Written by Mia Salmo

Mia Salmo

Professional Organizer