If you or someone you know is heading off to a college dorm this fall, space is probably on your mind.
Lately I’ve been hearing about spacious and luxurious dorm rooms – how nice if you’re lucky enough to have one! But this is the exception rather than the rule. Dorm rooms are notoriously small and cramped. So it is essential that you use your space extremely well in order to function at your peak in college.
If you have the chance after you have gotten your room assignment, measure your room, noting where built-ins, plugs, sinks, windows, doors (and which way they open) and other non-movable items are located. There’s usually not much room for additional items, but your measurements allow you to purchase additional storage, for example, with accuracy.
One of the keys in organizing a dorm room is using the vertical space. Many schools have a loft option for the beds, which allows you to utilize the space below the bed efficiently. Adding additional storage options in this area or purchasing tall storage units will maximize your vertical space. Adhesive hooks also add storage for hats, keys, and other such items without using premium storage real estate.
Utilize hanging storage units in your closet, on the back of the door, etc. Don’t forget those spaces at the bottom of your closet and under your bed (if you don’t choose the loft option) for extra storage containers, drawers or cubbies. All these cute storage options multiply your storage capacity while using normally non-usable space.
Be realistic about the space you have! Only bring to school that which can fit in your dorm room. A sure-fire way to guarantee a mess is not having a home for everything. If you will be traveling back home before winter sets in, only bring summer and fall clothing with a few transitional items. Swap out seasonal items each time you go home.
There’s nothing that gets out of hand quicker than paper! Have a place for files and paperwork, whether it’s in a desk file drawer, hanging files in a crate, or a rolling file unit. This eliminates lost papers and wasted time looking for them. Don’t forget to use your wall space for bulletin boards and message boards – another great way to coral paper, important messages and reminders.
Make use of small containers with lids for school supplies, food, and toiletries. Crates turned on their sides make great stackable shelves. Rolling drawer units are space-conscious, as well.
Designate a few minutes each day or each week to declutter, and your room will be a cozy haven! Declutter while you’re on the phone, watching a movie, or talking with your roommate, and you’ll be doubling your time.
Speaking of doubling your time, to get the most out of college check out Three Steps to Time Management for the College Student.