Your standard dorm room is not exactly spacious. Tiny may actually be the best word to describe it. The space would be smurfarrific for most Smurfs, but for normal people, dorm living can be quite a challenge. This is especially true when you consider not only sharing the limited space with a roommate, but storing your combined possessions there and still having a place set aside where you can concentrate on school work. Each and every square inch in the room is precious and maintaining at least a semblance of organization is crucial. There is literally no room for being disorganized in this situation. With little bit of effort and a lot of creativity, staying organized in your college dorm room can be easy quite manageable. Here are a couple tips to help you keep your small dorm room at least partially organized and uncluttered.
Be a Minimalist
Try to pack the bare minimum when you first move into your dorm room. Counter to what you may believe, in this situation, the less you have the happier you will be. If you find that you actually need something that you didn’t pack, pick it up when you’re home for the next school break. If you find at any point that you have accumulated too much stuff in your dorm room, you can always take it back to your parent’s house next time you visit. If you want it close at hand, you can find an affordable storage unit nearby. Maybe your roommate or friends will share the space with you and split the cost.
Be a Good Sharer
If you get along, try sharing larger items in your dorm with your roommate. You don’t need two printers, and you definitely don’t need two grammar books. Save money and space by splitting up the necessities.
Everything Does Double Duty
With such a limited amount of space, everything has to do double duty. The space under your bed can be your second closet, your desk a book shelf, and your printer should be a 4-in-one (printer, scanner, copier, fax machine). Get the most out of each of your belongings by making sure that they can do more than just one thing.
Maximize Hidden and Vertical Spaces
Bed: Your Bed probably takes up more room in your dorm than anything else. Take advantage of the hidden storage space under your bed by using under-bed storage bins to store books, school supplies, shoes, or out-of-season clothing. You can increase this space by putting your bed on bed risers or cement blocks.
Walls and Doors: Hang a shoe bag behind your door; these pockets can be used for more than shoes — socks, extra toiletries, small camera, film, batteries, water bottles, and yes even that extra case of beer. Hang a few hooks on the wall or if allowed install a small shelf. If you have a large desk, consider adding a hutch; the additional shelves are very convenient and accessible when working at the desk.
Closets: Hanging organizers will help you get the most out of this storage area as well as wall hooks to hang things on. Don’t forget about the floor space you can use baskets or b ins to store items here. Make sure to avoid empty spaces. Use your empty suitcases and bags as extras storage places.
Desk: You can easily make your desk double as another bookshelf by buying or making another level with a board and a couple bricks. Adding this extra level will enable you to store your books and a computer and still have room to study. You should also consider increasing the storage area of your desk by placing your notes and class papers in a file cart or accordion file folder. Further organize your life by making use of a bulletin board/white board, where you can hang a calendar to keep track of assignment deadlines.
Dresser: The top of your dresser can double as an additional shelf on which you can store books, CDs or videos.
Now that you have all this organizing stuff down and your dorm room is cleaned and organized you can focus on the important stuff, like socializing, and uh…Studying of course…let’s just hope your roommate is as organized as you are. Good luck with that!
These are just a few suggestions for keeping your dorm room clean and organized. With a little imagination, you can come up with a whole lot more. Let us know what is working for you.
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