The transition to college life can be overwhelming for many reasons, so it’s important that a dorm room feels like a haven. The kicker is dorm rooms are tiny, and it’s a unique challenge to use square footage efficiently while still keeping things organized. Whether you’re heading off to college yourself, or a parent getting your kid ready to fly the coop, we’ve compiled some helpful tips to outfit your space into a comfortable, well-arranged home...no matter how small.
Dorm rooms are often lacking floor space (some are no bigger than parking spots!), so we highly suggest keeping your floors as clear as possible. When you have space to move around, you feel lighter and calmer, whereas a cluttered room you can barely walk through is a sure recipe for stubbed toes and tears. Utilize the backs of doors, walls, and closet space with things like sticky hooks and hanging racks to get things organized...vertical mass means they won’t crowd closets and can easily fit in with your other items. We also recommend a set of sticky hooks next to the door to serve as a designated space for your keys and security card. (Snag a Tile at a back-to-school discount, and you may last the whole 4 years without any mishaps!)
Don’t Look Under the Bed!
Mindlessly shoving messes under the bed and hoping to forget about them is a thing of the past. When done responsibly, under-bed storage is a fabulous way to organize space in a small room. Pro tip: lofting your bed or putting it on risers allows for even more space. Then, invest in a bed skirt or tapestry if you want a stylish curtain to cover it up. Get plastic bins or sets of drawers that easily slide in and out to store bulky clothing or out-of-season essentials. If you’re storing a suitcase under there, you can use that to hold any items, as well.
Know What’s Yours
Sharing certain items with a roommate is a great way to avoid over-cluttering (for instance, no one needs 2 mini-fridges or multiple printers!) In fact, dorms themselves often have a communal feel if you’re friendly with your hallmates…and people may stop by to borrow or use certain items. It’s a great idea to label what’s yours (use a label maker or even get creative with DIY supplies) to avoid anything going missing. Here’s another way Tile can help -- add one to anything valuable that’s in a highly-trafficked area or items that may get borrowed or passed around.
Upgrade What You’re Given
Most dorms come outfitted with a few pieces of furniture, be it shelving, a desk, or set of drawers. You can purchase pieces to maximize the utility of what you’re working with—shelf dividers, drawers, or desk organizers, and hanging baskets are a good place to start!