Tips to Maximize Space in a Small Dorm Room

Two young women moving into a college dorm room.

The time spent preparing to leave for college is an exciting time, a time to dream big. Parents and students alike may see the future as an infinite landscape, full of opportunity. And of course it is. What isn’t so big and infinite, however, is the typical dorm room, although small doesn’t have to mean bereft of possibility. And you don’t have to rush out to a big box store to buy every storage gimmick in the back-to-college aisle to make more space. There are many tactics you can employ to leave plenty of room for dreaming big in your small dorm room.

More Space than Meets the Eye

Sure, the room looks tiny. Chin up, though, there are hidden caches of storage all over the place! Start with the floor, particularly the patch under the bed. Putting your bed up on risers is like creating a walk-in closet under there. Some bed risers even come with built-in electrical outlets, although DIY cinder blocks will do the job, too.

Reach for the Stars – or the Ceiling

Vertical space is some of the most under-utilized space in any room, but disastrously so in a cramped dorm room. While you may not be able to mount traditional shelving on your dorm wall, stackable units are a fantastic alternative. Go up as high as you can reach. Not only will you be able to store more, but your room will have a more pleasing and organized aesthetic. Another thought regarding height: stack your appliances. If your microwave fits atop your mini-fridge, let it live there, and call it the kitchen.

Have a Seat at the Table

Just because the powers that be think you should have a bedside table, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be better off without the big, clunky thing. Swap it out for a couple of brightly colored ottomans with interior storage. You get a chair, a table, and a drawer in one festive cube. Another great and useful piece: a folding TV tray table. You can eat at it, work at it, and even iron on it, if you get the urge.

Store It Off-Site

Are you travelling across the country, or to a school in a place with a distinct change of seasons? Consider keeping your off-season clothing in a storage room like one of the units at Space Shop. Self storage can keep you organized and help you avoid the end-of-term problem of hauling all your gear back and forth. Be savvy about your dorm situation. With a little imagination and a few select tools, you can create the ideal space to relax, study, and dream big.

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