Moving into a dorm is exciting, a little nerve-wrecking, and can be stressful. You’ve got a tiny space that needs to act as your bedroom, study area, entertaining spot, and netflix-binging spot, and it can get cluttered and chaotic really easily.

Thankfully, the world of dorm organization and furniture options has grown exponentially in the last 20 years, so there are plenty of ways that you can save space and increase efficiency in your dorm. We’ve come up with a list of our favorite dorm room space saving tips.

 

1. Opt for a raised bed. If you don’t have a dorm with a loft bed, think about investing in bed lifts. The space under your bed is essential to a well-organized dorm. Think of the possibilities. You can use the space to store clothing, books, dvds, towels, shower supplies, off-season clothes, etc.

 

2. Utilize vertical space. You’ll have to check with your RA what you’re allowed to do to the walls, but you can opt for painted pegboard or shelves to make use of wall space around your bed.

You can find shelves, hooks, bins, cup holders, and decor for pegboards. It’s a great solution to keep all of the random loose objects that tend to float around dorm rooms.

For shelves, you can store books, decor, school supplies, and other small items. Invest in some boxes or bins (Ikea has affordable options) to place on your shelves. Choosing the same style and color will help give your room a cohesive look and will make it feel organized and put-together. Make sure to label the boxes so you know what’s inside them.

3. Buy double-duty solutions. If you need extra seating for guests, think about stools with built-in storage. Or find a functional floor lamp with a built-in magazine rack. Look at a piece you’re considering and ask yourself what other things you could use it for, aside from the obvious.

4. Don’t try to bring too much. Unless you’re Rory Gilmore at Yale, or a Gossip Girl, you probably don’t have a giant apartment with ample space. Don’t try to bring too much with you. Minimalism is popular now; maybe it’s time to try it out. Bring appropriate clothing for the seasons, but think about leaving some of it at home, or getting rid of pieces you don’t need. Do you really need to bring your entire dvd, book, or vinyl collection with you, or can you make due without? Will one backpack and bag work for the semester, or do you need to bring every one that you own?

When you’re packing, ask yourself if you really need the item you’re bringing, and if you already have a similar item packed. If you do have a similar item packed, do you need the second one? You don’t want to deprive yourself, but you don’t want your dorm to be so full of stuff that it’s overwhelming to be in it.

5. Create zones in your room. Keep things that are necessary for studying (paper, notebooks, textbooks, pens) near your desk or study area. Keep things you need at bedtime in your sleeping area (pillows, blankets, charging cords, books). If you keep things in zoned spots you’ll spend less time searching around for what you need, and more time studying, sleeping, or enjoying time out with your new friends.

We hope these tips were helpful to you, and that you’re inspired to get creative in your living space. You can make your dorm a cozy, organized, and efficient place to study and live with a little bit of creativity and some inexpensive products.

What’s your favorite space-saving product for back-to- college? Do you have any tips for incoming freshmen? Share a picture of your organized dorm in the comments.