To get the most out of every square foot of your dorm room, you’re gonna need some real innovative solutions.
To help you out, we’ve put together this short list of ideas that can hopefully give you a hand.
Some of them are self-evident, some of them are easy, and some of them are for the die-hard neat freak; you don’t have to try them all, but hopefully there’s a little something here for everyone.
Here’s an easy one. Hanging shelves are designed to take up a little of the spare room in your wardrobe, and make it easier to organise your clothes rather than having them all hanging up.
Alternatively, you can fill them with whatever you want: clothes, jewellery, shoes, wigs, or your correspondence- whatever.
The good thing about these shelves is that the space they take up would have been wasted anyway, since wardrobes are typically a little bigger than necessary.
This is one for the more confident DIYers out there (although it really isn’t that complicated). You can hack your clothes hangers to make them so much more useful.
Take a regular coat hanger, and take some regular shower curtain rings, found in any sort of DIY store.
Slide the rings onto the bottom of the coat hanger, and you can hang all of your difficult-to-hang stuff like hats and scarves! Easy!
There are also wonder hangers, which are like… meta clothes hangers.
They’re hangers that you can hang clothes hangers from, one below another.
So instead of being able to hang, say, twenty things in your tiny wardrobe space you can hang fifty or more. They’re useful for anyone who’s cursed with too many clothes.
Shoe holders are those things you can hang from the inside of a wardrobe door (or any door for that matter) with a grid of plastic pockets to keep your shoes in. But please, think outside the box for just a moment here…
There’s nothing stopping you from putting whatever you want in those little plastic pockets.
If you wanted to use one to sort your bathroom cabinet, you can do that. If you want one to keep your makeup separated and ordered, you can do that. You can even use them for shoes.
Storage boxes that slide underneath your bed are so useful that lots of bedframes are actually made with them these days.
But if you don’t have them, that’s a whole lot of space going to waste! You could either buy some that have been specially made, or use your own cardboard or plastic boxes to tuck things out of the way under the bed.
This tip is particularly useful for stuff that you want to hand on to, but might only need to dig out every couple of months.
And believe me, you will be moving out of your dorm room with far more than you moved in with!
Wall organizers are like shelves, but without all the hassle and cost. You can typically buy them pre-made, and they come with little shelves designed to stack and sort the sort of mini-stuff that can so easily go missing or get disorganized, like makeup or chargers.
They don’t necessarily have to be screwed or nailed into the wall, either, which might be against the terms of your rental contract; but on the flip side, bear in mind that they can’t hold anything too heavy.
They’re perfect in the bathroom for sorting face creams, toothpaste and sprays.
These babies are perfect- and probably come as the top recommendation from this list.
They’re just like regular shelves, except they’re really easy to assemble, disassemble and adjust at will.
They’re typically metal, with open sides and an open back for ease of use; and the individual shelves can be moved up or down to accommodate your fridge, your TV, your books, your microwave and anything else you might want to throw at them.
This is so much better than if you buy a simple wooden number second hand, because typically you’ll find that one of the shelves is about a centimeter too short to fit one of your textbooks, and another of the shelves is three times taller than it needs to be.
Instead, you can make the most of your space with an adjustable shelving unit!
The bathroom is everybody’s personal Mecca of mini, fiddly and difficult-to-identify items.
That isn’t helped by the fact that in a shared environment, you can oh-so-easily use somebody else’s stuff without even realizing.
And depending on who you’re living with, you could be living in a world of pain if you use their unnecessarily expensive conditioner. Not cool.
But not anymore, with your very own shower tote bag! These things can hang from the shower rail, or from anywhere you can peg them to.
They can fit all of your razors, creams, lotions and gels with ease, and you can hand-stitch your name into them so that nobody ever uses your shampoo again.
Just kidding, they will anyway- but still, it feels good to keep these things organised.
Rather than have a six foot mahogany bookshelf to populate with books you’ll never read, keep things concise with one that fits right on your desk.
These mini bookshelves are popular over in America, and we can see why; they can probably fit around thirty books, will stand on your desk, and are raised up above your desktop by stilts tall enough so that you can fit a PC monitor, laptop or whatever else underneath.
They’re so useful because as you’re working, you have everything you might need right in front of you within arm’s reach.
The only other thing you might use the space behind your desk for is some kind of ‘Hang In There!’ motivational poster anyway.