For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Aug 14 2016
by Alexandra Carpenter

7 Space Savers for Your Dorm Room

By Alexandra Carpenter - Aug 14 2016

If you're anything like me, you love your stuff, and there's a lot of it that you don't want to abandon at home while you're away at college. After all, filling your dorm with things from home only makes the transition easier. At the same time, dorms are tiny, temporary homes, and are only meant to accommodate so many of our precious belongings. The last thing you want is for your dorm to be flooded with items that have no place, and for your new home to turn into something out of an episode of Hoarders. 

Luckily for you (and me!), there are a ton of ways to create storage space in your dorm in places you wouldn't even think about — under, over and inside everything you can think of! Here are just a few of those really helpful solutions.

1. Over-The-Door Basket Rack

If you are lucky enough to get to live in a suite-style dorm your freshman year, I have the perfect thing for you. This over-the-door storage option allows you to store all your toiletries and supplies (for multiple people) right inside your bathroom. Not only is it convenient to keep a few extra items out of your already packed-full bedroom, but this product completely eliminates the need to lug a soggy shower tote back and forth.

2. Storage Ottoman

Right off the bat, these lovely little cubes double as both a stylish storage box AND a stool. Many dorm beds can be raised to allow for extra under-bed storage, making it difficult to climb into bed at night without springing onto it, a running start required, like a crazed toddler. Storage ottomans can also be used as a nice seat, perhaps for a friend or family member visiting your room. They don't take up very much space on the floor, and also come in many colors and styles. This option is best for storing lighter items, as you may need to move or kick it aside now and then.

3. Dorm Space Saver Shelf

This shelf seems pricey for what there is to it, but this shelf can actually make a huge difference. It fits over beds, dressers and even some desks where it may create or expand a hutch. The metal frame is a fantastic place to clip lamps, and if used over a bed is a fantastic substitute for a nightstand. Because it fits over many different types of furniture, this takes up almost no floor space and will likely fit in any dorm! In a tiny room, this simple shelf can make a world of difference. 

4. Cooking Caddy

If you plan on eating anything in your room, you probably have to keep a half-decent stock of plates and utensils. A lot of students opt to rent or buy microwaves along with their refrigerators, which takes up basically all the space on the top of the fridge. The Cooking Caddy offers a space-conscious way to store all of your dishes with your kitchen appliances. This pouch attaches to the top of the fridge and hugs the side, taking up no floor space. Even better: if you don't have a suite-style room and have to keep your fridge in your actual bedroom, you don't have to waste space with one more crate or bin.

5. Bed Risers + the Hotel-Style Setup

Bed risers alone help you maximize your under-bed storage space if you don't have an adjustable bed. However, with the addition of the "hotel-style" dorm setup, you can fit even more. "Hotel-style" means that the headboards are pushed against the wall, leaving the rest of the bed to stick out towards the middle of the room. What this allows you to do is access the storage space underneath your bed from both sides, not just one as you would if the bed's side was pushed against the wall. For example, you can likely fit two sets of plastic drawers underneath instead of just one.

6. Desk Lamp (With Office Supplies Organizer)

Desk lamps are a must, but not all lamps are created equal. Lamps that include a pencil storage cup or a small organizer, like this one, are much more space-efficient and give you an extra spot to store your desk supplies. Leaving these smaller supplies in a drawer can create a lot of clutter and waste space that's more effectively used for binders, folders or notebooks. The actual surface of your desk itself will also be less cluttered, as you won't have to buy a separate organizer for your supplies. This specific lamp also features a slot to prop your phone or tablet!

7. Bedside Caddy

Not into setting up the #3 pick on move-in day? That's alright, you still have a fantastic nightstand substitute with this bedside caddy, which stores all your essential items that you need to grab quickly — phones, remotes, tablets, tissues and anything else you can fit! DormCo even offers a version with a slot specifically for a tissue box, including a slit so you can grab a tissue straight from the caddy. You can find a variety of these on Amazon, each with slightly different pocket arrangements. While this version hangs on the end of the bed, you can also get some that hang from under your mattress

If you're still in the process of dorm-shopping, don't forget to add a few of these options to your list. It might save you some worry when trying to pack conservatively. If you think you've finished shopping, consider adding one or more of these to your upcoming wish list or make it your New Year's resolution to stay organized at college!

Lead Image Credit: Amazon

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Alexandra Carpenter - Temple University

Alexandra is a rising sophomore with junior standing at Temple University and is majoring in psychology with minors in biology and criminal justice. She plays multiple instruments and occasionally writes music for piano. In her spare time, she enjoys collecting record albums and listening to music, mainly classic rock and heavy metal. She also is an avid writer of fictional stories and is working on two novels.

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