How to Organize Your Dorm Room

Ginger Abbot

Feb 2, 2022
How to organize your dorm room

We are a reader-supported education publication. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission to help us keep providing content.

College is an exciting time to make new friends and pursue your career interests! Living in a dorm room is part of the college experience. However, sometimes they can be smaller in size. This means you have to get creative when it comes to decorating. So, here are some tips on how to organize your dorm room. 

1. Buy Multi-Purpose Furniture

Your dorm room will come with standard items, like beds and dressers. However, you may want to buy extra furnishing to help increase your storage. So, consider finding multi-purpose pieces, such as storage ottomans. They can act as both seating and storage. They’re perfect for holding your textbooks, helping to declutter your desk. 

Here are some more functional furniture pieces to add to your space:

  • Small futon
  • Storage bench 
  • Lift-top coffee table
  • Headboard with shelves 
  • Jewelry cabinet with a mirror 

2. Maximize Your Vertical Space 

Storing items vertically saves space when determining how to organize your dorm room. It also allows you to move around the room more efficiently. Consider getting over-the-door hanging racks to help hold items, such as clothing. Adding an over-the-door valet is perfect for organizing your small closet. 

Also, incorporating over-the-bed shelving can help store your electronics or books. Your desk area may also easily get cluttered. Consider hanging some shower caddies to hold school supplies, like pens. 

3. Create a Designated Kitchen Area

While you won’t have a full-blown kitchen, you’ll probably bring along a microwave and mini-fridge. Consider using a rolling utility cart to help you organize kitchen appliances. This will help keep these items all in one place. Make sure you also add storage bins to keep food and utensils tidy. 

To help you stock up your kitchen area, consider purchasing these essential items: 

  • A large bowl
  • Storage jars
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Travel cups
  • Resealable Containers 

4.  Take Advantage of Space Under Your Bed

Keep in mind many college dorms have beds that you can raise. Consider lifting your bed so that you can add storage underneath. You can use plastic bins or drawers to hold out-of-season clothes or shoes. Look for bins with wheels to easily access items. Also, consider using old cardboard boxes or repurposed dresser drawers. 

You could even loft the bed and move your dresser or desk underneath. With a dresser out of the way, you have space to add more comfortable seating, like bean bag chairs. If the bed isn’t adjustable, you can purchase bed risers from Amazon or your local department store. Consider adding a bed skirt to keep your storage hidden. 

5.  Design an Entertainment Space

Besides just studying, you’ll also have free time to hang out with friends. So, consider organizing your entertainment items with cube shelving. You can use them to store your television and game consoles. Stack the shelves to create your television stand. Also, bring some board games and fancy wine glasses to host social events with your friends. 

6.  Add a Rolling Cart to Your Bedside

Side tables can take up space within your room. A rolling cart can be more compact and versatile. It can hold items such as books, lamps, or your alarm clock. Besides top storage, it also has additional room underneath. Plus, you can roll it into your closet during the day to save space. For storing smaller items, such as your phone, consider adding a stick-on caddy to your wall. 

Check out this cute rolling cart from Amazon.

7.  Incorporate a Desk Hutch

A hutch desk is an attachment combining extra shelving and a writing area. It is a must-have item when deciding how to organize your dorm room. These come in a variety of sizes and are perfect for storing your school supplies. You can even add boxes or magazine holders on top for better organization. 

Make sure to take measurements before buying the desk. You want to ensure the hutch base fits appropriately with the desk’s surface. 

8. Group Shared Items 

You want to keep shared items, like cleaning supplies, in plastic containers. This way, both you and your roommate can quickly access them. It can also make it easier to tell when you are running low on certain things. For further convenience, consider labeling the boxes. 

Here are some commonly shared items you will want in your dorm room: 

  • Mini fridge
  • Vacuum cleaner 
  • Coffee maker 
  • Plates and cutlery 
  • Printer and paper

9.  Add Stacking Bins 

These can be useful for storing toiletries and saving space on your dresser. You can even keep them inside cabinets. Also, consider placing some hanging baskets by your dresser for extra storage room. 

When taking items to the bathroom, use a shower caddy to organize your essential things. Having a caddy makes it easier to grab items when in a rush. To pick the right one, consider how many toiletries you will bring. Suppose you have several products. You’ll want to find a caddy with multiple compartments. 

10. Roll Up Your Clothes 

Rolling up your clothing is a helpful tip when deciding how to organize your dorm room. It can save your dresser space. Having extra room allows you to store more clothes and can even prevent wrinkles. Also, consider adding some drawer organizers to keep the space tidy. 

Tips on How to Organize Your Door Room

Decorating your dorm room is a fun experience! Besides the fun decor, you also have to consider how to arrange your smaller space. So, here are some strategies for how to effectively organize your dorm room. 

Written By