7 of the Best Dorm Hacks for College Students


Feb 20, 2023

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No matter how excited you are to attend college or university, stepping foot into your first dorm room is intimidating. Most dorm rooms only offer the essentials, such as a desk and chair, a bed and a small closet or wardrobe. However, using some of the best dorm hacks, you can transform your bland, boring dorm room into a shared space you love.

1. Door Stopper

Meeting new people is a staple of the college experience, but it can be challenging for first-year students. Consider adopting an “open door” policy and buy a door stopper. 

When you or your roommate are in your dorm room, leave the door open to say hi to other students in your dorm hall. You never know who could walk by and become an acquaintance or best friend!

2. Bed Risers

A lack of storage space is likely a top concern for college students living in a dorm. Sharing a room with someone else leaves you little room to store all your belongings. However, adding bed risers to your dorm’s bed frame is one hack you can use to increase your storage space.

Bed risers are small, black boxes you place under the feet of your bed frame. When you use bed risers, they lift your bed higher off the floor, allowing you to store bins, luggage and other storage containers underneath. 

3. Blackout Curtains

Depending on your dorm room, you may have large windows letting in a ton of sunlight during the day. Natural light can give your room a nice aesthetic, but the sun shining right into your eyes in the morning is bothersome. Consider buying blackout curtains to ensure the sun doesn’t interfere with sleep. 

As a college student, getting enough sleep is crucial and a lack of sleep can negatively affect your academic performance. As their name suggests, blackout curtains block sunlight from entering the room so you can catch those much-needed extra z’s before your 8:00 AM class.

4. Space-Saving Hangers

Another way to save space, in addition to adding bed risers to your room, is to use space-saving hangers. These hangers can be a lifesaver if you have a lot of shirts or pants to hang with only a small amount of space. 

You can buy several space-saving hangers, which allow you to hang more than one piece of clothing on them to save more closet space. These hangers will enable you to fit all your clothes in your wardrobe without dealing with wrinkles or damage.

5. Microwave Recipes

Most colleges or universities provide students with a microwave and miniature refrigerator to keep in their dorm rooms. One of the best dorm hacks you can learn in college is how to make quick, easy meals using the microwave. 

You can make eggs or omelets, a bowl of oatmeal, ramen noodles or other college staples using your microwave. Despite having access to a microwave, it’s important to focus on your nutrition and try to eat full meals from your dining hall whenever possible.

6. Bedside Caddy/Shelf

A bed caddy or shelf is a useful item to order before heading off to college. Your college might give you a nightstand, but these additional shelves bring your dorm living to the next level. 

You attach the shelf to your bed frame and have easy access to your TV remote, phone charger and whatever else you decide to put on it. You can add more space to your nightstand with these handy caddies or shelves, so consider buying one to make your life much easier.

7. Comfortable Lap Desk

Lastly, one of the best dorm hacks is purchasing a comfortable, functional lap desk. With all the assignments and projects you’ll have to do, it could get tiring or uncomfortable sitting at your desk in your room. 

Instead, buy a lap desk to do work from your bed or shared dorm space. Various brands make lap desks with built-in charging ports or mousepads to make it easier to work away from your desk. With a lap desk, you can work comfortably for hours from the comfort of your bed!

Take Dorm Living to the Next Level

Living in a dorm can be challenging, especially if you’ve never shared a room or are not used to small living quarters. However, living in a dorm isn’t too bad and it’s only for one semester at a time. Consider using some of the best dorm hacks to make college life more enjoyable.

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