The Family Home Blog

Dorm Room Organization Tips

Sep 10, 2015
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Alison Lewis

dorm room organization tips 

I just moved my oldest child to college and upon stepping into his dorm room, I quickly noticed that the space was much smaller than what I remembered it to be. I had to quickly think on my feet and knew that the key to making the most out of the space was organization and creative storage ideas. Here are some tips I learned first-hand: 

1.    Use under the bed storage space. Most dorm room beds are height adjustable so I recommend raising the bed up and storing the heftier items/boxes under the bed. Use storage bins to hold and organize items and place the bins your child will need to access often towards the front. Place empty suitcases underneath, filling them with things they won’t need anytime soon, such as out-of-season clothing. Winter coats and boots are the perfect examples as they take up a lot of closet space during the warmer months.

2.    Use flexible totes to store larger items. These rectangular Ziploc® Flexible Totes are a lifesaver. Use them to store sheets, towels, blankets, sweaters, t-shirts, etc. They fit perfectly under the bed or in the closet.

3.    Ziploc® Space Bags® are your new best friends. The large compression bags are an ideal solution for storing items such as winter clothes, which won’t be needed until later in the semester. These storage bags are available in a large array of sizes and even come in travel-size, making them convenient and affordable. They can compress 10 to12 sweaters, sweatpants, or sheets and towels, if needed, and they are airtight and waterproof.

use containers for organization 

4.    Use containers for organization. Ziploc® Brand Containers are fabulous for organizing small items such as makeup, medicines, paper clips, pens, pencils, flash drives and thumb tacks. Students can also use them to warm up food in their dorm room microwave. These are also great for shipping cookies and fun care packages to your teen (see above in photo). Then, they can reuse them in their room.

5.    Get creative with shelving. Use the mini refrigerator and microwave as shelving or place the microwave on top of the refrigerator to save even more space. Other options include creating a mini bookshelf on top of the fridge or placing a bowl full of fruit.

6.    Use over the door racks. Over the door racks are a stylish way to keep your space organized without taking up too much space. Apart from keeping your floor clear of shoes, they also work great for storing items such as belts, scarves and hats, or even snacks. Another way to utilize these is to store your heftier cleaning supplies or personal care items such as shampoo and conditioner.

7.    Make an overhead bookcase. Place a small bookcase behind your bed so it doubles as a headboard. Attach a clip-on lamp, store some books, and place a few photographs on the top shelf for a homey feel.

8.    Transform ice cube trays into storage. Use ice cube trays to organize jewelry or small office supplies. Place rings and earrings or pins and paper clips in their own cubby for easy access. You can even make the holder multi-functional and have it hold both accessories and office supplies, labeling the bottom of each cubby so you know what is where.

9.    Use mason jars. Use mason jars as penholders to avoid having to hunt for a highlighter, keys or flash drives. Consider painting the inside of the jars to match the dorm room color scheme using acrylic paint and a coating spray from your local craft store. This is a great way to stay neat and organized and bring a pop of color into your space. It’s also a fun DIY project that you can tackle with the new roomie!

10.    Utilize the bottom of your closet. Add a short shelf to the bottom of your closet to serve as a place to put shoes, unneeded books, or anything else you may need.

What other storage saving tips have you picked up over the years? Please share them in the comments section below!

Photo courtesy of Alison Lewis.

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