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Ways to Save Space in a Dorm Room

Woman packing books into boxes in her dorm room

Moving to a shared dorm room doesn’t mean you have to hide your personality or live an unorganized life. With these 10 dorm room storage ideas, we can help you maximize your space and keep everything you need close at hand.

10 Dorm Room Storage Ideas


  1. Think double duty for your dorm room setup: A good rule of thumb before making a furniture purchase is to make sure it serves  at least two purposes. Skip chairs or tables that can take up precious floor space. Instead, opt for multi-use items like storage ottomans that can double as seating and a lift-top coffee table that provides workspace plus storage underneath. Storage trunks are an easy way to hold items, provide extra seating, offer room for displaying photos and other personal items, and add style to your décor.
  2. Go above and below on bed storage: Many dorm rooms already come with a desk or dresser fitted underneath a loft bed, but there are other ways to save space in a dorm room. Consider hanging baskets above your bed for nightstand accessories, or wall-mounted hat racks. Depending on your dorm room setup, you can also find headboards with built-in shelving to save floor space. Bed risers will take your dorm room setup to the next level. You can even find ones that include outlets and USB storage on them! Add these to your bed if it’s not on the top bunk so you can fit storage underneath, like a rolling storage shelf for out-of-season clothes, or storage bags with pull handles for easy transfer. A bed skirt will hide items under your bed while making your space look neat and tidy.
  3. Use what you’ve got in a better way: You may think items that come with your room can’t be adjusted, but there are things you can do to improve an existing dorm room setup. By organizing your dresser and nightstand with drawer dividers, you can fit more items into the space. Rolling items rather than folding them also saves space while preventing wrinkles on your clothing. You can also find organizers for the back of your chair for desk odds and ends, or a place to keep charged phones and tablets.
  4. Maximize closet space: Your closet is one area where there are many ways to save space in your dorm. From a closet organizer to felt hangers (vs. wooden ones), there are many options for maximizing space. Consider a rod expander to quickly add twice the hanging space. This is one of the best space savers you’ll find for your dorm room — it’s easy to hang, adjust in length, and remove, all with no tools needed. Next, add shower curtain rings to a clothes hanger to keep scarves together in one convenient place. Put your closet door to work for you, as well — consider an over-the-door towel rack or shoe rack that can also double as a holder for umbrellas and rolled-up shirts.
  5. Organize your desk for maximum space: Apply that double-use rule to your desk organization as well. Binder clips are great for papers but also can help you keep cords untangled. Apply Command hooks for storing backpacks, a light jacket, or your purse under your desk so they’re easy to grab and go. And consider magazine files for more than just magazines — they’re perfect for holding extension cords, earbuds or other tech accessories.
  6. Don’t forget about the bathroom: No matter what your dorm room setup is, keeping toiletries organized can help save you time while maximizing space if you share a bathroom. Caddies come in a range of styles and sizes for holding all your items, and they’re  especially handy if you’re carrying them back and forth to a community bathroom. Compile styling tools and accessories in a magazine box for storage that fits nicely on a bathroom counter, and consider a basket for shared-use items like cleaning supplies or a first aid kit.
  7. Cook up your own kitchen station: Rather than spreading out kitchen items across your room, invest in a rolling utility cart or rack for a mini fridge and/or coffeemaker. That way, you can keep all related items (like coffee, dishes, etc.) in one handy place along with snacks and utensils without using too much floor space.
  8. See yourself organized: One easy way to save space in a dorm room is to share a full-length mirror that fits over your closet door, or invest in one that includes a storage component for jewelry. Many wall-mounted mirrors come with shelving, as well, for important odds and ends like keys, your student ID, sunglasses and other items you’ll need as you’re heading out for the day.
  9. String lights to show you care: This accessory does so much for your dorm room setup. String lights enable you to keep studying or see enough to get ready even if your roommate is sleeping. They also offer a de-stressing environment for your room, and allow you to show your creativity in how you hang them. Clip lights for your headboard or desk are also a good alternative when you don’t want to light up the entire room.
  10. When in doubt, stack it up: Check any remaining areas of your room to see where you can add stacking bins or cubby shelves for layers of storage. Television stands with built-in shelves, sets of bins to go under sinks, and rolling carts in designer prints can all provide additional room for personal items when you’re out of floor space.



Find Storage Solutions Near You

Left with items you need to store? At Self Storage Plus, we can help solve your storage needs, even with a dorm room budget. Check out our moving specials now, or find a Self Storage location near you in the greater Washington, DC, and Baltimore area today to get started.

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