Dorm rooms present a lot of challenges when it comes to managing space, and today I want to share a few products that have helped my two college kids make the most of their tiny college living quarters.
There are few foundational principles to keep in mind when thinking about making the most of a dorm room. First, and above all, maximize vertical space at every turn. With such a limited footprint, vertical space becomes your friend. There are lots of products out there to help you go up and down with your given space, providing ways to stack items high instead of wide. Turn one shelf into two with shelf dividers. Add a riser (or two) to your desk. Add 3M hooks on wall space to hang everything from bags to towels to accessories. There is always space vertically, so look for ways to maximize it wherever possible.
Second, contain everything. Chaos ensues when items do not have a home, and bins, trays, and boxes create a place for things to live. Containers define boundaries and can make a messy collection of items feel organized, simply because they are contained.
Lastly, create warmth using texture and lighting. Cold walls and hard floors mixed with fluorescent lighting begins to feel more like a prison cell than a bedroom. Your bedding and a rug will do a great job of softening the space, but don’t underestimate the power of lighting. Lamps with dimmable light bulbs and strings of twinkle lights easily set a calming, homelike mood. I also like this wireless charging LED lamp.
As a final note, you will need more extension cords than you think. Make sure you take plenty of hangers (the slimmer the better). A bluetooth speaker is a great addition to a room. Choose cleaning tools that are self-contained (laundry pods, cleaning wipes, etc.). And if I had to only recommend one product for moving in and out, it would be my favorite large, rectangular zip bags.
These miracle bags hold a ridiculously large amount of items, yet fold down to almost nothing. You can fill them with shoes, clothes, sheets, towels, cords, blankets, bathroom supplies, and literally anything else you will be transporting to campus. When we moved Annie into her freshman dorm, we discovered she did not have near enough storage space for her clothes. We stashed all of her larger winter coats and boots in one of these bags, put shoes she wasn’t going to wear every day in another, and stored both of the bags on top of the armoire that served as her closet (making the most of vertical space!). When it was time for her to move out, she literally shoved all of her stuff into the bags, carried the bags to her car, and drove home. I cannot imagine a college move without at least one set of these bags.