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College dorm rooms are notoriously small and cramped.  Worst of all, universities usually expect two or more students to share a room that back home would have been too small for one person.  Figuring out where to put all your stuff is only half the problem. Keeping the room from looking cluttered and disorganized is the key to creating a livable space in which you can study and relax without feeling overwhelmed.

Here are a few creative ideas for storage, organization, and maximizing the space available in a dorm.

loft bed spaceRaise the Bed

This won’t work if the room comes with bunk beds, but in a room with one or two single beds, consider raising them to create additional storage space underneath.  This can be accomplished by putting wood blocks under each leg or by purchasing specially-designed risers, usually adjustable.  These can add a foot or more extra space under your bed and some even include outlets so that you have extra places for plugging in a clock, reading lamp, or phone charger.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, consider building a loft for the bed. This can be anywhere from four to seven feet off the ground, depending on the height of the dorm’s ceiling.  Then you have effectively doubled your floor plan and can create seating, study, or a new closet under the bed.

Door Storage

Over the door storage is a booming business.  Doors are no longer just for putting a hook for your bathrobe or towel.  You can find everything from an over the door hamper to a shoe rack to organizers for jewelry, beauty supplies, or even pouches that can be utilized for anything you want.  These work on closet doors as well as room doors.  There are even shower organizers that are designed to go on the shower stall door, when the shower fixtures are industrial sized and therefore won’t hold a regular shower caddy.

Magnetic Containers

One of the newest trends in dorm storage is magnetic containers.  This can be as simple as placing a magnetic strip on the bottom of a shelf and then recycling baby food jars to organize everything from paper clips to hair bands.  You can also find magnetic tins specifically designed for office products and other small items that you can attach to existing metal surfaces such as the fridge in your dorm or a metal frame.  White boards are also being made magnetic so that you can display and save stubs, tickets, photos, and other items.  Combining such a board with magnetic containers creates an unique storage area.

Countless storage solution exist to help you make the most of the limited space in your dorm room.  A trip to the hardware or organizational section of your local retailer along with a little bit of imagination can turn your dorm into a home.

image courtesy Thomas Frank via Creative Commons License 2.0 Generic

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