The average dorm room has only 228 square feet of living space. That’s not much, and incoming students have to fit everything they need into it – and often while sharing with at least one other person. That means that storage space is at a premium.
Storage is no less of a problem between school years. Students who are attending school far from home don’t have the option of bringing everything home for the summer. This article will address both issues, helping you find the ideal storage solutions for the schoolyear – and the summer months.
Dorm Room Storage Ideas
Fitting everything into a dorm room can be a challenge, but here are some tips that may help:
- Think vertical when it comes to storage. You might have limited floor space, but if you make use of the vertical space in your room, you’ll be surprised at how much you can fit. Tall bookcases can hold books and other items. Hanging baskets are great for snacks, extra school supplies, and so on.
- Buy furniture with storage in mind. If you’re getting a desk, look for one that has a desk-top shelf. Get drawer dividers to help you keep your drawers neat, and think about using a shower caddy on the wall to hold extra pens and other office supplies.
- Use dead spaces such as the space under your bed, or a thin strip of wall space between your closet door and bathroom. Small tension rods can help you store accessories like belts and scarves, or even shoes, in a tiny space.
- Over-the-door storage is perfect for holding shoes, snacks, or other bulky items. You might also consider hanging a laundry bag on the inside of a closet door to keep your dirty clothes off the floor.
- Always buy extra storage containers. Until you get into your room, you might not know what you need. Bringing a few extra bins, jars, and bags will make it easy to adapt on the fly.
The key is finding creative ways to use every spare inch of space. If you do, you’ll be surprised at how much you can fit in your room.
Summer Storage Ideas
What do you do when it’s time to pack up your dorm room and head home for the summer? Storage space can be expensive and you’ll want to make the most of what you get. Here’s what to do:
- Shop around for storage spaces and always ask about student discounts. Many self-storage companies will offer a discount with a valid student ID.
- Choose the smallest storage space that will allow you to fit all of your things. There’s no sense in overpaying. If no smaller spaces are available, consider asking a friend or two to split the costs and share the space with you.
- Pack everything carefully. Books should go in small boxes and be stored on their sides – storing them on their spines can cause damage. When you pack dishes, the heavy items should go on the bottom of the box with lighter items on top. Wrap everything breakable in bubble wrap or newspaper.
- Pack clothing in clear storage bins instead of plastic bags. (Moisture can get trapped in bags and ruin your clothes.)
- Disassemble and stack furniture to save space. Remember that you can store small boxes and other items under a table if you can’t remove the legs.
- If you’re renting in an area that gets a lot of rain, a heated storage space is your best bet. It will keep the moisture away and your property safe from mold and mildew.
- Label everything clearly. When you get back to school, you don’t want to be left wondering which box contains your towels and pillow cases.
The key to storage is to maximize your space, protect your belongings, and do whatever you can to make unpacking, moving and organizing easy when you return to school in the fall. If you follow these tips, you’ll be ready for the new school year in no time.