Use over-the-door racks to optimize your limited space.
Winter break has been over for a couple weeks now, but if you’re like many students, you probably just started unpacking. Holiday gift-giving, shopping trips and the frigid air may have forced you to bring back more boxes of itchy sweaters and useless stuff than can possibly fit in your over-stuffed dorm room. These simple tips will allow you to find the space to conveniently conceal Grandma’s hand-knitted sweater — until she comes to visit — while proudly displaying your collection of picture frames.
• You raise me up: Most college beds have the capability of moving up within the bed posts, but if they don’t, you can buy a set of bed risers rather cheaply. This simple fix can raise your bed up to eight inches, allowing you to fit more under-the-bed storage. This is the perfect place to store bulkier items such as bins full of sweaters, blankets, shoes or cases of water and ramen noodles.
• Self-standing shelf: Dorm Space Saver Shelf is a dorm-room essential, found at Bed Bath and Beyond, that is not only practical but also stylish. These shelves can be easily assembled so they fit perfectly over the head or foot of a twin bed. This piece allows you to set your alarm clock or phone right next to your bed without the added bulk of a nightstand. It’s also the perfect place for photo frames, a desk lamp, iPod speakers or even a small flat-screen TV. It’s multi-functional, sturdy and compact.
• Flatten and expand: Your dorm-room closet is probably less than half the size of your closet at home, but there is no way you can be expected to only bring half your clothes! Amazingly, clothes hangers are what take up the most space in your closet. So an easy fix? Buy flat hangers, which can double the space in your closet, allowing you to squeeze in more clothes from home or give you an excuse to fill your space with new clothes from the mall.
• Not just another brick in the wall: Since dorms don’t have much square footage, it’s important to get creative with your space. There is most likely more wall space in your room than floor space. Although you may not be able to glue your bed to the wall, you can certainly use Command hooks or over-the-door shoe/purse/pantry/hook racks to optimize your limited space. Hooks are the perfect place to hang your towels, jewelry, keys and backpack.
• Maximize small spaces: Storage bins are essential to any dorm room, and although most college students have them, it’s important to measure your room and get the right sizes before you run off to the Container Store. Dorm rooms will often have awkward spaces left that should be filled in order to maximize your potential space. Storage bins, drawers and boxes come in all different sizes, and if you measure before you go to the store, you will know exactly how big of a container you should buy in order to use all of the space.
• Reduce, reuse, recycle: Even after following these tips and budgeting your space, there will inevitably be clutter. The best advice to keep your room clean and organized is to sort through your room and get rid of the things you don’t really need. Bring them back home, donate them to charity or other students or just throw them out. Regardless of how you decide to clean the mess, you will be grateful you did it when it comes time to move out at the end of the semester.
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