Dorm rooms are known for being cramped and tiny. But if you are to live in one for at least three years to come, you’re going to have to make do with what’s available. If it was your room at home, you could whip up a full-scale renovation. But this is a rented space, and there are usually strict rules in place. They differ from one institution to another, but here is the gist:
- No drilling holes;
- No pets;
- No fire hazards;
- No furniture replacements.
So, you will have to figure out how to make the space convenient and livable without any major changes.
And this is what this article is for. Below, we will give you tips on how to use all the available space in your room without getting in trouble.
Make Sure You Know the Rules
The first tip is to not go into this renovation blindly. Your school probably has a site, and that site has all the guidelines on what you can do in your room. If those rules seem obscure, consult with senior students or someone from the administration. It’s better to look stupid for asking too many questions than to get in trouble for breaking the rules unknowingly.
Expand Your Desk
Your desk is going to be the place where you spend most of your time, with the bed being a close second. In some cases, you can bring your own desk to the dorm. That would be convenient if you were above average height or simply needed more stuff. If your dorm allows it and there’s enough space, make sure you have two desks so that you can work simultaneously. Ask your roommate if they mind moving your desks together. Keep your stuff separate, but having two desks would really help you both fit more books there. This will make getting cheap paperwriter service services or doing homework really easy for both of you. Desk shelves are also a genius solution. It’s a shelf that you put on top of your desk instead of drilling into the wall. Then, you will have lots of space above the desk for your textbooks and other trinkets.
Elevate the Bed
Under-bed storage is already available in some dorm rooms, but not all. Placing your bed on top of a shelf or cabinets of some sort will make a huge difference. You could also get bed raisers to store some storage bins under it. This way, you can hide your warmer stuff like blankets for when you don’t need it. Alternatively, you could make a loft space out of your dorm room. Place the bed on top of a structure that would have a desk or a dresser under it. This will get you tons of space since the room above the bed is never really used. Again, check with the dorm authorities if you can do all that. You don’t want somebody coming in and getting furious at your genius idea. But as soon as you get a green light, you can get to renovating! Another great tip for using the bed space is getting a bedside shelf or caddy. If your bed has a railing, it can hang perfectly from it, giving you some place to put your night-time essentials, like your sleeping mask, a book, or a phone.
Getting things that serve more than one purpose is the number one rule of saving space. An ottoman or a trunk that has hidden storage inside can be a perfect place to contain your mess when you have someone coming over. Just put your miscellaneous items inside and sit on top. Et voila – nobody knows how messy you are!
Rolling Utility Cart
This is a great piece of furniture, and if you only have money to get one thing, it should be a utility cart. It rolls around, so you won’t get stuck with it in one place. You can load all your groceries or kitchen essentials on it, making it a kitchen island. Or load your books on it if your desk doesn’t have enough storage. It can also double as a bedside table or a snack caddy/bar for when you have people over.
Use the Door
Get some stick-on hooks to hang on the door. If they are strong enough, you can get one of those clear plastic hanging shelves to put your shoes in. This will free up lots of space, especially if you’re two girls living together and have a decent number of shoes. We all tend to forget about stuff we put away, and having it all in plain sight will help you put outfits together much faster. In case you aren’t allowed to stick anything, you can use those hooks that hang directly on top of the door. Those should be even stronger, which means you can put heavier stuff on them. Any kind of hook will make a great addition to a dorm room. Put a hanger on one and make a sunglasses display out of it. Or you could put a hook on your bed to hold your towel or shower caddy. A few hooks in the kitchen area will allow you to store kitchen utensils on the wall instead of in a drawer or on top of the counter. The counter space is usually very limited, so you can’t waste any of it.
Designated Kitchen Area
Your mini-fridge will not be as effective by itself. If you place a spinning shelf inside, you can get much more use out of it. Use the space on top of the fridge to keep some fruit or veggies that don’t need to be stored in the cold. Get another desk shelf to put on top of the fridge to get even more space out of it. You might even use the top of it as a cutting board.
Living in a tiny room can be tough, but if you use the space well, you can actually enjoy it! Use all the space that you can by raising the bed and using the room under it. You can put lots of stuff there, especially if you put those bins on rollers. Rolling furniture is generally great for small spaces because you can move it to free up parts of the room you need at the moment. Make sure you check with the dorm rules and be creative! You might even talk to seniors to see if some rules are not as strict as they seem. Just don’t get in trouble; your reputation is not worth it.