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College Dorm Storage: How to Make the Most of the Small Space!

Micro-living might be trendy right now, but some college dorms take the idea of living in a small space to a whole new level! Are your clients stressed about how their daughter will adjust to staying organized when she has to live, sleep, and do her schoolwork in a single room? Is the daughter worried about how she’ll fit her impressive shoe collective in a bedroom the size of her current closet? What if she has a roommate? Depending on the college, that single room might be all the space she has to share with another person and their stuff!

You can help your clients and their daughter stay calm by advising them on how to maximize the potential of a very small living space. Just because her room is little doesn’t mean she’ll have to leave everything she owns behind. Reassure your clients and their daughter by recommending strategies like these!

College dorm storage for student

1. Use the space under the bed

When you’re short on space, there isn’t a nook or cranny that should be wasted. What’s better than free space that can be hidden easily? The space under the dorm’s bed is the perfect spot for storing out of season clothing, spare linens, and bulky school supplies. Recommend plastic tubs of various sizes with lids that seal well so things don’t get dusty.

2. Use blank wall space

Remember the golden rule: waste no space! A few simple shelves can make a huge difference when your clients’ daughter starts organizing her course books, schools supplies, or makeup. Rather than just getting creative with the storage space she has available, simple shelving actually creates space. It even gives her a nice, safe spot for some picture frames so she doesn’t feel homesick.

3. Use closet space efficiently

Transforming the inside of the closet can change the whole room. Your clients’ daughter will probably find a single rod in a small, shallow closet with no shelving. Advise her to get a thin hanging shoe rack or hanging shelf and a tension rod so she can hang more clothing half way down. As long as she doesn’t overload these things to the point that they fall down, she’ll have double the storage space in her closet.

4. Keep the desk organized

If your clients’ daughter loses control of her desk right away, she might have trouble catching up when the homework starts. Set her off on the right foot by recommending little, space-efficient storage solutions. She can keep all her pens in one place in a jar and the papers for each class in divided file folders so she doesn’t lose important information. Recommend good desk lamps that keep the space well lit but also have storage around the base for things like staplers, scissors, and sticky notes. Putting small supplies here frees up drawer space.

College dorm storage for desk

5. Hooks and hanging racks

Nothing will help your clients’ daughter keep her dorm clutter-free like having plenty of space to hang things. Recommend hooks and hanging racks that hang over the top of closet and bathroom doors, and hooks of all sizes that stick to the wall without falling down or wrecking the paint. These hooks are perfect for hanging jackets, bath robes, schools bags, or most importantly, wet towels that will get musty if they’re thrown on the floor!

6. Dirty laundry

A laundry hamper is absolutely necessary! Without one, your clients’ daughter will end up with worn clothing all over the floor. This will be a problem when she has limited floor space to begin with. The hamper itself should also be space efficient and easy for her to haul to the laundry room and back. Suggest hanging a medium sized laundry bag on a hook over her closet door. When the bag is full, it’s time to wash and dry!

7. Power

Just thinking about the number of things college students have to plug in can feel disorganized! Make sure your clients’ send their daughter with a quality extension cord and a good, safe power bar to maximize the limited outlets in her dorm, especially if she has a roommate. Sugget that she use colored tape to code each end of her cords so she doesn’t get them mixed up or tangled. Make sure she has enough space for her laptop, desk light, cell phone charger, hair dryer, and so on, but also make sure she knows the dangers of overloading outlets.

Extension cord for college dorm storage

8. Vanity station

Chances are your clients’ daughter won’t be willing to part with all of her beauty supplies, even if they convince her to leave some things behind. College dorms, however, don’t often boast well lit mirrors and makeup tables. Advise that she takes a mirror that can be hung from a stick-on hook, and recommend space efficient stacking drawers for her makeup, hair products, and styling tools. Some good makeup mirrors event come with a light built in so she won’t have to stand near the window!

9. Stacking hangers

Are your clients’ worried that their daughter still won’t have enough room in her closet for all that clothing? Recommend stacking hangers to double the number of things she can hang without ruining things. Of course, she’ll need to make sure the rod in her closet is sturdy first. Stacking hangers have hooks at the neck that another hanger can be hung on to store clothing in two rows. If she can’t find these, she can even use metal pop can tabs looped over the neck of one hanger to hang a second one.

10. A theme

Never underestimate the power of simplicity when it comes to decorating a small space. Your clients’ daughter won’t have room for wall murals or decorative end tables, but she’ll still want the place to look well put together. Advise her to pick a central color and an accent color or pattern, and then stick with that idea when she buys what she needs for the dorm. Storage bins, desk lamps, calendars, and laundry hampers come in all sorts of colors and styles. When there’s no room for frivolous décor, filling the room with bright, cheerful essentials can be enough. Dorms are the perfect space to combine function and aesthetic.

The more organized students are when they move away for college, the more their families can relax. Help your clients prepare their kids the best they can by designing a space that’s perfect for both study and fun.

Do you have other great tips for surviving college dorm living? Tell us about them in the comments!