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13 Genius Dorm Storage Ideas

You’re on your way to college—everything is loaded into the back of the car, your parents are teary-eyed in the front seat, and you couldn’t be more excited to move into your new dorm. But whether you’re an incoming freshman or you’ve got a few semesters in the books, you can still benefit from some genius dorm storage ideas.

Saying “small” and “dorm rooms” together is redundant. But even though small dorms are the norm, with some genius (totally genius), dorm storage and organization hacks, you’ll start to realize that your dorm room isn’t that small after all.

Check out our list of awesome dorm storage ideas to get you ready for the upcoming school year!

1. Multi-Use Furniture

You probably won’t be bringing a lot of furniture to college, as many schools already provide a desk, chair, bed and closet/dresser. But, if you insist on bringing a few more furniture items, make sure they serve more than one purpose. Your dorm room is a small space (we know, you know), so bring a storage ottoman that you can use as a chair, a small step stool you can also sit on, or even a trunk that offers both storage and seating. Multi-functional furniture is a must to conserve space.

2. Under the Bed Storage

There is a lot of valuable room for storage under your bed. You can get shallow bins to store extra clothes, pillows or blankets, or even buy a rolling cart you can easily slide out.

Pro tip: Here are a few great under the bed organizers to check out.

If you want even more storage space, loft your bed (imagine a bunk bed without the lower bed). Many universities will do this for you, or you can buy bed risers at the store. You may even be able to fit a mini fridge, futon, big-screen TV or desk underneath your bed (probably not all of those, though). Simply add a bed skirt if you want to hide your storage.   

3. Bedside Caddy or Shelf

If you decided to raise or loft your bed, chances are a regular nightstand will be too short. So, a bedside caddy or shelf is a great alternative. Whether you need a spot to put your water bottle, phone or glasses, these shelves or pouches attach to the side of your bed for easy access. (You’ll be grateful when you wake up parched in the middle of the night and your water bottle is within arm’s length!)

Pro tip: Check out these awesome bedside caddies you can get from Amazon.

4. Rolling Cart

A rolling cart is a must for college dorm room organization. Not only can these carts roll around, they also offer much-needed storage space. You can use a cart as a bedside table, or as a spot to keep snacks, books or toiletries.

Pro tip: Find some of the top rolling utility carts in this blog.

5. Vertical Storage

Maximize your space by storing vertically. Your floor space can fill up fast, but you can also take advantage of wall storage and over the door storage. Consider hanging shelving or baskets and getting an over-the-door shoe (or hat) rack to make the most of the space you do have.

6. Desk Shelf

A desk shelf or hutch is also a great way to get more space. Whether you’re planning to spend most of your time studying in the library, with your pals, or at your desk, you’ll want to keep this spot organized and clean so you have plenty of room to study.

An over desk shelf will give you more space to keep your books, school supplies and maybe even some decorative items.

7. Command Hooks

Command Hooks are a must-have. You can use them to hang décor like pictures and posters, or put them in your closet to hang up towels or toiletries. There are a variety of different options to choose from, so the opportunities are endless. Plus, they won’t ruin your walls (if you take them off correctly)! Many universities will hit you with a fee if there is any damage to the paint, so Command strips are a great alternative to nails or screws.

Pro tip: Check out Command’s website to see all the products they offer. You can also find them at your local hardware store or retail store.

8. Shower Caddy

If you’re in a dorm with community bathrooms, a shower caddy is essential. Instead of having all your toiletries and shower stuff take up space in your room, keep it all together so it’s easy to transport to and from the dorm bathroom.

Pro tip: Even though shower shoes won’t help you organize, they are definitely an essential item. If you’re wondering what other important items you could be forgetting, check out our college packing list.

9. Bathroom Storage

Chances are you’ve shared a bathroom with someone at least once in your lifetime, whether that’s a sibling, friend or a family member on vacation. Unless you have a private room, you’ll likely be sharing your bathroom with at least one roommate, even if you opted out of the community bathroom.

So, you’ll have to figure out how to organize and store your toiletries, along with someone else’s. Use small plastic containers, stackable bins and baskets that hang from cabinet doors to make it easy.

10. Foldable Laundry Hamper

A laundry hamper is a necessity. Carrying all your dirty clothes down three flights of stairs to the laundry room without some sort of bin is not an option. Instead of buying a big bulky basket, get a cloth or foldable hamper. This allows you to save space while still keeping all your dirty clothes off the floor (in your room and the hallways).

Pro tip: Your laundry hamper doesn’t have to be an eyesore, check out some of these stylish and functional hampers.

11. Drawer Organizers

Two words—drawer organizers. Don’t believe us? Organized drawers are space-efficient drawers! Plus, if you only have a few drawers in your dresser, baskets or dividers will help keep all your items separate. You can either get fabric drawer organizers or adjustable dividers, and conserve even more space by rolling your clothes instead of folding them.

12. Closet Space

The size of dorm closets can vary, so make the most of your space with a variety of storage organizers and a hanging shoe rack. Be sure to leave space for your hamper and use thin hangers to save even more space. You can also use multi-functional or cascading hangers to fit more clothes in your closet.

13. Cube Storage and Shelves

Cube shelves are becoming increasingly popular because they’re simple, easy to put together and a great storage option. You can use the shelf for storage under your bed, or as a TV stand. There are a variety of different designs and styles of cube storage bins, so you can pick your favorites and make them your own!

Dorm Storage FAQs

We get it—you have a lot of questions. That’s why we’ve answered some of the most common ones and listed them here! But, what if you have other questions about packing, organizing and preparing for college?

Don’t even worry about it, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re stressed you might be forgetting to pack something important, check out our college packing list blog. Or, if you’re prone to overpacking, read our list of things not to bring to college. But first, check out the questions and answers below!

What is the best way to organize/arrange a dorm room?

Some of the dorm storage ideas in this blog will help you organize your dorm room. Staying organized is much easier with plenty of storage space, so consider our closet organization hacks, under the bed storage, shelving and more to keep your room organized.

How much space is under a dorm bed?

Most dorm beds are a twin XL, which equates to about 7 ft long and a little more than 3 ft wide. But, if you raise or loft your bed, you’ll free up a lot more storage space. Consider putting your fridge or dresser under your bed, or buy storage bins to take advantage of the extra room.

How do you hang shelves in a dorm room?

When hanging shelves in your dorm room, it’s important to avoid using screws and nails. Often, you can get fined at the end of the year if there are any holes or scratches on the walls. (If you have to use screws or nails, remember to get putty before the end of the year so you can patch any problem areas.) The best way to hang a shelf is to use Command Strips or adhesive to limit damage.

Are there closets in college dorms?

Almost all college dorms offer closets, but the size can vary. Make the most of your closet space by using clothing organizers, cascading hangers and hanging storage racks.

How do you store your sweatshirts in college?

If you want to conserve as much space as possible, store your winter sweaters and sweatshirts in a fabric shoe rack behind your closet door. You can also roll your sweatshirts and keep them in a drawer.

Wrapping Up: Dorm Storage Ideas

We hope this blog has given you some dorm storage inspiration. A small space means you have to get creative with your storage solutions—because your dorm can fit more than you’d think!

Don’t worry if you bring too much stuff to college, just keep it at Store Space. (No matter how much you organize and utilize unique storage solutions, you can’t create space out of thin air!)

Whether you simply overpacked, you plan to study abroad, or you just need a safe spot to store your belongings between semesters, we offer secure self-storage with monthly leases and affordable rates.

Just use our storage location finder to locate a Store Space facility near your campus!

$1 Rent for your First Month!

Rent Online Right Now. Skip the Counter & Go Straight to Your Space.


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