12 Small-Space Dorm Storage Solutions That Will Help You Forget You’re Living in 100 Square Feet

updated Jun 2, 2023
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Forget what they show you on TV and in movies — dorms rooms are usually beige, dark, small, and full of design no-nos that somehow made it past a blueprint. Thankfully, there are ways to make the most of a drab dorm room. While there are a ton of style tricks and tips you can execute, the biggest thing in any small space is storage, specifically smart storage. That’s where the wonders below come in. From caddies and carts to shelves and even one seriously stylish storage ottoman that doubles as a table, we found the best small-space storage solutions you need for your dorm. Looking for more dorm solutions? We’ve rounded up everything from bedding like twin XL sheets and mattress toppers to stylish organizers to help make this the best school year ever!

Do you have dorm storage you swear by? Let us know about your favorite finds in the comments below!

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The Container Store

This utility cart is your new best friend. Use it as a nightstand for skinny spaces. Use it to hold extra office supplies near your desk. Use it to hold snacks and groceries near your fridge. Use it... okay, you get the gist.

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was $29.99

Looking for an option you can place directly on your desktop surface? The Jerry & Maggie Desktop Organizer is a well-known and beloved pick. Crafted from natural wood, this lightweight piece makes organizing your books and paperwork a breeze, and the sleek, modern design makes it fun to look at (and a piece you'll want to keep post-grad).

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The biggest tip when utilizing small spaces: Go up. Use all that vertical space, and you'll be golden. This shelving unit can go over your mini fridge or even a laundry basket, with space up top to hold food, your microwave, or whatever else you want to keep off the floor.

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If your dorm room comes without a side table, we have the perfect solution: the BedShelfie. This device attaches to the side of your bed frame and instantly becomes a makeshift side table, holding everything from your phone and a drink to your glasses and that book you were supposed to finish a week ago.

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was $19.59

You'll definitely want to take advantage of the space behind your door, too. This shelf has five hooks for hanging towels and robes, plus two small shelves for beauty products and shower supplies. The best part: there's room for both you and your roomie to share.

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As stated above (see what we did there?), the cardinal rule of small space living is to think vertically. This hanging laundry bag takes dirty clothes off the floor, freeing up valuable space while also keeping this week's load out of sight and out of mind.

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This cute ottoman does quadruple duty. It holds scarves, extra linens, or other odds and ends (even snacks); makes a great coffee table; is the perfect comfy footstool for long study sessions; and functions as extra seating for group hangs. Slide it under your desk for more floor space when it's not in use.

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Don't forget about the space under your bed, too. This rolling cart is ideal for housing extra blankets, sheets, pillows, and more. You could also use it for extra clothes or off-season jackets and coats — the sky (er... ground?) is the limit.

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was $29.99

What to do with all your makeup and beauty products? While a traditional makeup organizer is great, it's not very useful for lugging supplies to the bathroom or a friend's room. That's why a travel bag is a great idea all the time, not just for traveling. This option has a ton of compartments for brushes and cosmetics and has removable dividers to make customization super easy.

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Creating dedicated spaces for your items is a must, and these drawer dividers make it easy to divvy up drawer space. You'd be surprised how much you can actually fit in those small dressers when you have a plan.

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A shower caddy is a non-negotiable. Not only does it keep all your bath essentials in one place for the communal shower, but it also easily hides away on a shelf in the closet or under the bed. This one is a no-fuss, straightforward option, which is really all you need. Plus, unlike a tote, it's solid (aka your stuff won't fall over as you walk back from the shower).

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Take your headboard to the next level (or create one) with this unit that makes use of vertical space. It's easy to assemble and features a swivel cup holder and two shelves to hold books, picture frames, and more.