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10 Tips for Organizing Your Tiny Dorm Room

published Aug 14, 2019
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Credit: Target

College can be stressful (information overload is real), so it’s important to give yourself a space to unwind. Even though tiny rooms built with cinderblock walls and bunk beds aren’t exactly designed for calm, they can feel a lot more peaceful when everything is organized. Storing your stuff isn’t just about being neat. It’s a way to organize your life on your own terms so you can stay in control when the semester gets crazy. We’ve assembled 10 tips to help you keep a clean room and an uncluttered mind, and Target has all the tools that make your dorm room work for you and your budget.

1. Use a utility cart.

Rolling utility carts are the all-stars of dorm design. They can wrangle kitchen supplies, beauty products, or anything you need to access on the regular (hi, coffee), and they’re small enough to squeeze into a closet or beside a bed.

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2. Maximize your desk.

Desk organizers come in all shapes and sizes. Make the most of your workspace by hanging a wall grid or pinboard above the desk, using the surface for things like pencil cups and paper trays, and organizing the inside with drawer dividers.

3. Maximize closet space.

Dorm closets are notoriously tiny, but you can create extra space by adding a cubby with storage cubes. Use them for everything from shoes to shirts to bath supplies. You can also add affordable organizers like shoe racks, storage drawers, and hanging shelves.

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4. Stow stuff under the bed.

Baskets, bins, and containers offer valuable under-bed storage. A long and low laundry basket hides dirty laundry in a small space. And under the bed is a great place to stow away winter and summer clothes when they’re not in season. If you want to stretch your space even further, bed risers give you an extra lift for $7.99.

5. Hang some hooks.

Things you use all the time (like headphones, laundry bags, and jackets) benefit from wall hooks—they’re one of our favorite affordable solutions for any space, dorm or otherwise. If you’re not allowed to put nails in the walls, use over-the-door or damage-free hooks.

6. Caddy up.

Part of dorm living is cramming all parts of your life in one tiny room—bath supplies living next to sports equipment coexisting with bed linens. A multipurpose, structured storage bag will make all of that a little easier. It can hide your wet shower caddy when it’s not in use, store clean towels, and even transport small loads of laundry.

Credit: Target

7. Add an ottoman.

A storage ottoman triples as a place to put linens, an extra seat, and a footrest (which you’ll need when you’re tired out from all those extracurriculars). Those in the link above start at under $20 and may be the quickest way to find extra storage space.

8. Streamline your closet.

One of the single biggest changes you can make to create a calm space is also pretty simple — buy sets of matching hangers to streamline your closet’s look and feel. This will be especially important for a room that lacks closet doors.

9. Try a storage table.

Unlike an ottoman, a wire storage table creates a light and airy look but also leaves space to store extra pillows or throws, so you can cozy up without sacrificing style.

10. Don’t forget food storage.

When you’re eating on a bed or desk, meals can make a big mess. Keep things in order with a mini-fridge and plenty of snap-and-store containers. It’s also a good idea to invest in stackable plates and bowls to save space.