Dorm Therapy

The Life-Changing (And Only $10!) Storage Hack I Learned in College

published Oct 16, 2019
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Credit: Kristine Weilert/Stocksy

I learned a lot in college—shout out to the University of Kansas!—mostly about myself, life, and of course, small-space living. Nothing forces you to figure out adulting faster than dealing with rigorous academic schedule and a tiny apartment, shared with equally busy (and storage-deprived) roommates, on a daily basis.  

But fret not friends, I’m here to share some of my wisdom with you. Forget that I graduated summa cum laude, the most important lesson I learned back in my glory days was how to create storage out of thin air—and I’m still practicing it in my tiny New York City apartment today!

Now everyone, please close your books and turn your attention to this cheap and game-changing storage solution: A wall-mounted rack with hooks. Upon first glance, it may seem awkward and inflexible (and only good for hanging coats), but upon further inspection, you’ll discover that it’s surprisingly versatile—and wonderful for organizing items all over your home without taking up any valuable floor space. 

I first mounted one of these $10 wonders on the bedroom wall of my first college apartment to hang purses, hats, and scarves when I ran out of closet space. Eventually, I installed two more on the same wall and turned my ever-expanding assortment of accessories into a bona-fide (and small-space-friendly) mixed media-style art display. Talk about showing your beloved handbags off in style! 

Next, I hung one in my cramped, shared bathroom, so I could hang everything from towels, to clothes, to shower caddies filled with toiletries—no drawer space necessary. Then I installed another one near the bathroom sink devoted entirely to my cosmetics—yes, my makeup!—by simply hanging small storage baskets from each of the hooks. Suffice it to say, my roomies were over the moon!

Finally, I employed one in the tiny sliver of wall space right above my stovetop, and scored a wall-mounted rack for hanging pots and pans in seconds. Along with freeing up additional and much needed kitchen cabinet room, I transformed a tight kitchenette into a streamlined, storage-savvy space for less than a bulk pack of ramen noodles.

Today, you’ll find strategically placed wall-mounted hook racks all over my uptown Manhattan apartment. I’ve got one in my bedroom for bags, one in my kitchen for pans, and one in the bunny room, to keep treats, pellets, and other rabbit-related goodies off of the floor, out of their paws, and within an arm’s reach. 

A $10 rack that creates storage opportunity just about anywhere: If that isn’t a solid life hack, I don’t know what is.