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Jan 10, 2020
College Life
5 ways to Maximize Your Dorm Room Space

We all know that dorm rooms have limited space available. But since you’re going to be spending quite a bit of time there either relaxing, studying, napping, or reading, you want it to be as functional as it is cozy. There’s no rule stating that you have to keep your dorm room looking as bland as the day you move in for the semester, so why not add a little something extra to it? That way you and your roommate(s) will actually like hanging out at your new “home.” We’ve put together this list of some easy to do designs that will help you get the most space out of your dorm, and can make it seem a little more like the special place you want it to be.

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You can create a lot more space for your dorm room by lofting your bed. Image courtesy of Pinterest

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Loft or Lift Your Bed

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One of the easiest ways to open up your dorm room

When you first arrive at your dorm, everything you’re going to need for the next semester is laid out right in front of you. Typically this involves a bed, a desk and chair, a closet, and a dresser or nightstand. You’ll arrive with your sheets and comforter in tow, but how will you decide to open up your space? There are so many possibilities when it comes to how you can arrange these basic items! The first thing that you and your roommate(s) should consider first is lofting or lifting your beds. If your dorm ceiling is high enough, you can easily loft your bed to create the perfect space for your desk, chair, and other storage items underneath it. Lofting also creates the perfect space to set up a cozy study area, where you can work, read, or do research on the computer.

If your dorm ceilings do not permit you to loft your bed, why not lift it instead? This will still create more space where you can store items that you may not need everyday. Bed risers are available and easy to find at Target or on Amazon, and can make a world of difference. In order to keep your bed looking neat, try to use an extra long bed skirt to cover up the storage area below your bed.

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Personalize Your Space

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Let who you are shine through

Now that you’ve cleared up some space in the room by lofting or lifting your bed, it’s time to get creative! You don’t have to keep the furniture items in their current locations, so try moving them around and putting them in different configurations. You and your roommate(s) can decide which design is the most functional for your schedules, and allows you to move seamlessly throughout your days. Add some carpeting to cover the cold tiled floor, or place a couple of mirrors strategically to open up the space and make it feel larger.

You can’t put holes in the wall, but you can hang pictures, posters, and other artwork with handy 3M wall hooks. If you have a couple of storage shelves or a desk chair that you just can’t do without, add those to your room as well. Just make sure to safely store the college’s furniture until you move out.

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To make more space, make your furniture multi-functional!  Image courtesy of West Elm.
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Stock Up on Multi-Functional Furniture

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Create even more ways to save on space!

Having furniture that has a couple of uses in your dorm room is a must when dealing with small spaces and multiple room occupants. In addition to the bins and baskets that you might want to store under your bed or on top of the closet, you should also find some furniture that can serve a couple of purposes. An ottoman that also offers storage is a great way to keep clutter from building up in the living room/TV area, and it keeps magazines, remotes, and blankets all in a nice, neat place.

A good trunk is also a stylish option for storing seasonal items such as sweaters and heavy coats. They always look nice and can also serve as a coffee table or additional shelving. Another way to save on space is to make the top of your dresser or nightstand your vanity, where you can keep your everyday items to make getting ready a breeze.

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You can change the feel of your dorm room by adding a couple of additional lighting options. Image courtesy of Pinterest.
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Try Out Different Lighting

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Add a warm ambiance to your dorm space   

No one really enjoys the basic, fluorescent lighting that come with dorm rooms. Instead try to add a little extra lighting to your space either with desk lamps, floor lamps, or even stringed lights. These types of lighting create a warmer, more welcoming feel to your room, and will definitely help you relax after a long day of classes. Try stringing some fairy lights around your study area, and see how much easier it is to focus on your work. A desk lamp is another great way to ensure you’re getting the light you need to make the most of your study time.

When you need a break or just want to relax, having a good floor lamp next to your chair or bed will offer all the light you need to catch up on the next chapter of your book, or the next episode of your favorite show.

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Make the Most of Wallspace

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A little design can go a long way

Since there isn’t much wallspace to work with in a small dorm, you’ll have to work with what you’re given! Adding mirrors always makes small spaces feel larger, but if you can’t find the room for a large one, consider putting a couple of different small ones together on the same wall. Not only does it create an interesting visual piece, it can help your little room look that much bigger! Another great option is temporary wallpaper or decals. There are all kinds of ways to get creative with this, from choosing a simple pattern for a feature wall, to covering up all your white walls with a bold color. Of course you’ll want to put posters or pictures on the wall as well, just make sure to use wall hooks. Alternatively, you can string your favorite pictures or art on a clothesline with clips or clothespins. It’s a cute way to display your favorite memories!

Small dorm rooms are almost a given, especially if you’re just starting out on your college journey. But by incorporating some of these big ideas, you can have that small space functioning just as well as an area twice its size! What is your favorite way to save space and create a dorm room just for you? Let us know in the comments!

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