The anticipation of freshman year of college causes a great amount of stress and anxiety.
Did I choose the right school? Will I like my classes? Will I make friends quickly? These are all common questions incoming freshman ask themselves weeks leading up to going to college.
Another huge concern for freshman is having enough space and storage in their dorm room since the average freshman dorm room is only 12-by-19 feet. This is most likely a huge change from what a typical person is used to living in. This space might be tight and being shared with another person, but there are many choices when it comes how to work with storage and space for the maximum amount of room two people need.
A common misconception about dorm room storage is that it’s ugly and ruins the decor of a room. Well, that is simply not true, and there are many solutions to make storage space functional, stylish, and clean.
Trunks are one great place for storage. This rectangular or cubed shaped trunk can store a variety of items. Some examples are: clothes that are worn during a different season, shoes, food,blankets, and pillows. Another great thing about trunks are that they fit easily under the bed in the dorm. Usually, beds in dorms are able to be raised so storage space is available underneath, and trunks can be slid right under the bed.
Also, some trunks come with wheels, to make it easier to transport them from place to place. Lastly, trunks can be found in all different shapes and sizes. Since there are so many options when it comes to trunks, college students are able to match their trunks with bedspread colors, rugs, ect.. They come in a variety of colors such as red, white, black, silver, and more. While the most common shape is rectangular due to its functionality, other shapes include cubed and luggage.
Other than being great for storage, college trunks can be used for other things while still being used for storage. A great idea is using a cubed trunk as a night stand. Instead of having a standard white night stand, stand out by using a trunk. For people that may be short, a great way to make more use of a trunk is by using it as a step stool to hang pictures or hang lights.
Trunks can be found online at OCM and stores such as Target and Pottery Barn. Prices for trunks range from around $50.00- $200.00 USD.
Hanging Shoe Organizers
This inexpensive dorm decor item works great for those that take their shoes off right as they walk in the door. These types of shoe organizers are functionable and don’t allow clutter in the closet. Instead of throwing shoes on the floor or in the small closet and wasting space in the closet space, hanging shoe organizers have multiple pockets to keep shoes together and neat.
There are multiple options when it comes to the number of columns, colors, and where it can be hung from. The options for how many columns each organizer has ranges from one to four. Each column contains about eight cubby’s. The color options for this type of organizer are plain since not many people will be seeing it when they come in the room. Most shoe organizers can be found in colors such as gray, white, and beige. This item can be hung in the closet and behind any kind of door as it hangs straight down while touching the ground.
Hanging shoe organizers can be found at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and online at Amazon. Prices range from about $8.00-$25.00 USD depending on the size and where purchased from.
Desktop shelf organizer being properly used in a college dorm room. Image courtesy of Dorm Co.
Desktop Organizer Shelf
Every college dorm room comes with desks for each student living in the dorm room. This piece of furniture takes up a good amount of space and tends to have the most amount of clutter on it as well. Books, binders, flashcards, and pens/pencils are a few examples of items that tend to pile up quickly on a desk.
The cluttered mess can be an eye-sore and becomes easy to lose important items. With a desktop organizer shelf everything one needs will be neatly stored, easy to find, and look stylish on the desk as well. Each desktop organizer varies in options and what it can hold. Typically, there is space for books/binder/notebooks, miscellaneous items (phone, calculator, sunglasses, stapler), and a place for a mug or clock. The mug could also be used to hold pens and pencils. Desktop organizers can be found online at Amazon, Overstock, and in store at Pottery Barn. Prices vary, but range from $25.00-$50.00 USD.
Suprima Over Fridge Rack
A must have in any dorm room is a mini fridge since the dorm is such a small space, having a regular sized fridge is not possible. In a mini fridge, drinks, a few snacks, and condiments can be stored. Between two people (or sometimes more), there is not much room in the fridge. Something that will save a ton of space and not make the dorm look as cluttered is a Suprima Over Fridge Rack.
A Suprima Over Fridge Rack can be a place for items like chips, drinks that do not fit in the mini fridge, and cereal boxes. The best part about the Suprima Rack is that it can also be the home to a coffee maker and microwave. Everything a college student needs can all be contained between the mini fridge and rack, which keeps the room organized and looking tidy.
This item can be found online at Amazon and in store at Walmart.
Cloth Hanging Shelf
Mentioned earlier in this article was a shoe hanging organizer, a cloth hanging shelf serves the same purpose for towels and sheets. Since freshmen dorm bathrooms are most of the time shared among many people, no one is able to keep their towels hanging in the bathroom. A cloth hanging shelf stores shower towels neatly. Other shower needs such as washcloths can be stored on top of the towels.
Other than storing just towels, sheets are also able to folded neatly in the cubbies.
This item has about six cubbies and each is big enough so sheets and towels can be neatly folded inside. The colors range from brown, beige, gray, light blue, and pink.
A cloth hanging shelf can be found online at Amazon and at Walmart. Prices for this item start at just $7.00 USD.
Full length mirrors are a necessity for each college student to have, but how great would it be to have a mirror you were also able to store things in? A storage mirror from Target has that option! A storage mirror serves as a mirror, but opens just like a closet with room for storage inside of it. Other than having a full length mirror and a place to store necessities in, going out and getting ready in the morning just got a whole lot easier.
Common items that are able to be stored away in this mirror are earrings, necklaces, lotion, make-up wipes, nail polish and other small and light weight items. This can be hung just as a normal full length mirror would, behind a door or in a closet. This storage mirror de-clutters spaces like desks, bathrooms, and other common areas.
Although living in a dorm room for the first time can be intimidating and tight, there are so many ways to maximize space and minimize clutter. With any of the items listed above, this small space can be turned into some place enjoyable to stay for ten months!