So you’re finally moving out of your parent’s house and into your own dorm room. Your instincts though, are to take absolutely everything you’ve been saving since the second grade with you, if for no other reason, than just to remind you of home. You also want bring all of those special items mom and dad gave you, just because you love your parents and want to be reminded of them.
Well, when you finally arrive you soon begin to wonder just where you are going to put all this stuff in your new home, which is roughly a living space about the size of the upstairs bathroom.
Don’t despair; there’s still space for that Tinky Winky stuffed doll you haven’t played with since you were six, but felt compelled to bring with you, anyway.
Here’s a few of the things you should keep in mind.
1. Maximize the space you do have
Before you start randomly placing household items when you first arrive, take the time to plan just how you can fully utilize every square inch. You will be amazed that there are all sorts of steps you can take in order to maximize the limited floor space you do have.
A dresser can be placed in the closet to save on living space, or a cloth cover can be placed on the desk in order to convert it into an ironing board. If you’re a hat person, they can be hung on screws in the small, wasted space above doorways.
There’s any number of creative ways to maximize space, so take the time to think of them.
2. Everything should have multiple purposes
When you’re living in a small space you need to maximize the use for every item you furnish. Absolutely everything in your dorm should perform multiple functions.
For example, instead of just an end table beside the bed, use an ottoman or an end cabinet with a drawer, and shelving that you can actually store something in. Don’t just have a table to sit your laptop on, either, use a desk that will take up the same space, but offer more storage.
If you don’t get a bed loft, bed lifters are also a handy item for the dorm room dweller. Bed lifters slip onto the bottom of the memory foam mattress, or under bed posts, lifting it about another six inches. The nice part here is you are now able to use the wasted space beneath the bed as storage as well. The other advantage with bed risers is that they also have AC sockets built right in to them that provide more flexibility where you place the bed. No more worries about a hidden outlet tucked behind the bed with no access.
With a little planning, you’ll be able to come up with multiple uses for almost everything in the room, which will really reduce clutter.
3. Create a designated workspace
Another good idea is to create a space specifically meant for doing your school work. I mean, you can’t just sit on the bed juggling the laptop in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other. You need to create an area specifically for working.
Most dorm rooms come with a desk or two; you can put it in the corner of the room that you can share with your roommate, where you keep your laptop and charge your phone and for where you do your schoolwork. This way when you sit down to work, you already know this space is for working and then keep it that way.
You may be surprised just how productive you become when you have an area specifically for working.
Another advantage to creating a workspace is that you are already conditioning yourself to recognize that there are certain spaces intended strictly for working. It is amazing the work habits that can be developed through a designated work area—when you sit down, you know it’s time to get down to business.
That is really going to help when you eventually enter the workplace.
4. Be creative
Really put some thought into just how something intended for another use can also be used to organize your dorm. Vinyl shoe holders, for example, are great to hang on a wall to hold school books, a purse, or just as a catch-all for clutter.
There are so many items that can be used in this way. There are stackable shelves of various sizes that don’t necessarily need to be stacked. They can also be used to store and slide things under the bed, as well.
There are netted vinyl baskets that are easy to attach on a wall that can be used for light items that can easily be misplaced. These are perfect for things like knitted hats, gloves, and scarves.
If you use your imagination, you will come up with all sorts of creative new uses for common household items.
Featured photo credit: English106 via flickr.com