So much stuff, so little space

8 space saving tips for dorm living

So much stuff, so little space
8 space saving tips for dorm living

Freedom! Congratulations, you’re off to college or university. You’ve done it. You’ve made it. No more sharing (fighting) with siblings for that extra bit of air. Finally, your own space to decorate however you please. Ok, so perhaps you have to throw a roommate (who is not a blood relative) into the mix, it still spells…F-R-E-E-D-O-M! What’s the catch? What do you have to give up in this new solo adventure? S-P-A-C-E. Ok, so the average dorm room is just a wee bit square-footage challenged. It’s all good. It just means you have to roll up your sleeves and get creative! Here are some tips on working that small space.

1. Stay minimal. This means not taking everything you’ve ever owned. At the same time, don’t limit yourself to essentials only. Bring along a few sentimental items to personalize your room, make you feel at home and give your space character.

Fotofalls desktop frame, $27.50, Umbra.

2. If you will have a roommate, see if you two can communicate with them before the big move. Not only does that help to eliminate the new roommate jitters, but the pre-introduction will allow you both to figure out what you’re each taking or planning to purchase. You can save space and $$ by sharing a mini fridge (unless one of you is NOT on a meal-plan) and a phone.


3. Think vertically. When you have limited space you need to use what you have. Floor-to-ceiling shelving units are fab for getting junk, er, prized possessions rather, off the floor. Open shelving units are great because they are fairly inexpensive.

Fretted folding shelves from Pier 1. ( visit )

4. Organization rules. Clutter equals crankiness when you have five minutes to get to your class and your notes are hidden amongst three weeks worth of laundry. Repeat the following mantra daily and make mom proud when she comes to visit, “fold and put away”…“fold and put away.”


5. Storage bins. Stackable storage bins come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Long flat storage is great for under the bed and large or tall rectangular shapes are good for the closet to house sweaters and sweats.

Debbie Travis Photo Box, $6.99, Canadian Tire.

Kassett box, $12.99, Ikea.

6. Use hidden storage space. Find out if you are able to make ‘slight’ adjustments to your room.
If it’s ok with student housing, elevate your bed using cinder blocks or milk crates. This will provide additional space for luggage, winter gear and fitness equipment.


7. Hang it and bag it. Shoe bags take the clutter off your closet floor (freeing up space for those storage bins) and keep all your footwear in one out-of-the-way spot!

20 pocket over door shoe organizer, $10.99, Sears.

8. De-mystify your desk. Sort out your study area with pen and file folders, paper trays, caddies for your stapler, post-its etc. You are going to be spending a lot of time poring over macroeconomic principles or the classical orders of architecture. Make your space comfy and study session welcome.

Tip: These nesting bins attach to each other by magnets. Configure to fit your space.
Clique Bins, $21.25, Three by Three Seattle, Staples.

Wire Study Stand, $2.81, Staples.