How to keep a dorm room organized

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After several years of uncertain arrivals and departures at college, students and parents are hoping moving in will return to normal this semester. Still, a lot of preparation is needed for a smooth transition. The list of things a student needs to live is long and the room is small.

Start by doing your homework. Each school has information on room sizes and layouts. If this information hasn’t been sent to you, do a search online for photos and dimensions because if you know what you’re encountering, you’re on your way to success.

Here are some ideas to maximize space and keep things organized throughout the year.

Let the bed work for you

Any information you can gather about the beds is key. A room might have bunk beds, captain’s beds (beds with built-in drawers and storage underneath), or beds on standard frames. It helps to know how much space you have to work with under and above your bed.

How to organize your home without spending a lot of money on containers and accessories

Any space under a standard frame can be maximized with plastic containers such as B. Sterilite 60 quart containers with closures ($24.99, These are great for storing boots and hats, bulky sweaters, or extra toiletries. Using bed boosters such. B. Everbilt’s six-inch ($11.32 for four,, can create extra storage space under the bed.

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If your student has a loft bed, then a portable nightstand, like the Folding Cube Nightstand ($40, where they can put gadgets, books or other small items can be helpful.

When you’ve made the most of the area under the bed, look up. An over-the-door organizer, like the 24-pocket Over-the-Door Shoe Bag ($21.99,, can be used for shoes, umbrellas, cords, sunscreen, hats and gloves.

Small mirrors are installed in some dorm rooms, but if you’re looking for something larger with added functionality, try Pottery Barn Teen’s functional over-the-door mirror with metal grille ($199). that has hooks and a rack for storage.

Command hooks, which attach with adhesive strips and won’t damage surfaces, are another way to make the most of even the smallest wall space. They are available in different sizes and offer space for jackets, hats, towels, umbrellas, backpacks or sports equipment. There are also Command Caddies for stationery, makeup and sunglasses. For all Command products, follow the instructions and do not attach anything to it until the specified waiting time has passed. (Available at multiple locations; prices vary.)

Another option is to add storage space on dressers or desks. A small stackable drawer unit, like the Small Sterilite Countertop Three-Drawer Unit ($14.89,, can hold medicines and first-aid items, cosmetics, jewellery, technical accessories or office supplies.

When furniture meets storage space

A storage stool can be used to store extra clothing or supplies while also serving as a seat or small table. There are many affordable options in different sizes, styles and colors. The Rump Roost by Scout ($66.50-$74.50 for a large, is lightweight and easy to clean and folds flat when not in use.

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Consider placing a cube shelving system, such as B. Ikea’s Kallax unit ($34.99,, next to the bed for extra storage that is affordable and versatile. You can add containers or leave the rooms open.

And three-story trolleys like the Lexington trolley ($29.99,, are lightweight and affordable ways to store groceries, books, clothes, laundry or toiletries.

A handheld vacuum like the Brigii Mini Vacuum, a feather duster, and a hand pump ($38.53,, is useful for small clutter. And something that helps students organize their devices and their associated chargers is essential. Try the Waitiee 3-in-1 Wireless Charger ($30.59, Make sure students have multiple power strips and an extension cord for easy accessibility.

Reusable pouches, like those from Stasher (sizes and prices vary,, are also useful for organizing cords, medicines, credit cards, money and stationery. And thin hangers, like Squared Away’s Slim non-slip hangers ($35 for 50, or multi-tier hangers, like the Chrome-Plated Four-Tier Swing Arm Trouser Hangers ($10.99,, maximizes limited hanging space in a closet.

Finally, don’t forget to declutter before you go. Proper storage in any dorm room goes a long way to keeping things tidy, but even the most organized rooms can’t hold much excess. Make wise decisions about what to bring with you. Less is more when it comes to college life; You don’t have to worry as much about the overview and your roommates will thank you.

Nicole Anzia is a freelance writer and owner of Neatnik. She can be reached at [email protected].

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