The average dorm room is about 110 square feet. Assuming it’s a shared space too, that’s not a huge footprint in which to spend time studying, sleeping and getting ready for the party down the hall!
Dorm rooms, as they come, are pretty bare. A bed, maybe a desk and a closet. That’s about it. The same can be said for a room for rent in a house that is leased to students. We’re not talking the expansive spaces of Mom and Dad’s house!
A few excellent ways to MAXIMIZE the space in a dorm room
- Get rid of clutter! It’s your enemy. Clutter will make any small space seem even smaller. Find ways to store all the bits and bobs that you have laying around—stackable clear plastic bins, for example—are ideal. Make sure every item you bring into your dorm room has a ‘home’.
- To keep important papers and reminders handy, put up a magnetic board on the wall near your bed. This way, anything that you need to have at the ready is right there for the taking, but isn’t in the way. Keep it small, as too many things all over the wall CAN make a small space look even smaller.
- If you have a small desk, a wall organizer is a perfect way to keep all of your studying and snacking essentials handy but off the flat surface of your desk. Keep that important desk space free for a lamp, books and your computer, with all your other needs in easy reach.
- It’s easier to keep all your papers and notes organized with a rolling file cart. You can roll it under your desk when you’re not sitting there, so it’s out of the way, and roll it out when it’s time to get down to hitting the books!
- If you’re allowed to make additions to your closet space, a well designed, easy to install DIY closet system is just the perfect way to ensure that you can find each accessory, bag, belt and sock, quickly and easily.
- Outside of the closet itself, extra shelving is a good idea to keep books and papers, as well as those clear plastic bins mentioned in the first point, tidy but still accessible.
If you have a little more space, but not much…
Lucky are those who get a single dorm room, and don’t have to share! Or perhaps you can manage a studio apartment with a friend: it’s 300 sq. ft. bigger than a dorm room but still a tight squeeze!
Here are some tips to help make the most of this kind of space:
- Get two for one furniture—What’s that? Furniture that pull double duty. A sofa that is also a bed. A bench that contains storage and can be used to sit on or, topped with a piece of wood, becomes a serviceable coffee table. Bigger pieces of furniture need to be very functional in a small space.
- Maximize dead spaces—The corner closet that has only a rod across the top and nothing else, or the bathroom with the oddly placed empty end space. Unless your new apartment is a perfectly square box, most will have a dead space somewhere. You can make maximize your use of these by installing custom closets and using them as extra storage for everything from the vacuum cleaner to your winter clothes.
- Watch your use of dark colors—Dark colors tend to make a small space look smaller. Stick with light, airy shades. A well placed mirror can also make all the difference, reflecting natural light from the window and giving the appearance of more space.
- If you MUST have certain accents, stick to light construction—As much as your grandma’s antique walnut coffee table would be a nice to have, it’s too big and heavy for a small space. Consider instead pieces made from metal and glass: lots of reflection to open up the space and because the top is see-through, it is less ‘space consuming’, at least to the eye!
With a little thought and effort, even a small dorm can become an oasis of calm in the busyness of college life. If everything you need is handy and easy to find and reach, you’ll be able to focus on what’s important and enjoy your years at school!
For more information about ModularClosets.com or to design your own custom closet system FREE of charge, visit the website at https://www.modularclosets.com.
Bio and credit:
Marty Basher is the home organization expert for ModularClosets.com. Modular Closets are high quality and easy to design closet systems that you can order, assemble and install yourself, in no time at all. Using closet modules (closet pieces you can mix & match to design your own modular closet), homeowners everywhere are empowered to achieve the true custom closet look- for nearly 40% less than standard custom closets.