Some aspects of dorm life—like sharing a bathroom or a room—are a rite of passage. But being cramped doesn’t have to be. You can use a few design tricks to maximize space in your dorm room so you can turn it into a place you love, not just a spot to throw your books between classes.
1. Raise your bed.
One of the best ways to gain more space in your room is to loft your bed. Check and see if your college allows lofted beds first—if so, it may have a supply of lofted beds just for students. You can then move your desk underneath to create a study space; add a couch, chair, or beanbag to make a hangout area; or put your chest of drawers and mirror there to act as a dressing room.
If you can’t loft your bed, you may still be able to gain a little more space with a set of risers. Even a few inches of height will make a big difference, since you’ll be able to store clothing, luggage, and other items underneath. (Another plus? Some risers come with built-in outlets and USB ports.) If you need to put items here that you use frequently, consider rolling under-the-bed storage, which will allow you to quickly and easily grab what you need.
2. Accessorize your walls.
You can create more room—while also doing a little decorating—by using removable adhesive hooks to hang bags, scarves, jewelry, and other items on your walls. Group items together by color or type and, instead of simply lining them up, try stacking, staggering, or arranging them in a diamond shape to create visual interest.
You can also hang items where they'll be most convenient. You could, for instance, hang a Lil’ Wedge on the side of your desk, or put a Mono Half Pint bag at the door. Large adhesive hooks can even hold blow dryers, flat irons, or curlers, while small ones can be used to line your headboard with twinkle lights in lieu of a bedside lamp.
3. Create more storage.
There are a ton of ways you can add storage space to your dorm room. Invest in items that have multiple functions, like a storage ottoman, which can not only act as a footrest or stool but also hold some of your stuff. Another option is to stash your possessions inside items you already have but use only for special adventures, like a suitcase or a Far Out 55 camping bag. (If you’re packing away seasonal clothing, blankets, or other fabric items, consider putting them into space saver bags first. These will help you remove any air so that your items take up less room.)
If you don’t have a lofted bed, you can buy over-the-bed shelving units to create more storage without putting holes in your wall. Over-the-door organizers are great for holding everything from shoes to craft supplies to electronic cords and chargers. Another smart way to create more space without using a hammer and nails? Get a hutch for your desk and a rolling cabinet or cart for underneath.
Show us the finished look! Share a photo of your dorm room with #LifeUnzipped on social media.
By: Jessen O’Brien