Most students are faced with the mammoth task of how to arrange the furniture in their cramped dorm room while still being able to see the floor. You’re used to having a big room where you can store everything that you own, but when you move off to college you’ll find the room infinitely smaller and therefore unable to contain all of your possessions. There are, however, some alternatives to having to leave everything at home – here are some of the ways to organise a small dorm room most efficiently.
1. Buy Some Boxes
A great tip on saving space is to use boxes as much as you can. If you don’t use things on a regular basis, such as your Friends box set that you decided you had to take but haven’t watched in three months, then you should place them into a box and seal it up. The best option is to buy boxes which can be stacked and fit in the small crevices, such as under your bed or next to your bookcase, where they won’t get in the way. You’ll find that if you stack them high your room will look a lot tidier and therefore you’ll have a lot more space to play with.
2. Put Your Junk in a Drawer
As a student you’re probably always losing pens and your stapler, and it’s only when you most need them that you realise how disorganised your dorm room is. Fill a drawer in your desk up with all the junk that doesn’t really have a place but you use on a regular basis. Between this drawer and the boxes for your irregularly used items, you’ll create a lot more space which can be filled with furniture. And boys, let’s face it: girls like a tidy room.
3. Avoid Putting Your Desk in the Corner
The natural instinct of students (and their parents!) is to immediately shove your desk into the corner. This is a big mistake – while you think that you’ll end up leaving more space, you’ll find that the space along the middle of the wall doesn’t get used for anything else, whereas a desk would fit nicely. If you have your desk out from the wall you can put your paper bin there or stack some boxes up to save even more space. In fact if you don’t want to desk to look out of place, get some boxes the same colour as your desk and stack them up to be the same height: you practically extend your desk space and keep things tidy at the same time.
4. Use Your Walls
As soon as you walk into a student’s room you’ll either see one of two things: blank space or TV/movie posters. While posters might look great, they don’t help you to stay organised. Take down your posters and replace them with a pin board so that you can stick up notes to yourself, or hammer a nail in the wall (with permission!) to hang your keys on. You don’t have to strip your room back entirely, but some practical use of wall space is a great idea for most students. You can even go beyond what people would expect: could you look into mounting your computer monitor on the wall so that you have more room on your desk?
5. Hide Your Pots and Pans
If you’re expecting a lady friend (or a guy friend!) over but don’t have time to tidy up the kitchen, just throw the pots and pans that you haven’t had time to wash up into the cupboard or oven. As long as she isn’t expecting you to make her dinner she’ll never know that you have plates spawning mould hidden in that oven. Just make sure that you wash them up before they start to smell…
6. A Junk Area
When you’re doing your own laundry you’ll notice how annoying it can be to find scraps of paper in your pockets that have been through the washing machine. Create a junk area in your dorm room where you can throw these scraps before your clothes go into the wash – you’ll never kick yourself for throwing that guy or girl’s number away again! Not only will this area be useful for scraps of paper, but you can throw your books or folders on there too so that you know where they are when you next need them.
7. Have a Rubbish Bin near Your Desk
The vast majority of your trash will come from the time you spend studying (or playing online games) at your desk. Whether it’s the odd packet of sweets or a piece of paper that you were using to study, by having a place to throw your rubbish you’ll save yourself lots of time picking up endless bits that you were too lazy to put into the bin. It’s a good piece of advice to also avoid getting a bin with a lid: 9 times out of 10 you’ll be too lazy to take the lid off and so you’ll still end up throwing it somewhere other than the bin!
8. Replace a Hamper with Plastic Bags
Your mum probably told you that you need to invest in a good washing hamper, but in reality they take up far too much space in a tiny dorm room. Instead you should just keep them in a plastic bag which you hide in a box or your cupboard when your parents come round. That way you’ll save space and also not have to try and transport a heavy washing hamper to the laundry room with you. The bags can then be piled up if you have enough clothes to not wash them every week, saving you even more space.
9. Let’s Be Serious
While a lot of the tips here have contained jokes about hooking up with girls and guys, making sure you have a tidy room is more than that. This is the place that you’re going to sleep, work and sometimes even eat. You should feel completely comfortable, and for that to happen you need a clean and clear environment. There’s no point in having a desk if you can’t actually write an assignment because there’s too much junk – by using a junk table or drawer you’ll be able to concentrate on studying a lot more easily. Your room should reflect you: if you want to be organised and graduate with highest honours, you’re going to have to reflect that with your room’s organisation! A messy dorm room leads to a messy mind.