How To Make The Most Out Of Getting The Small Room

All photos are those of the author.

The school year is coming to an end which means it’s almost time for move-in day. Roommates have been chosen, leases have been signed, and bedrooms have been claimed.

If you’re like me, you and your roommates used some method of random room assignment to make it fair. Also, if you’re like me, you picked your lucky number only to get saddled with last choice. At the time, I was disappointed to know I would be spending the rest of my undergrad in a room smaller than most master bathrooms. But with some time and creative thinking, I turned my little room into a place I love to be. It’s cozy, it’s organized, and it’s all mine. Here are some tips for dealing with getting the small room.

1. Plan the layout.

What may seem like the obvious place to put the bed at first might not be the best option. Get creative and move furniture around until every square inch of space is working for you, not against you. No space to fit a nightstand between the doorframe and your bed? Don’t settle for a twin bed—look for a narrow nightstand with shelving for extra storage. The right furniture layout will determine whether your tiny room looks cramped or cozy.

2. Paint and refresh.

Along with the tragedy of getting the smallest room, I also happened to get the only room painted the color of snot. But I didn’t let that stop me from making it the prettiest room in the house. Because my roommates and I decided that whoever got the smallest room would also pay slightly less rent, I had some money leftover for this shade of Caribbean Sea. Take an extra couple of days before classes to paint your small room and make it somewhere you’ll actually want to sleep and study in.

 

3. Get creative with storage.

From the necessities I use every day to binders from first year that “I might need someday,” I have a lot of stuff. In my room, I had to create extra storage space. One of the most useful things I bought was a set of bed risers. Not only does having my bed raised high up somehow make it feel luxurious, it also created space for me to store several under-bed storage bins, my printer, my suitcase, and my guitar. Other storage solutions I found were this unit that sits on top of my desk to store school supplies and a hanging closet organizer.  

 

4. Make the room look bigger.

No space for a dresser? Putting your dresser inside your closet can solve that problem. Also, removing your wooden closet doors and using solid coloured curtains instead can make your room appear more spacious. And as we all know, mirrors make rooms look bigger, so it’s also essential to add an over-the-door mirror.

5. Find other spaces in your house for storage.

Talk to your roommates about devoting one of the shelves in the hallway closet just to your stuff. If they have lots of storage space in their own rooms, they should be fine with it. If it doesn’t need to be cluttering your room, keep things you don’t need every day out of sight until you need them.

6. Make it your own.

The best way to learn to love your tiny room is to add details that make you feel happy and relaxed as soon as you walk in. London’s Bloom & Grow Co. is a great place to pick up some cute plants for your room. It is also worthwhile to invest in some wall prints you love, fairy lights, and throw pillows.

 

7. Focus on the positives.

After living in a glorified closet for the past year, I’ve found that cleaning it is a delight. In a tiny room, making your bed actually does count as cleaning your entire room. Picking up a few things off the floor cleans the entire floor. With so little space to live in, there is so little space to make a mess. Plus, the aforementioned bed risers and storage space make it easy to find places to hide clutter.

So if your dreams of moving from your tiny rez room into a spacious, real bedroom have recently been crushed —don’t fret. I love living in my cozy bedroom and you will too. Instead of feeling bitter about the situation, have fun decorating and get yourself excited for move-in day!

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Cassia Pelton is a 2nd year Psychology student at Western University, as well as a figure skater and dog lover.

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