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11 Dorm Room Hacks to Keep You Organized This Year

Getting your dorm organized is a crucial part of staying sane for the year, but it can be such a drag when you think you’ve tried everything but parts of your room are still hot messes. For the things that just don’t seem to stay orderly, we have a list of the most clever dorm hacks to keep your head screwed on straight this year.

1. Silverware organizer for desk supplies

Ever find yourself scrambling around your desk for a rogue pen or a paper clip that found its way into a back corner? This first hack will keep you from ever having a disorganized desk drawer again. Put a flatware tray (like this one for $11.19 from Walmart) in your desk drawer and organize your pens, pencils, highlighters and other desk supplies to your heart’s content.

2. Corkboard to display necklaces

Necklaces aren’t only pretty when hanging around your neck—they’re pretty as decorations on your wall, too! After sticking some thumbtacks into a corkboard, hang your necklaces off of the thumbtacks for easy storage and décor.

Don’t have a corkboard in your room? No problem. Buy some hooks for your wall (we like these pink Command hooks you can get at Bed Bath & Beyond for $4.99) and hang your necklaces off of them instead.

3. Ice cube trays for smaller jewelry                                          

Rings and earrings can be tough to store because they’re so small and easily lost, but we have a solution. Buy an inexpensive ice cube tray to keep in your desk drawer and put your beautiful rings and earrings in each little ice cube nook!

4. Soda-can tabs to extend your hangers

It’s a total buzzkill when you go back to school with a fashion-forward fall wardrobe and you can barely fit it in your teeny-tiny dorm closet. Try making space for more hangers by saving all of those little pull-off tabs from cans—yes, the ones you used to flick when drinking a soda as a teen—and sliding them onto the hook of your hanger. This allows you to hang another hanger from that first tab and expand your closet in all of its fashionable glory.

5. Binder clips for cord organization

If the jungle of charging cords found on your desk is the bane of your existence, you’ll be so psyched about this hack. Attach binder clips ($6.99 at The Container Store) to the edge of your desk as in the picture above and slide your phone, laptop and tablet chargers through the metal loops for tangle-free access.

6. Shower-curtain hooks to store your scarves

We love scarves, especially in the fall, but there’s one problem: Where the heck do we keep all of them? A great way to keep your scarves organized in your cramped dorm room is to clip some shower-curtain hooks ($7.79 at Target) to your clothes hangers. Clip the hooks on the horizontal part of the hanger like in the picture above, and then loop your scarves through.

7. Shower caddy to organize school supplies

When you’re the proud owner of the cutest school supplies around, it’s important to find a way to keep them all organized while simultaneously displaying them for the whole world to see. Try hanging a shower caddy ($19.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond) on your wall to keep all of your supplies ready to go. Use the shelf sections for folders, notebooks and planners, and hang keys or jars of pencils from the hooks as pictured above.

8. Picture frame desk organizer

This picture frame idea is perfect for things you need to grab quickly, like your favorite pencil or a paper clip. To make it even easier, there’s no sewing involved! Cut a piece of cardboard to the appropriate size for your picture frame. Create pockets by wrapping fabric around the piece of cardboard and hot-gluing it in place. It doesn’t matter how many pieces of fabric you wrap around the cardboard, but remember: the more pieces you wrap, the more pockets you have to store things in, so we suggest making two or three pockets. Put the fabric-covered cardboard in your frame, and voila, you’re done!

9. Magnet makeup board

Have your makeup right on hand by hanging it on your wall. Use a sheet of metal (like this cookie sheet, $9.89 at Walmart), cover it with fabric, glue the fabric in place and glue magnets to the back of your makeup products to make them stay on the metal. Not only will your eye shadows be easily accessible on your wall, but they’ll make the cutest dorm décor, too.

10. Dish rack folder holder

How flippin’ clever is this? Keep different folders in order by sticking them in the slots of a dish rack ($8.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond)—bonus points for extra pen/pencil storage in the small basket attached! We suggest using file folders or folders that are clearly labeled so you can easily grab what you’re looking for.

11. Altoids tins for the little things

Use these handy candy containers to organize the little things—paper clips, safety pins, you name it. Don’t forget to label what item belongs in which tin!

Go the extra mile and try decorating your tins! Add some adhesive cork to your tins. Using alphabet letter stamps, label the cork with what’s in the tin. You can also try hot-gluing some pretty scrap fabric or simple labels to your tins.

From giving you more closet space to helping create a desk that’s neat as a pin, these dorm room hacks are sure to make your life easier this year. Do you have a clever way that you keep your dorm room organized?

Sara (no 'h') Heath is a senior history major at the itty bitty Assumption College located in Worcester, Massachusetts. A New England native/supremacist, Sara enjoys fall foliage, mountains, cold ocean water, cheering for a myriad of elite professional sports teams (go Pats!), and Dunkin' Donuts. In her spare time, you can find her reading/writing poetry, discussing WWII, watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, debating the use of the Oxford Comma, or watching and subsequently quoting Friends. Sara started writing for Her Campus in the summer of 2014 and works as the assistant editor-in-chief to Assumption's student-run newspaper Le Provocateur. If you like what she has to say, follow her on Twitter @stuffsarasays32 and check out her blog mynameisnotsarah.wordpress.com
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