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Ask a Collegiette: Making the Most of Your Dorm Space

Are you a smart and savvy pre-collegiette looking for answers to some of your most personal questions about college? You know, the ones about boys, classes, roommates and parties that your school’s guidance office can’t help you with? Jen is here to answer those questions! Whatever your concern, she’ll do her best to help you so you can make sure you don’t just survive college, but rock it!

How do you deal with living in cramped dorm rooms and not having enough space for your stuff, etc.? Any organization tips? – Viveka


Even though dorm rooms tend to be small, there are definitely plenty of hacks to help you make the most of the space available to you!

First, I’d recommend getting bed risers if your school allows them. Bed risers are definitely a dorm room essential and can make a huge difference in the amount of storage space you have. They’ll prop up your bed high enough that you’ll have lots of extra storage underneath. When this happens, you’ll be able to store a lot more containers, snacks, suitcases or anything else you want to put aside and forget about. Any out-of-season clothes or items you don’t need every day can be stored under your bed as well. Personally, I tend to keep my super-sized containers of Nutella under my bed for easy access whenever I’ve craving chocolate-y goodness. #noregrets

Next, I’d get a few organizers for your closet – think one for shoes and one for other miscellaneous items you might have. For example, you can put all of your shoes in a stacking organizer, and then all of your scarves in a hanging scarf organizer so they don’t get in the way of all of your other items. Please don’t be like me freshman year and bring over 20 pair of shoes to campus, since they just take up so much space and it’s a lot easier to store them when you have an organizer! I only ended up wearing my bright blue wedges to class once, and let’s just say I wouldn’t do it again. Ever.

Another helpful idea would be to coordinate items with your roommate before move-in day to decide who will bring what. When you decide this beforehand, you won’t need to worry about how you’re going to store two of every appliance; instead, it’ll be all sorted out prior to your arrival on campus. I definitely think this is a simple and easy (yet very important) step towards making the most out of the space you’re given in your dorm room. Nothing is worse than showing up with two mini fridges, two microwaves and two vacuums if you’ll only need one of each.

If you find that you have a hard time storing all of your belongings freshman year, don’t panic! Soon you’ll learn exactly what you use and don’t use often so that you can decide how to organize all of your stuff, and then you’ll cut down on your packing every year afterwards to make the most of the space you’re given. By the time my junior year rolled around, my packing had improved so much that I thought I had forgotten something, and that definitely says something. Pro tip: You can always take items you find are taking up too much space home with you for winter break as well to make everything a bit more spacious. Best of luck!

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Jen is a 2016 graduate of Messiah College, where she majored in journalism and minored in gender studies. She's a proud Bostonian who is obsessed with tattoos, puppies, magazines and Sephora. She's been reading Her Campus since high school and was thrilled to join the HC team as a National Contributing Writer in September 2013. She became an HC Beauty Blogger in February 2014 and continued to write on-trend beauty posts until July 2016. A few highlights from her time writing for HC included attending and writing about two BeautyCon events and Cosmopolitan's Fun Fearless Life in 2015. You can follow her on Twitter @JenFlanagan14 and on Instagram @jenlea14.
Cassidy is a Digital Production intern at Her Campus. She's currently a junior studying journalism at Emerson College. Cassidy also is a freelance reporter at the Napa Valley Register and a staff writer at Her Campus Emerson. Previously she blogged for Seventeen Magazine at the London 2012 Olympics, wrote for Huffington Post as a teen blogger and was a Team Advisor at the National Student Leadership Conference on Journalism, Film, & Media Arts at University of California, Berkeley and American University in Washington, D.C.. When she's not uploading content to Her Campus or working on her next article, Cassidy can be found planning her next adventure or perfecting her next Instagram. Follow her on Twitter at @cassidyyjayne and @cassidyjhopkins.