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10 Ways to Make Your Dorm Room More Functional

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Gustavus chapter.

Do you always lose your keys? Is your desk chair buried under a pile of clothes? Do you have trouble walking from the door to your bed without tripping or stubbing your toe on something? Sounds like it’s time to get organized! Take a evening or afternoon to try out some of these tips in your own room. Organizing your space will free up all that time you used to spend digging in piles of stuff for your favorite t-shirt or chem notebook. Think how much more time you’ll have to study! (Or watch Netflix, totally up to you…)

1. Fill your closet

Your closet is the biggest storage space you have so the more you can put in it, the better! No matter how high that top shelf is I guarantee you have something to put on it. Plus, if you put more in your closet the rest of your room will look much more organized. However, try to avoid over-filling your closet (it can be hard to find anything in a closet that is overflowing)!  A full but organized closet is the key to any functional room.

2. Hang as much of your clothing as you can

Empty space on your closet rod is wasted space. Clothes are just about the only thing you can put on that bar so fill it up! This will create extra storage space in your drawers for other things. Putting your extra things in a drawer will look much neater than throwing them into the bottom of your closet. You can also buy hanging organziers that clip onto the rod and create cubbies to put shoes, folded jeans, or sweaters. 

3. Invest in organizational bins

Socks, underwear, and anything else that’s small can cause a drawer to look very disorganized very quickly. No college student wants to spend their time sifting through mismatched socks or digging for that last clean pair of undies. To prevent this, use small fabric storage bins to hold all of those little things. Storage bins will keep you organized, will keep the piles from spreading, and you won’t have to fold a thing.

4. Utilize an accessory rack

Don’t you always wish you that had a better place to store your beauty products and accessories? If so, I have a great tip for you! You can use a hanging shower caddy and a few Command hooks to turn any open wall space into an accessory rack! To make it even better, you can put your accessory rack on the inside of your closet door so that when the door is closed the rack is hidden. It’s quick, it’s easy, it looks good, and it keeps your products and accessories organized and easily accessible!

5. Strategic hamper placement

Where to put your laundry hamper tends to be the last thing you think about on move-in day, which usually means it gets put in the least convenient place. Instead, put your hamper right next to your closet or near where you usually change. The more convenient your hamper is, the more likely your clothes will end up in it and not on the floor.

6. Hang up your towels

Let’s be honest, after a shower most of us throw our towels on the ground and often times we leave them there (oops…). Some dorms have towel rods built in but they usually are really inconvenient and not the easiest to get to. To fix this, I suggest using a Command hook in a spot that’s out of the way and making a habit of hanging your towels on it. This gets your towels off the floor and will help it to dry off quicker.

7. Start using a lanyard hook

Hooray for Command hooks, they’re true lifesavers! Use one of these mighty little hooks just for your lanyard in a spot that’s easily visible (I chose the side of my desk). If you make a habit of hanging your lanyard on the hook every time you enter your room, you will never have to panic that you don’t know where it is! You will never misplace your keys again!

8. Buy a desk organizer

A desk organizer is a must-have when it comes to your school supplies. Having your pens and pencils organized makes doing your work so much easier. This will also keep you from needing to dig through various drawers to find your beloved pink highlighter every time you take notes.

9. Keep your dishes in a dish basket

A dish basket is a much better place to put your dishes than on your desk. You can use it for dirty or clean dishes, depending on what you need. If you don’t have time to wash your dishes immediately, it can be a good storage place to put them for the day before you get around to washing them. I would also recommend purposely getting a basket too small to hold all of your dishes so that you’re forced to wash them more frequently. No one needs moldy, smelly dishes!

10. Designate a drawer to be your “junk drawer”

This may not seem like the best tip for organization, however, I believe that a junk drawer is key. Designate a drawer or storage bin to be a place for all the items you have that don’t seem to go anywhere else. A junk drawer can hold things such as extra cords, tape, and Command hooks. This way even things that don’t have a place, go somewhere!

Good luck and get organizing! HCXO!