Organization Solutions for Small Spaces

Dorm rooms are often pretty small and usually come with minimal furnishings, which means there isn’t much surface space to work with. You could bring some extra furniture with you, it might not fit. When you don’t have enough horizontal space, it’s time to go vertical. Here are some easy, dorm-friendly ways to make the most of your empty walls*.


1) Adhesive Wall Hooks

These are a staple for college dorm room furnishing and decoration because they don’t damage walls. They can be used by themselves or to hang other organization units off of. You can even make custom wall racks by putting adhesive hooks on a hanger, then hanging the whole thing with another adhesive hook!

2) Adhesive Velcro

Next to the adhesive wall hooks at the store, you’ll probably find velcro made for the same purpose: putting things on the wall without nails. Hooks may not work well for everything you want to hang up, like full-length mirrors and other large things don’t lend themselves to easy hanging. For items like this, adhesive velcro is a good alternative. Velcro is also great for hanging things snugly against the wall.


3) Wire Wall Grids

This is a storage solution that I didn’t think much of until I tried it out. Wire grids come in many shapes and sizes, and they allow for easily reconfigurable wall storage. You hang your grid on the wall, then hang little baskets off of it. This type of storage is great for office supplies, craft materials, makeup, and anything else you might normally keep on your desk.

4) Over-the-Door Coat Racks

You’ve probably seen the “life hack” where you put a hanging shoe rack on your door and use the pockets for organization, but what about over-the-door coat racks? These are typically used for jackets and bath towels, but you can also use them for hanging decorations and even other organization. For example, if you have a rack with five hooks, you could use two to hang your wire grid (from #3) and put your most-worn jackets on the other three. Or you can skip the jackets altogether and only use your rack for hanging other organizers – you can get as creative as you want.

5) Corkboards

Corkboards are good for small items, and not just ones made of paper. With a few strategically placed thumbtacks, you can have yourself a new, custom jewelry organizer. You can also use a corkboard to display all of those keychains from trips, museums, and theme parks that you might have lying around.

6) Clothespins

This is another good one for jewelry and other small things. Cut a piece of string to your desired length from two hooks, then you’re ready to clip on your clothespins. Or, you can run the string through your clothespins before hanging it on the wall. Now you can hang up your necklace, photos, important papers, and more.

7) Suction Cups

While these can’t hang off of the wall directly, they can still help you save some space. There are suction cup hooks and containers that come with suction cups for this very purpose. You can stick these on mirrors, shower walls, and maybe even windows. If you’re feeling creative, you can attach suction cups to containers you already have.

*If you decide to try any of these ideas, make sure you follow the rules for your dorm or apartment and aren’t creating any hazards. Some dorms have rules about how much of your door can be covered, hanging things from the ceiling, and putting things on windows. Be safe and happy organizing!