Your dorm room is a multi-purpose space. During your college year, it serves as your bedroom, living room, kitchen and even an office. While space in a dorm room is more often than not at a premium, it's difficult to know what to bring for the entire year. But where there's a will there's a way! With a bit of planning and organizing, you can harness the power of a few essential items to make your dorm room the perfect space to study, relax and socialize the way you want to.
Storage, Storage, Storage
Dorm room closets are notoriously tiny. As you look at the two or three drawers provided for you, it may seem like you won’t even have enough room for your shoes. The secret to making your dorm room work is to use every square inch of space in an orderly and strategic manner. Rather than using plastic bins that must be pulled out and opened every time you need something, consider adding your own modular drawer space. Plastic-wrapped wire drawers look neat, and they also let you stay organized and easily see what's in each drawer. Use over-the-door hangers for your shoes and sneakers, and loop a second set over the end of your bed to hold small duffel bags, handbags, umbrellas, belts or other items that fit. Bathroom caddies are great for carrying your toiletries; consider buying a second one for storing shaving equipment, makeup and hair accessories in a neat, easy-to-find fashion.
Make Good Use of Your Wall
The desk in your dorm room is more often than not piled high with your books and papers, so you need a secure, easy to reach space to put additional items you need. Consider taking advantage of available vertical space by installinghooks, shelves,speakersand anything else you can on your wall. For example, there's no need to take up precious and limited floor space to balance a guitar case at the foot of your bed when you can hang it from the wall. Stack up floating bookshelves over your desk so your books are close by while you work. Storage is an absolute necessity in a dorm bathroom; add hooks to hold your hair dryer and other items. A small basket attached to the wall can keep your both toothbrush and toothpaste safe and hygienic.
Give Your Bed a Raise
Many dorms give you the option of raising your bed off the floor, but you can also find products to lift your bed posts a few inches off the ground. With a raised bed, you add tons of storage space you wouldn't have had otherwise. Slide an extra small chest of drawers under your bed for clothes that don't fit in the closet, or place your off-season gear under the bed until you need it. For a musician, under-the-bed space is ideal for stowing amplifiers and instruments. If you're an athlete, keep your tennis rackets, hockey sticks or hand weights stored below and out of sight.
You may find that raising the bed makes it tough to climb under the covers at night, but you can use a small step stool or even an ottoman. Choose anottomanwith hidden storage to enhance its practicality.
Stocking up on fashionable and practical dorm room essentials before you head to college can make the difference between a college experience that's focused and one where you can never find what you really need. Make smart choices as you add storage options to your dorm room, and take advantage of the unexpected space available both under your bed and on the walls to make your dorm room truly a home away from home.
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