How to Stay Organized in a Small Dorm Room

how to stay organized in a small dorm

Organization is one of the best secrets to a successful college experience. Knowing when papers are due, what time your professors have office hours, and where you left your chem lab notebook will keep you from becoming overwhelmed. Organizing your dorm room can be one way to achieve this.

When you have a neat and tidy space, it’s easier to find the things you need quickly thereby wasting less time retrieving class materials and other items. This means you’ll have more time to devote to the important stuff, such as studying or hanging out with friends on the weekends.

Here are six ways you can stay organized in a small dorm room to optimize your space and minimize your mess.

1 – Plan Ahead for Your Storage Needs

Have a game plan in mind when the semester begins. This means figuring out where you’re going to store extras, such as pens and paper clips, as well as where your books and laptop will go. Utilize all the space on your desk and in drawers in a way that doesn’t feel too cramped — overstuffing your desk will make it difficult to find things.

2 – Keep as Much as Possible Off the Floor

The stereotypical dorm room has clothes, books and old pizza boxes all over the floor. It’s impossible to stay organized with such a mess. Put dirty clothes in a hamper, books on a book shelf, and pizza boxes in the trash where they belong. Do daily spot-checks to make sure piles don’t start growing anew.

3 – Look Up for Storage Space

In a small room, you need to use vertical space as well as horizontal. Consider stacking hutches on desks or trading in a short bookcase for a tall one to optimize your storage space.

4 – Use Space Underneath Things, Too

Every dorm room has a bed, and underneath it is loads of unused space. You have the perfect spot to store things you won’t use every day, such as sports equipment, books you read for pleasure or mementoes from home. Make or buy storage bins to corral everything so you don’t end up with a messy floor.

5 – Keep Your Space in Mind When You Buy New Things

Translation: Don’t buy big things. Get a small one-cup coffee machine, skip the 42-inch flatscreen, and limit the food you buy to what can fit in a mini fridge. You want to avoid anything that will clutter up your space, because clutter ranks as the No. 1 enemy of organization.

6 – Move Furniture Away from the Walls

In a small dorm room, you can create space by moving your furniture away from the walls slightly. This adds volume to the room, which in turn helps create the illusion of space. This will help you feel less confined in your small area, sparking new ways for you to become organized. 

There Are No Steadfast Rules

Remember, above all, to stay organized by using what works for you. Employ the tips you will actually follow, and tweak them so they conform to your living space’s needs. Soon you’ll realize that staying organized doesn’t have to be a major undertaking but rather part of your everyday life.

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