Congratulations, you’ve just completed your move to college! For many of you, this is an exciting time as you’re taking your first steps towards higher education. This feat was not an easy one, academically, and physically. For many of you, this was your first big move, which is never an easy process.
If you haven’t moved yet, but you will be moving into a dorm or college apartment soon, we highly recommend using our guide for moving into a dorm.
The first thing that you’ll notice once you’ve arrived at your dorm or new college apartment is that it is probably smaller than your old room at home. Dorms are notoriously small and for this reason, it’s very important to remain organized and to figure out some tricks for storing your stuff throughout the year.
To help you remain organized we’ve shared some of our best organizational tips for your dorm or college apartment.
Organizational Tips For Your Dorm
A commonly overlooked area of a dorm is often behind the door. Over the door shoe racks, are an awesome way to get your shoes off the floor, and can also be used to store things like scarves, mittens, socks, etc.
Another great option is to get over the door shelves where you can store items that you’ll use infrequently but still need access to regularly, like toiletries or laundry detergents. Look for a shelf that has different sized baskets so that you’re able to store a variety of items of widths and sizes.
Non-damaging Wall Hooks
These will save your life in more ways than one. Because most dorms don’t allow you to put nails into the walls these hooks will allow you to store items throughout your dorm in leftover unused spaces. The most common brand of non-damaging hooks are command hooks, which allow you to easily put them up and take them down without making a mark. Common uses of the hooks include:
- Key Hanger
- Umbrella or coat hanger
- Backpack or purse
Maximize the space in your closet by creating a two-level closet. You can purchase a closet rod that comes with hooks to attach to the top rod. This way, your top closet rod can be for your tops, and the bottom rod can be for your bottoms. Another handy hanging item is an over-the-door hanging shoe organizer. All of your shoes will be off the ground and your floors will be clear. Lastly, you can purchase foldable hanging sweater shelves so you have more space to hang items in your closet. This is convenient for foldable clothes that are too bulky to put in your dresser.
Areas underneath the bed and under the futon are full of storage potential. Depending on how high the bed and futons are off the ground, you can place smaller boxes or storage containers in the space under them filled with essential items. As you plan for your room, note the ideal colour, material, and size box for this area. It’s quite common to see people using shoeboxes or some type of cardboard box, but in some instances, it can be better to look around to find something that’s more accessible and easy to use like plastic shelves.
Be wary with regards to this category as some universities don’t allow you to have extension cords and have strict rules and fire codes in place to prevent you from using them. You can usually get around this though by buying a surge protector or by getting an outlet adapter. They’ll allow you to plug in all of your electronics with a lessened risk of it overloading the system.
Make sure to confirm what is and isn’t allowed in your dorm before buying anything.
As we mentioned in our move in guide, this area of storage would be wise to talk about with your roommate before you move in. You both don’t want to show up with an extra mini fridge, coffee pot, or toaster. It’s highly likely that you and your roommate will have an area for snacks in your place, so take the time to make a storage area that suits the both of you. Aim to discuss before your move-in date.
Try to find some sturdy shelves that are adjustable, so that if you’re able to bring in bigger items such as a microwave or a hot plate, you have enough room to store them.
Get a plastic shower caddy to keep all of your toiletries together. This will make it much easier and faster on your trips to and from the bathroom. It’ll also keep all small bathroom items, like toothpaste and shampoo bottles, organized and out of the way.
Purchase furniture and décor that will serve more than one purpose. You can buy inexpensive cubicle ottomans that open in just about any colour and material. These are great places to store items, and also serve as a comfy chair or footrest.
Finally, our best advice is to look for deals along the way. Make a list far in advance of the items you’ll need to purchase for your dorm and make a budget. Scope out different stores for special college deals and do some research online.