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Make The Most of Your Space: Dorm Room Storage Ideas

Dorm room storage ideas and space saving organizing tips

It might seem like a hard task to add storage space to a dorm room. Since you are limited by what you can do, it terms of hanging things up and changing out the furniture.

But there are quite a few creative ways you can carve out some storage space, you just need to look at your room closely and get a little inventive. This post of dorm room storage ideas tries to list out all the different ways you can go about organizing and storing things in your room.

Just make sure that you find out what you can and can’t do to your dorm room. As each college will have different rules.

Creating Storage Space

  • Add a Ladder: A ladder doesn’t take up much floor space (which is quite valuable in a dorm room). But what it does do is help add vertical storage space to a room. You can use one to hang up clothes, magazines, or blankets. And you can always add hooks to the sides of the ladder (or even on one of the steps) so you can start hanging things up, whether that be clothes, jewelry, or other items.
  • 2 Ladders? If you have space then 2 ladders (the kind that open up) can be used along with planks of wood to create make shift storage – seen in picture (1). It can even act as a desk, table, or TV cabinet.
  • The Inside of Doors: There is a bit of extra storage space that can be created inside of closet and cabinet doors. Maybe you can fit screws and railings to the inside of your closet door, or at least use stick on hooks. The same can be done on the inside of cabinet doors.
  • Door Organizers: Another way to create storage on the inside of your doors (or the outside) is to get one of these over the door organizers. Fit it so that it faces the inside of your closet for a cleaner and more clutter free dorm room look.
  • Hanging Organizers: If you have a railing somewhere in your room (maybe your headboard), or if you have extra space on your railing in your closet, you can get a hanging organizer to store clothes, bathroom items, or stationary.
  • The Magic of Pegboards: See where you can add a pegboard in your dorm room. Maybe it can lean against the wall like a mirror, it can sit on your desk, be fitted to the inside of your closet or cabinet door, or maybe you can hang one up with stick on hooks. The normal thing to do would be to hang things up on pegs, or use little hook and storage bins. But you could also use longer pegs to create a shelf. (The Pegboard House: Inventive Ideas on Using Pegboards Around the House)


  • Bedside Storage Solutions: There are fabric caddies that can be bought (get one here) that tuck away into your mattress, seen in picture (5). These can be used to store your phone or other items. You can also get a bed shelf that does the same thing. Check out picture (2) showing one of these caddies being used on top of a fridge.
  • Under the Bed: Most likely you’ll have storage space under the bed. IKEA has storage units that can be rolled under the bed. And another option is to use good looking storage containers (suck as wicker baskets) to store things in, as you’ll probably be able to see these containers when you are in the room.
  • DIY Storage Solutions: Check out the cubby holes in picture (6). PVC pipes can be cut and hot glued together to create these cubbies. You can even use different sized PVC pipes to get different sized cubbies.
  • Rolling Cart: A small rolling and multi level cart could be a good way to add storage space for your dorm room. Maybe there are some items you don’t need out all of the time (stationary, bathroom items, etc.). These can be rolled away (into the closet, under or behind the bed) when not in use.
  • Go Vertical: See if you can add a hutch / small bookcase to your desk – just like the hutch in picture (8). It does take up some of your desk space, but you get a lot of vertical space in return – which can be hard to add in a dorm room.
  • Better Dorm Room Organization: A lot of times you can get more storage space just by organizing areas better. Draws would be a good place to focus when it comes to organization. Since they are just one big box, it is easy for things in draws to get messy. The best way to organize draws is to divide them up. You can get simple draw divider inserts (get yours here), or you can make your own out of PVC pipes (4). The same goes for shelves – look for ways to create dividers (just like the document holder in picture (7)).
  • Good Looking Storage: It would be nice if everything could be stored out of sight, leaving you with a clutter free and tidy looking dorm room. But sometimes there is not enough space and items need to be stored out in the open (either on countertops, the floor, or on open shelves).

So if you do need to store things out in the open, then try and get good looking containers to store them in. That way the storage pieces also act as decor items for the room. Some ideas for good looking storage pieces include wicker baskets (get yours here), wooden crates, matching glass jars, wire baskets, or a wicker hamper or trunk.

Another storage tip is to try and get rid of ugly plastic bottles. For example you might have bathroom items that come in the brand’s plastic containers, or there are food items around (like cereal). Replace the brand’s packaging with good looking storage items. Instead of having plastic water bottles, use glass jars. If you have any lotions or liquids on your dresser, pour these into glass jars (how about some vintage glass jars from Etsy). Try and get rid of the generic plastic containers, and use good looking storage pieces. This way your storage pieces also act as decor.

Here are some other dorm room posts to get more ideas from:

image credits 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8

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May 31, 2016 in Dorm Room, Storage
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