Dorm rooms can be quite tricky to organize since they’re often very small and usually contain multiple people. Thankfully, you can make the process infinitely easier by arranging your furniture in ways that suit your needs.
EditIn a Hurry?
To better organize your dorm, try dividing the room into multiple areas using screens, curtains, and large furniture items like dressers. If you have a roommate, you can move your furniture to different areas of the room to create a greater sense of personal space, or you can push your furniture together so that everything feels more open. So you can accommodate guests, try arranging your furniture items around the room to make an inviting common area. For tips on creating additional storage space using multi-purpose objects or your walls, read on!
EditDividing up the Room
- Measure your room and furniture. If your dorm room is particularly cramped, use a tape measure to get the length, width, and height of both the room itself and each of your major furniture items. Doing this can help you better visualize the maximum amount of space you have.
- Place your and your roommate’s furniture in different areas. If you share your dorm with another person, the easiest way to divide the space is by placing your furniture items in different areas of the room. If your dorm has a decent amount of space, try dividing the room into equal halves. If your dorm is pretty small, you may need to create more unique patterns out of your furniture by doing things like:
- Moving your beds to different corners of the room and building your space out from there.
- Placing your beds in the center of the room and using the walls as a shared space.
- Segment the room using large furniture items. If you have large furniture items like dressers, wardrobes, and bookshelves, don’t simply press them against the wall. Instead, arrange them throughout the room so that they create makeshift borders. You can use this method to simply divide an area, like placing a shelf between your bed and desk, or you can surround an area with furniture items to create a miniature room.
- Many dorm rooms come with large, school-provided furniture items that can be easily transformed into makeshift walls.
- Create temporary dividers using screens. Screens provide the same level of segmentation as large furniture items, but you can easily rearrange them to suit your current needs. You can purchase specially-designed paper and cardboard screens at most discount and furniture stores, or you can repurpose old boards and panels into free-standing dividers.
- Some screens look like free-standing panels while others copy the design of traditional Japanese Shoji screens.
- Make private areas within your room using curtains. Dorm rooms are rarely designed with privacy in mind, so you’ll have to create your own. Curtains provide great coverage around places like your bed, and you can even use them to conceal personal items like your laundry hamper or hygiene products.
- In lieu of professional curtains, try purchasing cheap cloth at thrift shops or craft stores.
- You can hang your curtains by attaching them to a curtain rod or tying them to hooks on the wall using string.
- Get a loft bed to create an additional area. At some colleges, you can request a loft bed instead of a standard floor bed. This will open up a lot of space beneath the bed that you can use as a private study or something similar. If you have a roommate, try placing their bed underneath your loft to divide the room more efficiently. If your college doesn’t offer loft beds, see if they have stackable or bunk beds instead.
- If you’d like to increase the privacy of this area, attach large curtains to the base of your bed so that they hang over the open space. For stackable or bunk beds, try hanging an additional curtain from the ceiling to create 2 private spaces.
- If you get a stackable or bunk bed, be aware that you’ll have to make an agreement with your roommate about who sleeps on top and who sleeps on bottom.
- Ask friends and fellow students for more ideas. If you’re running low on ideas, friends, family members, and other students can provide a ton of useful tips for organizing and decorating your dorm. In particular, try to ask people who lived in dorms that were similar in size or design to yours.
- Arrange your furniture around the room, to open up the center floor. While arranging your furniture in the middle of the room can help segment it, doing so can also make the area feel cramped and uninviting. As an alternative, try placing your furniture items flush against the wall so they open up the center of the room, making it appear larger and friendlier.
- Create a common area centered around a major object. Even in a small dorm, you can create an area similar to a living room by using a central item as a focus point. If you own a television or similar entertainment device, place it in a common area so guests have a spot to flock to. If you don’t, try placing chairs, couches, and similar items around a large table that way guests will naturally sit there.
- In addition to creating a place where you can spend time with friends, a common area will keep people from entering your more private spaces.
- If your room is too small to have permanent seating, try investing in butterfly chairs or similar furniture items that you can fold and put away when necessary.
- Decorate your common area, to make it more inviting. To give your common area a bit more energy, try covering the floor with a colorful rug. Put fun pillows on each of the seats. To make the space more comfortable for your guests, try outfitting it with functional furniture items like coffee or end tables.
- Use your bed as a seating area in particularly small dorms. If you don’t have enough space in your room to create a distinct common area, try to make something similar around your bed. Though it will take away a bit of your privacy, using your bed as a couch will give your friends a place to sit when they’re over without taking up extra space.
- Push furniture items together to make the room feel more welcoming. Furniture takes up a lot of space, but combining major items together can create a more open, inviting environment. If you have a roommate, try pushing your beds or desks together to make shared sleeping and study areas. If you live alone, push your dressers, shelves, and similar items together to create more room for guests.
- If you have a roommate, pushing your beds and desks together back to back will help you retain some privacy.
EditFinding Additional Storage Areas
- Store objects underneath large furniture items. When space is limited, try to use your current furniture items as efficiently as possible. If you have a raised bed, see if you can store thin items underneath it. If you own tables, chairs, or other elevated items, try placing bulky objects below them.
- Small and thin areas are perfect for old assignments and documents you need to save.
- Large areas provide ample space for bulky class supplies and book bags.
- Use your furniture items in multiple ways. If you have some extra money, try purchasing a smart furniture item designed with 2 or more purposes in mind, such as a footrest that doubles as a storage container. If you don’t have any cash lying around, see if you can use your current furniture items in multiple ways, such as converting a table into a desk when necessary.
- If you have limited space, try converting the tops of bulky furniture items into desks, TV stands, and the like.
- Hang objects on the wall to utilize vertical space. The smaller your dorm room is, the more important your wall space will become. If your college allows it, attach floating shelves or clothing hooks to the wall using nails or screws. If you don’t have permission to alter the wall, hang up lightweight items like cork boards using adhesive strips or sticky tack.
- When used properly, walls provide ample storage space for class supplies, textbooks, and similar items.
- Purchase additional storage containers. Sometimes, the only way to gain more storage space is by purchasing specialty items designed for small rooms. Though heavy-duty storage units may be outside your budget, try looking at discount and school supply stores for affordable items like:
- Hanging shelves
- Customizable grid shelves
- Stackable or collapsible containers
- Door organizers
- Shoe or purse hangers
- Organize your dorm to keep the room clutter-free. Staying organized can be quite difficult when you’re busy writing essays and completing projects. However, you should take time to purge your dorm of unwanted clutter and arrange the remaining items in easy-to-understand ways. Doing so will help you open up additional space and keep track of the things that really matter.
- If you have a messy roommate, try to isolate their clutter to a specific area of the room, that way you can keep your things neat and tidy.