40 Brilliant and Clever Best Dorm Room Hacks EVER

Looking for the best dorm room hacks to make use of your small college room? These 40 brilliant hacks are a clever use of space!

Living in the dorms is a ton of fun. But it’s not always easy. Lots of times you are living in a small space and sharing a room with someone else. For many, this is the first time they’re living with someone who isn’t part of their immediate family! It’s a big adjustment for sure.

Thankfully, there are tons of hacks out there to help you make the most out of living in dorms for college students. Here are some of the best dorm room hacks that will make your dorm experience easier, even more fun, and will help you maximize on the small space!

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best dorm room hacks

40 Brilliant and Clever Dorm Room Hacks To Make the Most of Your Dorm Room

Get a door stopper and use it.

You want to be able to keep your doors open easily, so you’ll need a door stopper! This is especially good for the first few weeks at school when everyone is trying to get to know everyone.

By having your door open, others living there know that you’re inviting them to stop by and say hi. It’s a great way to make new friends! Ask your resident assistant (RA) about the open door policy.

Invest in quality slippers.

We won’t sugar coat it – dorm floors can be disgusting. Especially if you need to walk the hallways to a communal bathroom, you’re not going to want to do it barefoot.

Get slippers that’ll keep your feet warm and have good traction on the bottom. Trust me, you’ll use these on a daily basis!

Use space saving hangers.

Dorms aren’t known for their closet space, and you probably have a ton of clothes with you – we don’t blame you, you need to be prepared for all seasons! Get hangers that are specifically space saving to give you more room in a smaller space.

Or you can use soda tabs to connect two hangers.

The cheaper alternative to buying space saving hangers. Take the tab off a can of soda, slide it over the tops of two closet handers.

This creates a secondary hanger hook, meaning you can hang two things in the space one hanger sits. It basically doubles your closet space!

Try hanging storage shelves.

Using hanging storage shelves in your closet is another great way to maximize space, especially for things like socks and undergarments’ – things you typically wouldn’t have in your closet. If you have minimum drawer space, this is especially key in a small dorm room.

Use curtains for your closet.

Some dorm room closets don’t have doors on their closets (don’t ask us why!). If this is the case with your dorm, get a pair of curtains to use instead.

It will make your dorm look more organized, and this way people won’t see all your goods when they come into your room.

Bins. Lots of bins.

Bins will arguable become your best friend in a dorm. They will help you stay organized and allow you to fit in even more in your small space.

Using bins above and below your closet is a good trick to do this. You can also use bins under your bed or desk, too. Bins can fit almost everywhere (and can hold lots of things!).

Use stacking bins to store your toiletries under a sink or in a small cabinet.

This is a good idea, especially if you have enough room for under bed storage too. Make use of that floor space if you can!

Use a hanging organizer to display your jewelry.

You can put it right on your wall, this way you are not taking up any precious drawer space or closet space. Plus, why not show off your jewelry?! It’s a great way to give your living space some personality too. Just keep anything expensive you may have locked up.

Use shower curtain rods to hang scarves.

A tension rod works great too to add extra horizontal storage space.

Get blackout curtains.

You likely already are on the lookout for curtains. But if you haven’t considered blackout curtains yet, you may want to.

Blinds in dorms can be old and not really keep the sun out. If you’re a light sleeper and don’t want to be woken up with the sun rises, blackout curtains are your best bet.

Choose a laundry bag with straps or wheels.

You are going to be doing laundry… and the laundry room likely won’t be on your floor. Instead of dragging the laundry bag wherever you need to go, get one that has straps or wheels to make moving it a breeze.

Get lots of dryer sheets.

And we mean a ton. Dryer sheets are great not only for doing laundry, but they can also help you freshen up your room. Put dryer sheets on a fan or air vent. Your room will smell so much better.

Make things cozy with throw rugs.

Rugs will warm up the floor and add a little decor to your space. So necessary in an often sterile dorm room!

Keep blankets and throw pillows in a basket.

This will help keep you organized! And you’ll never wonder where all of your blankets went.

Invest in a lap desk.

Of course your dorm already has a desk… but we all know there’s going to be times you want to sit on your bed and not in a chair. There are tons of lap desks you can buy that’ll turn your bed into the perfect place to work from.

We love this one with a cup holder!

Binder clips can help with chargers.

We know – you have a ton of chargers plugged in. It’s so annoying always needing to bend to reach it or trying to figure out where the cord is.

Put binder clips on the side of your desk or chest and then weave the charger through it so the port is facing up. This will organize your cords and help you stop bending!

dorm storage ideas

Get desk shelves to add vertical space to your desk.

Adding more vertical storage gives you extra space to keep some of your bins for your school work.

Add organizers to your desk.

There are so many desk organizers you can choose from – some for the top of the desk and some of the desk drawers. Not only will they keep your school supplies organized, but they’ll allow you to fit more, too.

Your shower caddy should be mesh.

You know you need a shower caddy. But make your life even easier by getting one that’s mesh instead of plastic.

Water can easily get stuck in plastic grooves, meaning that when you get out of the shower and back in your dorm room, once you place your plastic caddy down, you are leaving a puddle with it. This isn’t the cash with a mesh one.

Use felt to prevent furniture from scraping the floor.

Especially if you end up bringing some of your own furniture, this will make a difference! Plus it makes furniture a lot easier to move.

Get a bedside caddy or shelf.

If your bed isn’t right next to a night stand or any sort of cabinet, you’re going to want to get a bedside caddy or shelf.

You’re going to be on your phone, or reading, or drinking something before bed. This will let you put them down without needing to get out of bed, and be reachable all throughout the night.

You can also use a rolling cart a side table or night stand.

They sell these at Target, Ikea, and Amazon. It doubles as a nightstand and extra storage space. My dorms didn’t have nightstands and a rolling cart sure came in handy.

Add a clip-on light to your shelf or bed frame.

Perfect for late night reading or studying when you don’t want to disturb your roommate. It’s the best way to give yourself a little night light.

Add shelves to your headboard to add more vertical storage.

Some dorm rooms have beds that can be bunked or lofted too. This gives you even more space to work with. A bed shelf adds some extra space.

Choose a bed skirt that’s long.

You probably have not even considered getting a bed skirt, did you? You may want to rethink that, as a bed skirt, especially a long one, can help hide everything you’re keeping under your bed.

Considering lots of dorm beds are raised to give you extra storage under them, a bed skirt will help your room look clean and organized… and hide what’s not.

Use bed risers.

If you happen to have a bed that does not rise, there are bed risers you can buy that will add height to your bed. It will give you more storage (and then go and get that long bed skirt!).

Put clothes in your drawers vertically.

Instead of putting your clothes in your drawers like you normally do, try putting them in vertically. This will save you a ton of space and help you fit more. It also makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, since you can see each item from the get-go.

Learn microwave recipes.

Usually this is all you have to work with in a dorm room.

Show off your personality with temporary wallpaper or wall decor.

Peel and stick wallpaper is an easy way to add a personal touch to an otherwise sterile space. Washi tape also works great too as a budget friendly piece of decor.

You can also make a picture frame on the wall using washi tape!

Get a noise machine.

Dorms aren’t known for being quiet places. There’s usually stuff going on all the time. If you can’t sleep or concentrate around noise, a sound machine will change the game for you.

Put your schedule as your lock screen.

This is a GENIUS hack to never forget what you have coming up next.

Use a wine rack to store your water bottles.

Whether you have one water bottle or many, this is one of my favorite dorm hacks! A wine rack is the perfect place to store your other dishes too.

An electric kettle or Keurig.

If you are a coffee or tea drinker, make sure you have an electric kettle or Keurig with you to get your fix! You don’t want to have to leave your dorm every time you want tea or coffee – having one (or both) of these fixes that.

Just be sure to check the regulations in your residence hall to make sure you are allowed to have these in your room. Some schools consider them to obe a safety hazard.

And if you can have a mini fridge, even better! It’s a nice thing to have when you’re living the dorm life.

Buy ottomans that can be used as seating and as storage.

A place to sit and a place to store things, what could be better? I got one as a college freshman and used it all four years! A storage ottoman one of the easiest ways to to maximize your space.

Use your suitcase as a safe.

You’ll most likely have a suitcase you use to take things in and out of your dorm room. Your suitcase is a great place to keep anything you need secure. Especially if it locks!

Hang a shoe organizer over the doors.

You don’t even have to just put shoes in here – you can use it for anything from toiletries to snacks to school supplies.

A shoe rack is perfect for easy access to things and great if you have limited space or a lack of storage space for shoes or clothes.

Downey Wrinkle Release is your friend.

There won’t be room in your dorm to iron – let’s be honest. You are going to want your clothes to be wrinkle free, especially when it’s time to go to that internship or interview. This will fix that (and is easier than ironing or steaming!).

Reuse plastic bags as garbage bags.

Probably one of the oldest money saving tips of all time. And paper bags work great too!

Use command strips to hang things without making holes in the walls.

Command makes so many different types of hangers. There is literally something for anything you need to hang.

Use a pool noodle on the side of your bed.

Tuck a pool noodle into your fitted sheet on either side to prevent yourself and your things from rolling off. This is especially helpful if you have your bed bunked or raised. And you can get these at the Dollar Tree!

Final Thoughts on The Best Dorm Room Hacks

These hacks were life-savers for me in college and I hope they will be for you too! We hope you have the best time in your new dorm and have found some creative ways to make it feel a little more like home and get a little more dorm room storage in a small space.

Let us know the hacks you’ll be using in the comments!

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About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts ’13 and a Master of Arts ’14. She’s currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she’s not working, she’s likely planning her escape to a tropical island.