Have a messy dorm? Can’t find your books or phone under all the clothes and pizza boxes? College life shouldn’t be wasted amid a messy room. You have enough to worry about doing well in your classes. So take an afternoon a few times a year to do some thorough cleaning, straightening and organizing. Or better yet, start your dorm life each semester with an organized, efficient room with these DIY dorm organizing tips.
A word about storage containers. “Overall, if you are looking for some new things to help organize your beauty products or anything in your room, Goodwill has some great deals on small containers, organizers, and dishes that can be converted into organizers. …Take a look and save a few pennies at a thrift shop if you don’t want to splurge on a brand new ring dish/brush holder/cotton ball container/whatever,” recommended Maryland University student Sam in her blog, “Beauty storage and organization in a college dorm,” posted May 13, 2013 on the Samandro.com website.
1. Shoe organizer – It hangs right in your closet, has sections for each pair of shoes and slippers, and uses often wasted vertical space. No more hunting around for the other shoe somewhere in the void that is your room.
2. Desk organizer – This doesn’t have to be an expensive or fancy 20-piece container you bought at an office store. Even a shoebox will work; add extra space by making your own dividers out of cardboard. The trick is to keep everything you need—pens, clips, pins, scissors, rulers—in one container for easy access.
3. Magazine racks – Not just for magazines (who reads those anyway?), but for notebooks, books, loose papers, report binders, etc. Anything flat can be stacked neatly in inexpensive racks. Label the sides for quick reference.
4. Strip cord organizer – It’s easy to lose track of which cord is which that’s plugged into your power strip. If you want to unplug the radio, you end up unplugging the lamp. Tanner Bell in “18 dorm décor ideas,” posted July 28, 2013 on the A Little Craft in Your Day blog, recommends using bread clips (that tiny piece of plastic holding the cellophane wrap around the loaf of bread) to write down what the cord goes to—“printer,” “radio,” “lamp”—and attach the clip to the cord.
5. Wall calendar – Get one of those big wall calendars with large squares for each day. Write in your tests, projects, concerts, clubs, meet-ups, friend’s birthday, etc. Yes, you can record all of this in the calendar on your phone, but a month-at-a-glance look at your schedule plastered in big red letters on your wall will give you a quick reminder of important due dates.
6. Under-the-bed storage – A no-brainer, but some people dismiss this space as a junky place to stick shoes. Under the bed can be a clean useful place for important items. Just put your stuff in low, flat plastic tubs with a secure cover to keep the dust bunnies out.
7. 3-drawer cart – “A 3-drawer cart can hold all those items you’re not quite sure about storing: sheets, hair styling tools, and even food! Plus, since it has wheels, you can easily move it around and use it as a writing surface or nightstand,” suggested Ashley Wermick in “Dorm 101: Must-haves for dorm room organization,” posted on College Fashion August 22, 2010.
8. Small waste baskets – You can get these really cheap for a couple of bucks. Put them anywhere you generate garbage: under your desk, next to your mini-fridge, next to your bed. It’s easy to just fling your trash in the bins then empty them all at the end of the week. The alternative is to chuck your trash on the floor or in a corner somewhere – yuck.
9. Ice-cube tray for jewelry – A clever keeper for jewelry, especially pairs of earrings and necklaces that can get lost, tangled or mismatched. Put one necklace or one pair of earrings into each ice cube section to keep your jewelry neat and organized.
10. Empty jars – Wash out an empty jar of salsa or peanut butter and use it for pens, markers, make up brushes, tooth brush & tooth paste tubes, razor, art supplies, keys, etc. They’re see-through so you can find what you need.
What’s your tip for keeping your dorm organized?