How to organize and maximize space in your residence hall room

by Gabbi Gonzalez

Fun fact: you either have a messy roommate, or you are the messy roommate. During my first year of college, I was regrettably the latter. Part of the reason why my space was so messy was that I had too much stuff and little knowledge on how to condense or store my belongings. I’ve found that the best way to combat clutter and ultimately messiness is to be excessively organized. Here are a few tips on how to organize your things and maximize the space in your dorm.

Under Your Bed:

  • Ottomans can hold books and miscellaneous items and double as chairs when you have friends over
  • You can use small shelves or cabinets to store non-perishable food items and dining items
  • Keep your mini-fridge and microwave here if you bring them

Your desk:

  • Use fabric bins to hold stationery supplies
  • Use cups or decorated jars to hold writing utensils
  • Use binder clips to keep charger wires compact

Your closet:

  • Use plastic stackable drawers to hold clothes that won’t fit in your drawers

I have a storage bin filled with all of the free T-shirts I’ve acquired from campus events during my time in college.

  • Store your shoes in a vertical hanging shoe rack
  • Stack your hangers

This hack will allow you to hang the most items of clothing while taking up the least amount of space.


  • Store body wash, shampoo, conditioner and facial cleansers in a shower caddy
  • Use small plastic drawers to store skin products, hair products and other toiletries.
  • Use wicker, plastic or fabric baskets to store larger hair tools

Cleaning Supplies

  • Keep a crate under the shared sink for all of the cleaning supplies

Using all of your available storage space and keeping your room organized is of the utmost importance. Once your room gets untidy, it’s a slippery slope to utter chaos that spills into other parts of your life. It will be hard to devote time to cleaning once you’re well into the semester and you’re busy with classes, networking and maintaining a social life. If you deem a specific place for all of your items ASAP, and a fool-proof storage method for those items, then you will save time cleaning, and it will feel more like a routine and less like a chore. You can make organization more fun by decorating your storage items to match the theme of your room. You will feel a lot less stressed if you come home to a clean dorm at the end of a full day of lectures, coursework and studying.

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