Space-Saving Design Tips for Your College Dorm

Last Updated on May 28, 2019 by

Small dorm spaces don’t have to mean living among clutter and disarray. Here are a few ways you can transform your dorm into a space you’d love to come home to—and a good environment to study, too.

June is back-to-school seasonand back-to-dorm-life season as well. If you are among those students who do not look forward to going back to a cramped messy dorm, there are ways to improve that tiny space. After all, it will be your home for at least five days in a week so it will always be a bright idea to transform that space into a place that you will love to come home to after a hectic day of struggling with your academic requirements. Behavioral studies have also shown that cluttered homes have a significant effect on increasing the stress hormone. With the demands of college lifeexams, papers, deadlines, and so onthe last thing you will want is a room at night where you cannot relax or concentrate on the things you have to accomplish. Fortunately, you can make some improvements that do not necessarily have to cost you a lot of money.

Challenge Your Creativity with Space

Students commonly complain about the very limited space in their dorm. Sometimes, the room is even shared with other students, making it so packed with all the things everyone wants to bring into the room. The first thing that you will have to address is to create space for important things and involve your roommate if you have one in this process. Identify vertical spaces and what you can use them for. You can use hooks to install bookshelves on walls, or for hanging your bags. Shelves can also be used for some decors like plants to add life to your room.

Using loft beds will give you a lot more additional space at the bottom of the bed which you can transform as your study area, closet, or small dining place. If loft bed is not an option, then you can find ways to use the space under your bed. With some decorative storage boxes, you can use that space to store items like shoes and clothes.

Add Some Personal Touches

Dorm rooms all look the same and it is this standard look that sometimes makes them boring. Try to personalize your room—rearrange the furniture, add some fresh wallpaper and plants, or install a mirror to make the room look bigger. Giving the lighting some softening works wonders for a room. A decorative lampshade or reading light changes the mood of a room. Organize a beverage and quick snacks corner in a tray for those long study nights when you need a cup of coffee or milk—maybe you can borrow mom’s old electric air pot and some small cookie jars. It will give you a homey feeling as well.

Think of Functionality

Choose furnishings that you can use for other purposes as wella low seat that can be a storage, a tray table which can be used for eating or working on your laptop, or a stool that doubles up as a bedside table.  You can also use multipurpose storage boxes to organize files, school supplies, accessories, and others.


A cluttered small room looks depressing and is non-conducive for studying. Tidying expert Mari Kondo, a Japanese author of books on organizing your home and who has become an internet and TV sensation through her KonMari method of organizing, shares her tips on decluttering your dorm room. Her simple advice: to own less stuff. Take with you only the items that you need and make you happy, and dispose of those that are non-essential. She also suggests assigning a day every week for cleaning with your roommate to help prevent building up of the mess in your dorm room, decluttering by category—clothes and books first, then papers and so forth. Books should be lined, instead of stacked up. To keep your closet organized, she suggests folding your clothes in a rectangular shape and stacking them in an upright position to maximize space and make them easy for you to see.

The small size of your dorm space is not an excuse for clutter and messy living condition. Be creative in finding ways to make it feel like your second home, and you will discover that your better-organized dorm will have a wholesome effect on you and your studies.

Sources: Harding, Says, Freshome, Bupipedream, Study International

Read our previous journal for more tips.


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