Moving into a dorm room, whether it’s for the first time or with a roommate(s), can be a difficult task. There are usually a lot of things that need to be placed into the small space that will be your home for the next year, and there often isn’t a lot of time to organize and keep track of all of your belongings. Below we have some tips on how to set up and organize your dorm room in a way that will make it easy to store and find the items you need on a daily basis, and maintain organization throughout the school year:
- Labelling: not only is it important to label all of your boxes and bags when you’re moving into your dorm room, but especially if you are living with a roommate or more, it’s important to make sure that you can clearly identify the items that are yours. Consider colour coordinating bins and containers that you use, or simply sticking your name on a label onto your items. It might also be handy to label what items are shared as well, especially communal food items and supplies. This can also be done with labels or tape.
- Checklists: It’s important to make sure that you have all the essentials with you, as it can be easy to forget or hard to find the time to pick up items especially if it’s an emergency. Aside from the obvious items like clothing, bedding, furniture, and food, it’s also important to consider the essentials like a first aid kit, small tool kit, flashlights and batteries, sewing kit, and school supplies. However, because your space is limited, don’t buy more than what you think you might need – keep these essentials to a minimum and store them altogether so they’re easy to find when you need them. There are many college essential packing checklists that can be downloaded for free online, like this one.
- Under the bed: The space that is available for storage under your bed should not be overlooked. Containers and racks for shoes that fit under the bed can be stored there, as well as containers for items that aren’t used every day like seasonal jackets and clothing, sports equipment, suitcases, and other bulkier items. To increase the storage you have under the bed, consider purchasing a bed raiser, like this one from Bed Bath and Beyond, which also has an outlet to charge your electronics.
- Doors and walls: Your wall space in your closet and dorm, as well as behind your main door, closet door, and even cabinet doors can be used to hang storage units or hooks that can hold laundry baskets, clothing, towels, robes, and more. By hanging items on cabinet or vanity doors, your items can be stored out of sight and out of the way, cutting down on clutter in the other areas of your room. This also leaves your surface areas, like desk and dresser tops, drawers, and floor space free for other items that you may use more often.
- Command centre: This is a great idea especially if you’re living with roommates. Set up a small space or area for a calendar and/or whiteboard to keep track of important dates, as well as anything that needs to be purchased like groceries or other shared items. Time for organization and decluttering of your room can also be scheduled in for everyone to see. Even if you’re living on your own, it’s a good idea to have a place where you can keep track of the important things that are happening or need to be done.