I was a commuter student, so I never lived at school, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how dorms work. During college, I spent enough time in my friend’s dorm rooms to become more than a little familiar at how the tiny, cramped space can easily become messy, disorganized, and stressful. For the last two years, I’ve helped my little sister move into her dorm room, so I know firsthand how hard it is to set it up so that everything is where you need it without taking up too much room.
I’ve already shown you guys some amazing DIY dorm room decoration ideas, but what about all of the other little things you need to know before you move in? Whether you’re an incoming freshman or an experienced junior, I’m sure all of you could use some more handy tips to make things easier. And most of these can also be used in apartments, if you’re moving off campus! Here are 25 dorm room tips and tricks every college student needs to know.
1. When packing your stuff, make sure you label properly. My sister didn’t do this, and unpacking was incredibly confusing.
2. Label your various chargers with Washi tape. Trust me – these things can get mixed up easily. Washi tape is fun too, so you can make them pretty!
3. Use a shower caddy as storage for whatever you want. It can hold your notebooks you need everyday, other school supplies, whatever. You can also hang your keys on it. These are inexpensive and will hold a lot.
4. Use plastic shoe storage to hold snacks instead. It keeps everything organized and easy to grab. And this way, you’ll know right away when you’re running out of something.
5. Make a chore chart. It doesn’t have to be this elaborate, but you need one. Things will get messy, and if chores aren’t given to certain people, roomies will end up feeling bitter and angry.
6. When unpacking or before getting ready, use this checklist to make sure you have everything.
7. Make a cute charger station like this one to keep all of your chargers in one space and out of the way.
8. You can also put a power strip in a drawer so that your electronics are hidden.
9. Create a board in the common area so things are organized. Include a calender, everyone’s class schedules, and a notepad for notes.
10. You also need a dry erase board so that roomies can write notes to each other. Everyone should have one on their door to keep things easy.
11. Create a grown-up first aid kit, because you will definitely need this stuff at some point… and your mom won’t be there to help.
12. Bras can take up a lot of space in your drawers. Save space by making this bra hanger in your closet. This also keeps them intact!
13. Another way to save space in your drawers is to change the way you’re holding and storing your clothes, like so:
14. Create a magnetic board for your makeup. Hang this on the wall or prop it up on your dresser. It makes it easy to grab the things you use every day and keeps things neat.
15. Buy a cheap silverware tray and label it to hold your everyday essentials so that you always know where they are.
16. Make room in your closet by buying hangers like these.
17. Make these cork board containers to hold school supplies or makeup brushes (or flowers). They can also be used to pin notes onto!
18. We’ll never know where all of our bobby pins go… unless we store them on a magnetic strip in the bathroom cabinet.
19. Dorm rooms can get smelly. Put one of these on your vents, or lay in dryer sheets on them instead.
20. Make a box or folder just for take-out menus from various places around the school so you always know what your options are.
21. Use chalkboard paint or duct tape (Duck Tape makes chalkboard tape) on your cabinets so you know exactly where everything is.
22. Shoes take up so much space. Put a shoe organizer under your bed so they’re easy to access without being in the way.
23. If you’re not super familiar with doing your own laundry, print this out and hang it somewhere. It shows you what each little symbol means.
24. Put shower hooks on a hanger to store things like scarves and belts all in one place.
25. Don’t forget about garbage bags! Keep yours out of site and in order by making this rack.
Which of these tips did you find the most helpful? Have you tried any of these? What did I forget to include? Tell me in the comments!