Dorm Organization – Tips from a College Student


Liz Jenkins

organized dorm room

Hey there! My name is Cassandra, and I am a 20-year-old college student and social media intern for A Fresh Space. I’m from the Nashville area, specifically Spring Hill, TN. Last month I moved to Tempe, Arizona to attend Arizona State University to study pre-medicine and mechanical engineering. While I am in school here, I will be working as a Residence Hall Desk Assistant, and I also am continuing my internship with A Fresh Space remotely. I joined the AFS team in March of this year to help with social media planning and company administration tasks. Since joining the team, I have learned quite a bit about organization – way more than I even expected since I was already pretty organized! I even find myself extremely organized in my own day-to-day life, especially after getting settled in my dorm room here at ASU.. and that’s what I want to share with you! Whether you are a college student struggling to organize your tiny dorm space, or you are someone supporting a student this situation, I hope you can find inspiration in this post.

Every time someone walks into my room, I always hear, “Wow, your room is so organized!” or “You have a place for everything,” and it’s because I do have a place for everything! I have taken organizing tactics that I have seen A Fresh Space use within clients homes, and I’m applying them to my own room. I utilize bins, hooks, and under-the-bed storage. When trying to organize a room, it’s very important to look at the room as a whole. Look at the spaces you have for storage, how many items you have that you need access to every day, and how many items you have that you only use twice a month. 

Start with some Bins...

As I mentioned earlier, I have bins for everything! I brought a LOT of things to college, and bins are just such a great way to separate everything. There are two bins in my closet (one for cleaning supplies and one for laundry supplies). There are three bins for health and beauty products. I have one bin right under the desk where I get ready each morning, and two others in a shelving unit by my door. I keep the two on the shelving unit because I don’t use them as often, so there’s no reason to clutter up the space where I get ready!

Under bed storage is great for infrequently used things that I want to have but don’t need all the time.

Utilize Hooks

I also utilize hooks. I use Command hooks so I don’t damage the walls plus they are super easy to install. I love hooks because I can use my wall space rather than taking up floor or drawer space. I hung hooks for my hats which is great because I can see all of my hats at once, grab one, and go.. and it looks cute too! I have one right by my door for my lanyard, which contains has my student ID and money. I placed it in a spot where I will always have quick access to it when I’m leaving my room. I also have a hook for my tote bag. I use it primarily for grocery shopping; though, I also use it if I’m leaving for the day and need to bring some items along that won’t fit into my backpack. I have it hanging by my door, so I’ll always see it as I’m on my way out.

What to Leave Behind

Another way to save space is to only bring what you really need. Don’t bring your whole wardrobe. Leave behind the clothes that make you say “What if I need it for this event.” Chances are, that event will never come up, and those clothes will sit in the back of your dresser all school year. Don’t bring all of your cute weekend shoes. You will find that the closets are small and having too many shoes can make it look extremely messy. You can also leave behind small appliances. Most colleges don’t allow toasters or coffee pots in dormitories, so look into the housing rules at your college. If you have an apartment and have the room to bring small appliances, then do so! But if you are in a small dorm, it will just eat up space. A lot of dormitories have community kitchens that should have any appliances you would need. Also, don’t bring too much decor. You will find that some of it doesn’t look good together, some may break on the drive/flight over, and it takes up space that you could have used bringing something else that you need more. Wait until you move in to purchase and arrange decor!

Get Packing

And last, onto the things that you should bring. You can google search “college checklist,” and I’m sure you will get millions of results. IKEA has a really good checklist, some of it may be a little excessive and you don’t necessarily need everything on their list, but it’s a great reminder of the things you would have never remembered to bring. I would recommend bringing clothes that you wear often and know look good on you. Do your research- check the average year-round temperatures near your college and bring clothes that are suitable. For example, I moved to Arizona, and it’s 115 degrees everyday. I didn’t even have to think about bringing a winter coat because I will never need one here! That helped me save a lot of space, and it can do the same for you depending on where you go to school. I would also invest in a Brita Filter and a reusable water bottle. You can cut out the mess of plastic water bottles. Not only are they more environmentally friendly, but you can have that much more space in your fridge.

Whether you are a college student, or the parent of a college student, I hope you found some of this information useful! The move to college can be stressful, and you may feel like everything is chaotic. But with the right amount of analyzing and planning your space, moving in will be a breeze! Good luck to everyone going into the fall 2018 year of college!