Fitting All Your Junk Into a Tiny College Dorm Room

Hey yall!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about strictly college because of everything that’s been going on with My Drifting Desk’s Shop and I apologize! Things have just been very busy for me lately!

But I am back! And today we’re going to talk about how to conserve space in your dorm room!


Dorm rooms are extremely small-for the most part. My first dorm room was SO TINY it was crazy. It was smaller than my own room and I had to share that with another person. So yeah, we struggled for a while until we figured out how to conserve our space and use it wisely.

You May Also Like: Dorm Room Tour | Freshman Year

Next year I am blessed to have a sleeping room that my roommate and I share with our beds and closets in then a separate room where our desks are as well as additional seating for lounging. AND we get our own bathroom! So we are very lucky, but still even if you are lucky enough to get more space don’t go crazy with it because it is still relatively small because you have to remember you are still sharing it with someone else!

You May also Like: Dorm Room Tour | Sophomore Year

Before you move in you need to be prepared for how little of space you are going to have. Because I know for myself I saw pictures and facetimed my roommate to see the room before I moved in (because she moved in early) and I thought it was big! So pictures DO LIE! When I walked into that room my first reaction was “Wow, are you serious.” I stopped dead in my tracks and looked at that tiny bland room like it was a jail cell.

Obviously I was able to make it work and spice it up with color so it wasn’t so boring but an empty dorm room can be very discouraging because it looks so plain, small, and lonely. Just wait until you add your things and bits of you everywhere to decorate, then it’ll start feeling like home!

But anyway, be prepared for what you are about to walk into! Let’s get prepared NOW!

By the way, I have linked most of the items I talk about to a store of some kind so yall can get a visual of the item I am talking about. This is no way me telling you to go buy that particular item at that particular store because you could find something like it for cheaper at another store! This is just for visual purposes!

1. Don’t bring so much! Obviously, this one is a no brainer. If you want to conserve space in a small room, don’t bring so much stuff to take it all up. That can be hard to do because you’ll feel like you need every little thing when you’re packing up, but trust me you don’t. DO NOT bring everything you have in your room, it will NOT fit in your dorm. I tried to do that last year and I ended up sending over half of my stuff back with my parents because it wouldn’t all fit and I was very disappointed. So avoid that feeling by not bringing so much! You will be going home over the breaks so you don’t need everything all at once because you can trade stuff out throughout the year.

You May Also Like: Freshman Year Dorm Room Haul


2. Loft your bed, at least halfway! Some of you may be totally against lofting your bed but please keep an open mind! If you loft your bed at least halfway you don’t have to climb too far to get in and out of bed but you just created SO MUCH space underneath to store things! Use that area to hide things such as shoes, your dirty clothes, tubs, bins, literally anything! You can use underbed storage bags, bins, and cubes to store stuff under there and stack it up so you can fit even more under there! If you are feeling more daring, fully loft your bed for the ultimate space saver! This allows you to throw your desk under your bed to make even MORE floor room for even MORE stuff! You can even throw your dresser (if you room comes with one) under there too or anything else! If you fully loft your bed I suggest getting a bedside caddy so you can keep things close by while you’re high up!


3. Buy storage containers that double as additional seating, tables, or decoration so you kill 2 birds with 1 stone. This way you aren’t bringing a chair and a big tub to fit stuff in, just buy an ottoman cube or trunk that you can throw a pillow or blanket on top of to make seating at the foot of your bed AND fill with items! Always try finding things that are versatile and can serve more than one purpose when dorm shopping.

4. If you decide not to loft your bed then I suggest getting a Space Saver rack that goes above your bed to add storage vertically! I am trying to get one this year because I love it!

5. Use your doors for storage areas! Hang over the door shoe racks, hook racks, a mirror/jewelry holder, anything! Just don’t forget about those doors!

6. It is definitely hard to hang things up on your wall because you can’t nail things up, but don’t forget about trusty command hooks! those things will SAVE YOUR LIFE in college! Use them to hang up anything! I used them to hang up a shower caddy in my room-no not for my shampoo-I used it to hold all of my hair supplies but you could use yours for school supplies or anything really! So don’t forget about the walls when trying to maximize your space!



7. We’re going to talk about your closet space for a second-use hanging shoe racks, or hanging shelf racks in your closet to make for more vertical space to keep shoes, sweaters, or even your shower stuff like towels, robes, toiletries, anything! Some dorms have more closet space so try to add even more storage space by adding hanging shelves, or over the door shoe racks-which can be used for WAY MORE than just food!


8. DO NOT bring all of your clothes with you to college. I know it’s hard, but don’t. Really take a few days and go through your closet and pick out the things you actually wear and will still wear in college. Also, only bring the clothes that are in season when you first move in. During breaks you will be able to bring those clothes home and trade them out for the next season! This will save closet space!

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9. This next trick I learned from Pinterest a while ago and I LOVE IT! This trick is a way to fold your shirts that saves space in drawers or bins so you can fit the most clothes in there. I literally have over 300 T-Shirts from cheerleading and I brought almost all of them with me to college for lounging and wearing because that is my staple clothing item-I need a better taste in fashion I know-so when I brought almost all my shirts with me I couldn’t fit them all and I was devastated! UNTIL, I found this folding hack! 

10. If you have a tall closet get a double hang closet rod so you can hang double the clothes in the same amount of space! My closet last year was only tall enough for shirts so I couldn’t do this but this year I am because I have a full length closet! This way if you can’t leave some of your clothes at home because you are addicted and more fashionable than me, then you have more room to do so!

11. Another way to save closet space, for all my soda drinkers out there, you can use the tabs on the cans as a double hanger so you can hang 2 items up on 1 hanger, which saves space and money on hangers!

12. Use specialty hangers in your closet for camis, scarfs, belts, pants, jewelry, or purses to save space on the floor or other areas if you are blessed to have more closet space!


13. If your desk does not have a lot of drawers or storage space consider using one of those bunk bed tables that hooks on to the side of your bed somewhere, but put it on your desk! This gives you a little tray to place some stuff on while you’re working either for more desk space or storage for your desk.

14. While we’re talking about desks with no storage space (that is me this year) then you could get a chair caddy to hold books, folders, and other desk supplies to give you more room ON the desk and to store stuff away when you’re done!

15. I love using vertical desktop file sorters to keep papers and folders upright on my desk and using tier desk trays to hold papers horizontally. I love using desk organizers because I love staying organized and it matching my theme and whatnot! It just keeps things pretty!

16. Use those photo boxes to store extra school supplies on your shelves in pretty colors and patterns that match your room theme.




16. Use a hanging storage caddy that can go over your fridge or tables to hold plates, silverware, etc. or over your dresser to hold personal items etc. This allows you to add things on top of the dresser AND the sides!

17. Invest in a Brita water pitcher so you don’t have to keep spending money on water bottles. A Brita filters your water from the tap and goes in the fridge to keep it cold so you can pour cups of water or fill reusable water bottles for on the go. We did this and it has saved us a lot of money and space in the fridge.

18. Use a medium clear 3 drawer bin to store food in and keep it under your bed (thats what I did last year) so you can have more food.

You May Also Like: Essential College Dorm Foods + Tips!

19. I bought a soup microwavable mug last year and it came in handy so much! We had paper plates and bowls but I did buy a ramen noodle maker (which you can use for mac and cheese and spaghetti noodles) so I could make noodles in my room and not have to go down stairs and use pots and pans in the kitchen. Conserve your space buy not bringing so many cooking supplies, plates, cups etc. and bringing a couple of things that you can use for other things. This also cuts down on you having to do dishes.



20. Buy a shower caddy! Especially if you will be having communal bathrooms with your floor. This will come in handy but also save you space because you can fit all of your shower needs in a shower caddy and not in different places or taking up valuable shelf space.

21. If you have your own bathroom (like me this year) then you can get more storage space vertically with an over the toilet shelving unit. I am getting one of these so my roommate and I can store our towels, toiletry items, and other bathroom things on there since we do have a pretty small bathroom. To add even more bathroom storage for your own bathroom, get a rolling organizer that fits under your pedestal sink if it doesn’t already have cabinets underneath.

22. If you need an ironing board for your clothes I suggest getting a mini one that can hang on the back of the bathroom door or DIY your own from a TV stand!

23. You can use these smaller clear 3 drawer storage units to fit your hair ties, bobby pins, clips, headbands and it’s small enough to fit on your sink or take up minimal space!

24. Try not to use one of those huge plastic laundry baskets because they take up too much space and are weirdly shaped. Get one of the collapsable mesh ones so when you need to pack up its easier to bring home, and it’s light for carrying and you can get it in cool colors to match your room!


I hope these 25 ways to conserve space has helped you start thinking about adjusting to your tiny dorm room! Let me know how these tips have helped you and other tips you have to help other people!


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