Many college students are interested in having the complete experience, which is to say, living on campus in dorms as a way to meet new students and be nearer to classes and activities. Unfortunately, dorm rooms tend to be notoriously small, despite the fact that two or more students are crammed in together.
This can make for fast friendships or a tenuous existence, depending on your roommate – hopefully the former. Even so, you’re going to have extremely limited space in which to sleep, study, and live. This can put even genuine friendships to the test if one of (or both) of you is messy and disorganized.
What can you do to make the most of the limited space you have at your disposal? There are several tactics you might employ when your living space is the size of a shoe box.
Most dorms come pre-furnished with the basics: a bed, desk, and closet for each student. In some cases, however, you can configure these items in a variety of ways. For example, some beds may be elevated so you can put your desk underneath.
Chances are you’ll want to add some of your own furnishings, as well, though. Any pieces you bring to the space should be multifunctional. You might get chairs, stools, or ottomans for seating that feature storage underneath. What you probably don’t want is a giant beanbag chair that’s going to take up half the room.
IKEA is a godsend for college students because their furniture is not only inexpensive; it’s also compact and scalable in many cases. What this means is that you can buy a small bookshelf and if you end up needing more storage, you can purchase another to stack on top, just for example.
In other words, you can scale up to additional items without any hassle because the pieces can stand alone or be combined with other pieces as needed.
Even though closet space is sure to be scarce in the dorm, you probably want to be as prepared as possible for the college experience in terms of your wardrobe. You might need clothing for both winter and for warmer months, or clothing for everyday use and for special occasions.
You’ll also have a variety of linens (sheets, towels, etc.). Vacuum seal space bags allow you to significantly reduce the size of the items you’re storing when they’re not in use. The only problem is that you’ll also need a vacuum, but a compact model should suffice.
It’s easy to forget that you have a lot of overhead space that could be used for storage. Unfortunately, you might be prohibited from putting nails or screws in walls for shelving or other storage options. There are other solutions, though. You can find over-bed vertical storage furniture, for example, or shelves that are meant to stack on a desk.
You can also put storage boxes or shoe racks under the bed and you can find a variety of storage solutions that hang over doors (for clothing, shoes, or other items). With little space for storage you have to put some thought into organization. If you attend USC online you may never have this problem, but for students in dorms, every space-saving innovation makes living there a little easier.