5 Dorm Room Efficiency Hacks
For a college student, choosing dorm life can be a money-saving option for anyone trying to keep from spending major cash on rent and utilities. However, it also means sacrificing quite a bit of personal space and learning to share with another student. The average dorm room has around 228 square feet, meaning you’ll need to learn to do a lot more with a lot less. Here are some helpful tips to get the most out of your small dorm room space.
Loft Beds in a Dorm
This is one of the most important and helpful tricks for getting the most out of your room’s space. By lofting your beds, you and your roomie will practically double the available floor space. You’ll have the option of using the newfound areas for a variety of purposes; you could place a desk underneath to create a study area, or perhaps put a small couch for relaxing. And don’t be afraid to get creative! Simple hacks like attaching a sheet or tapestry to the bottom of your lofted bed can create a private area for you to retreat and get some alone time. All that said, be sure to check with your residence hall’s rules-- some will not allow it.
Even if you’re not allowed to loft your beds, you can still utilize the space underneath for storage purposes. Small bed risers can be purchased from Walmart for less than $5, which will lift your bed an extra 5 inches. That might not seem like much, but it will give you enough room to store space-eating items like boxes, speakers, dry food items, or bulk beverages. Just avoid the urge to shove trash or dirty clothes under there!
Label and Separate Cables
Is there any bigger headache than finding a mess of tangled wires and cables plugged into a surge protector? You can avoid falling into this messy trap with a couple of simple charger hacks. Start by labeling your cords, either with bread bag tags or stickers. This will help to identify what each plug controls. Secondly, consider shortening extra-long cables by wrapping them up around a used thread spool or coin wrapper. Lastly, consider gently taping wires to your desk or threading them through a paper clip to keep them from falling to the floor in a jumbled mess.
Cool Off Without A/C
Unfortunately, many dorms do not allow air conditioner units, either for space or safety reasons, but depending on the age of your campus, the building may also not have central air. And though it may seem like your only option is to let a box fan blow hot air all over your room, there’s a simple and safe trick to getting the most out of a fan’s cooling effects. By placing one or more frozen water bottles in front of and behind a fan, the air will cool and create a blast of refreshing chilled air, much like an a/c would.
Maximize Closet Space
The closet gifted to you by your residence hall is probably going to be quite a bit smaller than the one left behind at home. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take extra steps to get the most from the space. Just because there’s only one bar, that doesn’t mean it’s the only place you can hang things. Stick-on hangers are a cheap buy at any home office store, and these can be used the same as any other hanging space. Additionally, considering either hanging or boxing up your shoes, so that they can be stored in bulk, rather than taking up precious room at the bottom of your closet. Lastly, consider donations! Take the time to periodically go through your clothes and belongings to find out what you don’t need. Here’s a good tip: if you find yourself saying “Ooh, I forgot about this,” get rid of it. You wouldn’t have noticed either way.
Your dorm room may be small, but that doesn’t mean it has to feel that way. By maximizing the floor space and closet room, as well as keeping things organized and cool, you’ll be sure to have a living area that feels more like a home than a residence hall.