Maximizing minimal space


By now, at the mid-point in your first semester of college, hopefully you have settled into your dorm room and grown accustomed to your new roommate. You may have determined that you have way too much ‘stuff’ and not enough space to store it all, especially if you have more than one other person sharing your living area. So, how do you organize all that clutter without resorting to a yard sale or making a trip to the Salvation Army? The solution is simple, really — you can learn how to maximize your minimal space with a few creative tricks.

First, give yourself a raise.

Under your bed is a great place to hide items that are not needed on a daily basis. By placing blocks or risers under the feet of your bed, you can give yourself additional space for storing bedding, school supplies, luggage and non-perishable food items. Keep everything clean and organized in plastic bins. We suggest you use clear bins with lids for ease in locating items when needed.

Next, enlist the help of a caddy.

No, we are not taking about golf. You need a caddy that can organize and store your bathroom items, and possibly one for kitchen essentials, too. You can find cheap caddies at local discount stores, like Dollar Tree or Wal-Mart. Place your shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush and other toiletries in a shower caddy that can be carried with you and stored in a closet or other location when not in use. For dining essentials, put your name on a caddy and store your silverware, can opener and other cooking utensils in a neat, organized way.

You also need to get the hang of it.

Not enough drawer space in your room? Shocking! Increase your shelving and storage space by using hanging organizers. You can store shirts, sweaters, pants, towels and even shoes in these vertical units. Make sure you are using every inch of (vertical) space available in your oh-so-tiny closet.

Finally, develop a love of bins and boxes.

You can pick up some cheap — but very cute — bins and boxes at retailers like Target and Big Lots. You can often find them on sale in college towns, too! Get a variety of sizes and use them to organize your desk space, as well as the kitchen area. Keep pens, pencils, paper, scissors, paperclips and other school supplies on hand, but not scattered about your study area. For kitchen items, use a bin for condiments, one for paper products and another for snacks. Using containers with lids can reduce the risk of bugs in your room and help maintain freshness.

By implementing these creative and inexpensive methods to maximize your minimal space, you’ll find you now have a place for everything and everything is in its place. Be sure to share these tips with your roommate and friends to help them create harmonious living spaces as well. For more college tips, be sure to check out our Campus Life section on


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