Dorm Room Storage Ideas: How to Declutter a Space the Size of a Tool Shed

The amount of space at your disposal in your college dorm room will more than likely leave a lot to be desired. We wouldn’t be too surprised if your first thought upon seeing your new on campus digs is something along the lines of “What the heck am I supposed to do with all my stuff?” Don’t worry, though! We’re right here waiting with some super helpful dorm room storage ideas when the initial shock finally wears off.

Quick Storage Tips

There’s no doubt that you’ll need to get creative with the way you store all of the stuff you’re bringing with you to college, especially since the space in your dorm will be rather limited. We’ll get to some of the storage items you’ll need in just a bit, but first let’s quickly go over some ways to make your life easier and reduce the amount of stuff you’ll need to store.

For starters, it’s time to play clutter cop. This isn’t the most enjoyable thing to do because it requires you to get rid of some of your things and takes some time. Start small so you don’t become overwhelmed right out of the gate. There’s nothing wrong with doing a little bit at a time. Just remember to toss or donate things you haven’t used in 3 or more months with the exception of seasonal or sports equipment.

The biggest part of your storage project is complete after the first big step and the rest is a breeze. You’ll want to look around at what you’ve got left. Try to determine what can be tucked away, out of sight and what can be left in a more accessible spot. For example, there’s not much use in keeping a tote of winter boots in your closet when it’s flip-flop weather and said flip-flops are tucked under your bed. Essentially, it’s all about prioritizing at this point.

Now for the fun part: shopping! You know what you need to store and now it’s time to load up on the things to store it in. It’s all about functionality when it comes to buying storage items. You want to find things that allow you to store your stuff efficiently, take up minimal space and preferably have some versatility. These elements will make it easier for you to utilize the space you have available and keep things organized.

So, are you ready to find out what our dorm room storage ideas are? Get ready to make a list so you can hit the store as soon as we’re through!

Dorm Room Storage Ideas

Alright, lets talk about some dorm room storage ideas for a bit. We know your space is limited and you’re going to have to get creative in order to keep your dorm room from looking like a college clutter bomb went off in it. It’s surprisingly easy to disarm the clutter bomb if you’ve removed some of the existing landmines (all the junk you already ditched from your time as clutter cop) and cut the right wire (wire/storage items…tomato/tomahto).

So, here’s what you need to get the job done.

Under the Bed Storage

A lot more than dust bunnies can fit under your bed, so it’s time to make the most of that space for storage.

First, add a sturdy set of bed risers to your shopping list! These little babies are going to be the secret to getting more bang for your storage buck. Using bed risers to lift your sleeping space will give you an extra 8 inches of storage room, which is going to be a huge help.

Now you’ll need to find the perfect solution for your storage needs under your bed. You can go many different routes here if you’re using bed risers, but don’t get overwhelmed by the bazillion options out there. We’re taking the guess work out of it for you by telling you about our go to option for under the bed storage.

You can’t go wrong with a reliable 41 quart Rubbermaid storage tote with a locking lid. These storage totes are pretty awesome and definitely made our college days a lot easier due to their compact size, coming in at 6 inches high. Here’s were those bed risers we mentioned really come in handy as the average bed frame allows for about 7 ½ inches of space underneath the box spring, so you’re able to more than double that with bed risers. This means that you can stack these storage containers in twos and really make the most out of your space!

>> Here’s our favorite under the bed storage <<

Over the Door Organizer

You’ve more than likely seen or owned one of these super versatile organizers. They are convenient to use for several different types of storage and they take up very little space to boot. We definitely suggest getting a couple of these organizers and hanging them on the back of your dorm room door and on the front and back of your closet door(s).

The list of things you can store in these organizers is long and here are a few of our favorite ways to use them. Storing shoes in them is probably one of the most common ways these organizers are used and it remains a great way to do so. Need a place to store snacks, cooking spices and/or cooking utensils? Toss them in an over the door organizer and hang it on the back of your dorm room door. Keep your jewelry separated and organized this way, tpp. Socks and underwear taking up too much space where you’re currently storing them? No problem, use one of these organizers to fix your space issue.

>> Check prices on over the door storage organizers <<

 Plastic Storage Drawers

Oh how we love a good set of plastic storage drawers! You can really make good use of the space in your closet with storage drawers since they come in various sizes and great for stacking if you decide not to use the wheels that come with them. Clothes, shoes and under garments fit into them with no problem, which leaves you with open closet space to be used for something else.

You can also use plastic storage drawers in the living portion of your dorm room. They serve as an excellent space to keep your kitchen and study supplies. There’s also the added bonus of using the drawer set as a little shelf of sorts. You can put your microwave, books, radio and/or television if you have one.

Add a little flair to your drawers by lining the front with some cool scrap book paper. It’s a fun way to turn boring opaque plastic into something nice to look at. You can even find paper to match your bedding or to go with other decorations in your dorm room.

>> See our top pick for plastic storage drawers <<

Stackable Baskets

Take advantage of space in your dorm that’s above the ground by hanging and stacking baskets. This is a really great way to make the most of what you’re working with and allows you to get a bit creative with your storage.

Stackable baskets can be placed on shelves if you’ve got them and can be stacked as high as safely possible. They are great for storing books, dishes, electronics, shoes and even food. We like the baskets from Buddeez because they come in a ton of different colors and look like old school milk crates. They stack great and are super sturdy.

You can really get inventive with these crates if your lacking shelves and still want to place the baskets up high. Grab some heavy duty wall hooks so you can hang the baskets from the wall. They may not be able to hold as much weight as before, but it’s still a great way to store things.

Of course these stackable baskets are perfectly fine for use at ground level, too. Stack them in any shape you want and fill those puppies up! You can always use a few zip ties to keep them all together if you’re worried about them staying together once you added your stuff.

>> Check out prices on Buddeez <<

Storage Bench and/or Ottoman

It’s always great when you can find a storage solution that has more than one function, especially when your living space is limited. One of the most practical ways to use your dorm space wisely is going to be with a seating/storage combo. You’re able to pack a one, two punch if you can find some sort of storage bench and/or ottoman with a storage compartment.

Storage benches are typically pretty deep and may afford you an ideal space to store books, sports equipment, seasonal items and clothing. There’s also the added bonus of serving as a prime seating spot for yourself or any guests you have over.

The same storage and seating bonus can be applied to ottomans with a hollowed out center with a removable lid. The amount of stuff you can stick in an ottoman is definitely limited, but it’s still a totally viable storage option for books, magazine and other small items. Multiple people probably won’t be able to park their butts on your ottoman, but at least one person can and that’s better than none!

>> Here’s a great storage bench option from Convenience Concepts <<

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