With the size and age of some dorm rooms, it’s not always easy to find ways to maximize the space you have. Not only is square footage at a premium, a lot of students have to share their room with a roommate. With a little creativity, there are some easy and inexpensive things you can do to “hack your dorm room.” In searching on Pinterest, I found some clever hacks to make your college dorm room just a little more livable, functional, and aesthetically-pleasing.
Organize with binder clips
Binder clips are one of the least expensive and most versatile office supplies. Use binder clips to organize rogue electronic cords on the edge of your desk. Dry your clothes on a makeshift clothesline with string and binder clips, using the clips both to anchor the string and as substitute clothespins. Keep open bags of food sealed by rolling up the bag and securing with a binder clip. Or use a binder clip the old-fashioned way and secure a bunch of papers together.
Make a DIY docking station
Many dorm rooms, especially at older schools, were built before students were constantly tethered to portable electronic devices. Power outlets may be few and far between, and you can add more places to charge your items with a surge protector docking station. Make a do-it-yourself docking station with a breadbox, some medium-density fiberboard, a drill, and some rubber grommets. Decorate as desired. (Be sure to use a surge protector, not a basic power strip, especially if your dorm has older electrical wiring).
Use clear bins for underbed storage
Take advantage of the space under your bed. Closet space in dorms and apartments is often inadequate, and you are probably sharing that closet space with your roommate. Get some bed risers to increase the vertical space under your bed, and store your stuff in flat, clear storage bins that fit under your bed. This works especially well for clothes that are out of season – store your cold-weather gear during the spring and fall, and swap out your shorts and tees in the winter months.
Make a secret hiding spot in your bookshelf
Need a sneaky place to hide things from your roommates that doesn’t include your underwear drawer? Turn your bookshelf into an incognito cupboard. This dorm room hack is made with old 3-ring binders, measured to the width of the bookshelf space. Trim the inner binder flaps so they are long enough to cover the rings, and then fasten the binders together with hot glue. The outer edges do not need to be trimmed, and will help keep the “secret cupboard” anchored when it’s time to open the door.
(Note: we do not condone the possession of contraband items, such as alcohol or incendiaries, in your dorm room. Hide any questionable wares at your own risk.)
Stick (and restick) stuff to your walls
Leave your glue, tape, and nails at home. Stick Um pads are made from material that can stick to any non-porous surface (tile, wood, paint, metal) using nano-suction (basically millions of tiny suction cups that are smooth to the touch). Stick your phone, tablet, homework, posters, pens, or just about anything else you can think of to your wall. When you’re ready to remove it, just peel it off and re-use it somewhere else. It doesn’t leave a mark, and washes clean with water.
For more great ideas about living in small spaces, Apartment Therapy is a fun site to check out. What are some ways that you have “hacked” your living space to make it more livable?