As a college student, you’re probably strapped for cash and living in a dorm room that’s roughly the size of your average shoebox. But that doesn’t mean your dorm room absolutely has to look like your budget is a shoestring from said box. With a little creativity and some savvy DIY know-how, you can awe your roommate (and the entire hall for that matter) by getting more for less in your college dorm.
Stash Storage Tubs Underneath Your Bed
Image via CollegeFashion.net
Remember the way you used to hide special items under your bed as a kid so your parents wouldn’t find them? Most of us have abandoned this habit by the time we reach college, but maybe it’s time to bring it back (in a smart way, of course). After all, sacrificing that space really means you’re losing valuable storage space in the process. This space is also out of sight, so using it allows you to put more into your dorm without adding visible clutter.
Measure the space under your bed and work out what you can comfortably fit under there. If the space is too narrow, ask your RA whether your dorm bed comes with lifts or possibly some other kind of lofting mechanism. If not, you can always buy a cheap set from a department store.
Once you’ve figured out the space you have at your disposal, buy some inexpensive plastic bins or tubs. These will help keep your under-bed items organized. Fill your containers with items you don’t need daily, such as your DVD collection, spare linens, or a first aid kit. This will allow you to keep these things close at hand while remaining out of sight.
Organize Cables and Cords with Toilet Paper Rolls
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A standard roll of toilet paper lasts just five days. Yours might survive a little longer if you’re living alone, or spending a lot of time out for classes, but you’re still sending plenty of the empty cardboard rolls into the landfill. You can cut the waste and repurpose them as clever cable and cord organizers.
Simply stand the cardboard rolls up in a shoebox and pop a rolled cord in each one. It’ll put a stop to tangles and maximize the life of your cords and cables. Perhaps even more importantly, these clever little contraptions will keep the cords from getting underfoot and causing accidents.
Make a Sweet Muffin Tin Drawer Organizer
Image via Money Saving Mom
Office supply company Brother International found office workers spend an estimated 76 hours every year searching for misplaced items around the office and on their computer. How much time do you spend trying to track down items that could be better spent studying? If your answer is too much, then it might be time to raid your mom’s kitchen.
An old muffin tin makes an effective and affordable drawer organizer. Put one inside your desk drawer and use the muffin holes to store and separate small items like flash drives, paperclips, staples, and stamps. Your mom probably will never miss the tin, and you’ll be able to spend your time much more productively because your things will be easier to find.
Put Out-of-Season Clothes into Vacuum Bags
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Many students find they need to bring their summer and winter wardrobes to school to cope with variable weather conditions on campus. However, all those clothes can take up a lot of space. You can slash this by vacuum-packing your clothes until you’re ready to use them. An ordinary vacuum sucks all the air out of the bags and increases your closet space.
Storage bags are relatively inexpensive, but the costs add up if you have a lot of clothes, towels, and linens to store. Another solution is the BagButton, a clever gadget which turns any ordinary plastic bag into a storage bag. It claims to triple your closet space for just $14.95.
Transform Shower Hooks into Handbag Holders
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Most college girls pride themselves on their closets filled with neatly hung clothes. However, their handbag collection often lets them down. It’s so hard to know how to store these essential items which often end up untidily littering closet floors.
Who would have guessed that smartening-up this space would be as simple as adding a few shower hooks to your clothes-hanging rod? Those hooks that hang your shower curtain can work double duty holding your handbags. This will keep them clean and minimize damage to your purses. You can also put your shower hooks to work holding belts and scarves too.
Turn Your Bulletin Board into a Jewelry Organizer
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Your parents probably bought you a bulletin board at some point to help you keep your class schedule and social life organized, but when was the last time you used it? You probably have all the information you need on your smartphone. However, your tired old bulletin board can get a new lease of life as a jewelry organizer.
Use push-pins to hang your pendants, bracelets, and hoop earrings so they’re always accessible and tangle-free. As a bulletin board hangs flat against your wall, it’ll also take up far less space than a traditional jewelry box.
So don’t just settle for a drab dorm that’s lacking in style and space. You don’t need a lot of money to get more than you’d think in your college dorm room. What other DIY tips and tricks do you know for getting increased mileage out of your space and pocketbook? Share your own favorite hacks below in the comments section.