Off to college // dorm room organization essentials

One thing I honestly miss about college is the excitement of moving into a new room each year, and of course I loved every minute of organizing it (nerd alert!). Since many college students will be shopping for dorm supplies in the next few weeks, I thought I’d share some advice on my favorite things for dorm room organization.

Remember that you probably really don’t need every single organizer and decoration in the college section of the store. Stick to staples that can be re-purposed for many different things. Less is more in a small space. Here are my top picks. (Keep in mind that these are just examples that I found during a quick search. You’ll find similar variations of these things in all sorts of stores.)


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1 // Slim hangers are super helpful in saving space in a dorm closet, which is almost always lacking in space. Investing in slim hangers will maximize your hanging space.

2 // A shower caddy is a must for dorm living. Find one that has lots of pockets and is okay getting wet. You’ll be thankful you have one when you have to lug your toiletries back in forth from the bathroom every day.

3 // Over-the-door hooks are amazing must-haves. Look for one designed for the back of a door with multiple hooks on it. Also pick up some individual plastic hooks that slide over the door. They come in super handy for inside the closet door or to hang off your loft. Command hooks also work wonders in dorms.

4 // You’re at college to study, right? Well in that case, an organized desk is super important. Your desk will likely also become your vanity and your dining room table, so find an organizer like this that keeps the odds and ends like paper clips and pencils tucked away.

5 // A hanging jewelry organizer will be a lifesaver if you own a lot of accessories. They have tons of pockets for stashing away earrings and necklaces without getting them tangled in a box and hanging them in clear pockets saves you time since you can see your options at a glance. Look for one that has velcro or zippered pockets that will keep everything in its place when you transport it home over breaks.

6 // Magazine holders are affordable ways to add some fun colors and patterns to your dorm. And they’re perfect for holding binders, textbooks and (of course) magazines.

7 // Storage boxes are awesome places to tuck away all sorts of things. Stash things like scarves, snacks, old papers, and other odds and ends. Look for collapsible boxes that can be stored flat in the back of your closet if they’re not needed.

8 // Cube organizers are great for organizing pretty much anything in your dorm. Use one cube for board games, another for a bin of cleaning supplies, and line up your textbooks in another. The top also gives you some shelving, which is perfect for a small TV. Consider purchasing a couple smaller cube sets instead of one massive one so they can be set side by side or stacked on top of each other. Versatility will be key as you move each year. Smaller sets are also easier to transport.


Above all, keep in mind that you’ll likely be moving A LOT. If you don’t use something at home, leave it there because you won’t miss it at school. And while I love school shopping, remember that you really don’t need everything in the college aisle. They’ll do a great job marketing a million products that you really don’t need. It’s often best to actually get moved into your room and then you and your roommate can identify what things you still want to buy.

What am I forgetting? What else would you recommend to make the most of small dorm space? Let me know in the comments below!

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