1. Contact your roommate before moving in. Divide the big supplies and appliances so you can both use them without doubling up, including microwaves, micro fridges and bulletin boards. Also, find out everything you can about your dorm. Don’t bring a huge carpet vacuum cleaner if the floors are tile, leave toasters and indoor grills at home if the campus does not allow heating appliances and do not bring bathroom cleaning supplies if the campus uses community bathrooms.
2. Store all of your crap in a storage facility. Anyone who has lived in a dorm as a college freshman understands how items once considered “important” could easily transform into gigantic messes over a relatively short period. Self storage facilities are a great option for freshman students looking to free up some space in their cluttered dorm and make it a bit more livable. Storage rental units can store as little or as much of the crap that is taking over your sanctuary, for as long as you need. Store winter clothes, golf clubs, skis, bicycles, tools, camping gear or any other item you were certain would become useful while up at school. Self storage facilities also come in handy when it comes time to head home for the summer. Most colleges make you empty out your dorm room at the end of the year. Instead of packing up your car and bringing everything home, leave it all at a storage facility and take it out when you return in the fall.
Recommended storage facility: Storage Deluxe – Call Storage Deluxe toll-free at 1-877-989-STORE, or 1-877-989-7867 to make an appointment, tour their facility and/or reserve a self storage unit. You can also reserve your self storage rental unit directly online.
3. Get a MicroFridge instead of having a separate microwave and mini fridge. A MicroFridge combines the features of a refrigerator, freezer and microwave all in one single unit. The space-saving appliance measures over two cubic feet and enables upright storage of two-liter bottles or half-gallon containers. The MicroFridge comes in classic black, white and stainless steel models, costing around $425.
Visit www.MicroFridge.com to place an order.
4. Build a loft bed (if the housing department allows it). Think of a loft bed as a bunk bed, only without the bottom bunk. Use this extra space beneath the bed for a chair, desk, cushions or a bookshelf and double your loft bed as a makeshift towel or coat rack. If you prefer catching your Z’s closer to the ground, invest in some heavy-duty bed risers and store luggage, extra blankets, seasonal clothing and school supplies under the bed. Low-rise storage containers also fit neatly in this extra space.
5. Embrace the power of the milk crate. Keeping milk crates in a college dorm room is as cliché as seeing a biker with a handlebar mustache, but they are highly effective in creating low-cost organization. Milk crates hold items both neatly or jumbled, equipped with cutouts making it easy to identify the contents. Milk crates also make great improvised shelves, stools or nightstands and can even hold file folders for your notes, papers and research assignments.
6. Remove a few posters and make room for screw-in or adhesive hooks. Design a tiny closet or a place for keys, purses or backpacks with hooks. Screw one into the door and use it for coats, pajamas, towels, clothes or other dorm room gear.