Creating More Storage Space In Your Dorm or Apartment

By Lorena Roberts on November 28, 2018

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Going to college is a pretty big transition from high school for various reasons — you’re living with someone you may or may not know, your space is small, your classes are hard, you have to make your own food, do your own laundry, etc. Moving into a dorm room means you’re sharing a very small space with someone else. You have to have room for your bed, desk, closet and dresser, so it might not seem like you have much room to move. Even when you’re an upperclassman and you move into an apartment, you still might not feel like you have tons of room. Some college students decide to move into a studio apartment, where they live all by themselves, but that still might not be enough room for all of the things you have and want to store.

If you’re looking for ways to create more storage space, here are some tips:

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1. Give away things you haven’t worn or used in the last six months.

If you haven’t worn it or it hasn’t been put to use in the last six months, you don’t need to keep it around. With limited space options, it’s time to part with things that aren’t important to you. The outfit you’re holding onto because “you might need it one day” isn’t necessary.

Going through your things can be overwhelming, so try to take it one “chunk” at a time. Go through your clothes and then go through your belongings. Whether you donate your items or you sell them, making space for the things that are important to you will allow your storage situation to be less overwhelming.

2. Buy storage containers that are practical.

Clear storage containers are the best way to go when it comes to storing your items. Sometimes when we pack things away, we forget where we put certain items. Using clear containers will allow you to quickly see what’s inside without having to completely unpack your storage containers.

Fashionable storage containers are all the rage these days. And while they may be cute — they might not be practical. Keep a balance of how you want to store things you use regularly versus things you need to be stored practically.

3. Don’t forget about vertical options.

Remember that you don’t have to just shove things under your bed and in the top of the closet. You can add shelving to almost any wall, including in the bathroom to store your toiletries. Under the bed is a great place to store off-season clothing items, but for things you’ll need on a more regular basis, think about how you can store them vertically. Optimize your space by taking advantage of your walls.

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4. Consider things you use most often and store them in the most accessible places.

The things you use on a daily or weekly basis should be easily accessible (obviously). So don’t fill the obvious storage spaces with things you don’t need as often. Try to organize your storage space so the things you need most often are easiest to grab.

The items you keep in your nightstand should be items that you use on a daily (or nightly basis). While the things you only need every once in a while (like your suitcase) can be stored in the top of your closet. Any clothes that are off-season can be vacuum packed into containers and slid under your bed (if you have storage there!).

5. Label all of your storage containers.

Even if it’s clear – label it. You’ll be able to create more space if you organize things that are alike. Keeping all of your makeup in one area, your trinkets in another, etc. will allow for a space that’s nicely organized with all the things that are important to you neatly stored in their own area.

6. If you absolutely need to, explore off-site storage options.

Though your budget might be hurting, getting a storage unit isn’t the worst idea. If you have furniture or belongings that you don’t want to get rid of, rent a storage space off-site where you can keep your items.

Storage space can be tricky when you’re in college – even as you grow into an independent adult. Having a dorm room, an apartment, or even a house brings storage challenges. Get creative with your storage options and limit yourself to keeping only the things you absolutely need. It’s a good rule of thumb to go through your items about once per year (spring cleaning, anyone?). There are things you’re going to collect that you think you’re going to use that you end up not really needing. Consider donating these items or selling them once per year so you can keep your storage space available for what’s important to you.

Looking for an easy way to furnish your off-campus apartment? Renting furniture from CORT saves you time and money. See how easy it is to get great looking furniture without breaking the bank.

Lorena graduated from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville last December with a BA in Honors Psychology. After some serious soul-searching, she's decided to pursue a Master's in teaching in order to teach middle school math! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her Whippet mix, Gio, at the dog park and binge watching Netflix with endless cups of Hot Cocoa.

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