Tricks to Maximize Dorm Space

Keeping your space clean and organized will make your living space look bigger and better to deal with.

College students aren’t known for having palatial living spaces, and going to school in New York City can just compound the problem. Since the quickest way to make a tiny bedroom seem even more cramped is to have junk everywhere, organization is key. Cleaning your room might not sound fun, so we’ve rounded up these three ideas to help you finally tackle that mess in your closet.

1. Have Enough Furniture

This might sound counterintuitive, since furniture can take up a lot of space. But if you don’t have a dresser to put that T-shirt in, it’ll stay on your floor until the end of semester. You don’t need to spend a ton of cash, just make sure you have at least enough storage for all your clean clothes, plus some kind of laundry basket or hamper. And you don’t need to break the bank to get furniture. Low-cost options include stacking bins from the Container Store ($6.99 each) or a three-drawer storage cart from Bed Bath & Beyond ($39).

2. Think Vertical

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Floor space is alway at a premium in a small apartment, so consider storage options that don’t have a big footprint. It’s amazing how much of your life can fit under a twin bed, especially if you use in bed risers — and since many sets are under $20, it’s a great investment. The upper reaches of your walls can be a great opportunity for storage too. Installing shelves might sound scary, but with a trip to Home Depot and a few YouTube tutorials it’s surprisingly easy. For the DIY-averse and students living in dorms, Command hooks are the perfect way to get scarves, coats and bags off the floor and out of the way.

3. Don’t Get Attached

The most painful part of living in a small space is coming to the realization that you just have too much stuff. When you’re giving stuff away, consider factors like how often you use each item in your room. If you haven’t picked up that kitchen gadget all semester, it probably should go in the “donate” pile. Another way to take the sting out purging is sell some of your extra stuff instead of giving it away. Just post some photos on an app called “Wallapop” or in the NYU Facebook group “Free and For Sale” and your stuff will be gone in no time.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Sure, these tips are cool but I already have a perfectly organized room.” If that’s the case, then we want to see it. WSN is looking for the NYU student with the most Pinterest-worthy dorm or apartment. If you think you’re that student, email a picture of your room to [email protected] or post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #organizedatNYU. If you win, we’ll feature you and your room in one of our upcoming issues.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 29 print edition. Email Kendall Levison at [email protected]

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