How to turn a small space into your space

Marissa Incitti
Features Editor

Dorm rooms and apartments are often tiny and cramped, with little room for any of your stuff, and if you live in the dorms, you’re often surrounded by four walls of unappealing cement blocks. Beat the prison cell blues with these quick fixes that expand your space and make it more you.

Instead of cluttering your walls, make a picture collage for space.
Instead of cluttering your walls, make a picture collage for space.

If you’re in a dorm, you’re often limited to one half of a normal sized bedroom and floor space is divided between yours and theirs. By raising your bed, you can fit more of your essentials in your room. Instead of getting the raised storage containers, get the flat ones that slide under and can be stacked. All those bulky winter sweaters can go in there instead of your dresser which can be used for your layering items instead.
Let’s say you don’t want to raise your bed or you’re in an apartment and can’t raise your bed; look to the walls for more space to call your own. Use 3m hooks to hang your bags, pictures, or even organizers. With the new ease of use and no mess qualities, the 3m hooks are the best option for hanging anything. They also come in weight bearing sizes as well as multiple colors to help you stick to your color scheme.
“Use shelves like the ones at Bed Bath and Beyond. They’ve saved me so much space,” says Hayley Miller.
The Dorm Space Saver shelf has a practical design that allows students to maximize square footage. You can put it over your bed, like most students do, or even in front of your window or in your closet if you’re in an apartment.
The biggest mistake most college students make is cluttering their walls with pictures. The more pictures you have, the smaller your room looks. Instead of buying tons of frames to spread your pictures out, buy a poster board to make a picture collage with. Your local Staples and Office Depot have cheap laminating services which will help protect your pictures. This way when the seasons change and the humidity in your room goes from high to low, your pictures won’t curl or buckle.
When dealing with an exceptionally small room, you may want to consider getting mirrors to hang on your wall. Mirrors create an optical illusion which tricks you and your guests into thinking your room is bigger than it actually is. Bonus: you’ll be able to see yourself from every angle when prepping for class.

The Dorm Space Saver is definitely a space saver.
The Dorm Space Saver is definitely a space saver.

Another common mistake is how much students bring with them. “Pack what you need not what you have. I only bring the necessities and get more when I go home if I need it,” says Nikki Wardell.
If you absolutely cannot live without all of your clothes from home or your huge DVD collection, invest in some collapsible fabric storage boxes. You can stack them in your closet or under your bed. Their flexibility makes them easy to squeeze into tight spaces and fabrics are usually washable.
Having extra chairs in your room for friends is a nice thought that takes up a lot of your space. Try finding furniture that can do double duty such as a storage ottoman from Target. You can put your things in the middle and let your friends have a seat.
A well lit room is always a great environment for studying, but floor lamps can be bulky and may not always fit where you want them. Instead, you can get a clip-on lamp and attach it wherever you need. For instance, if you and your roommate decided to bunk beds, clip it underneath so you can read while in bed. Or, clip it to your closet door so you can see inside when you get dressed in the morning.
Just remember, at the end of the semester, you’ll have to take most if not all of your stuff back home. To save you time and space in your car, try taking home items you don’t use as often during breaks and visits home. By the end of the semester, you should be left with only your essentials to bring home.