A messy, disorganized dorm room can make your college years a nightmare. Here are 5 dorm room organization tips to keep you happy and healthy during college!

Having your own dorm room is worlds better than living at home. You get to decorate it however you want, have friends over whenever you please, and come and go at your own leisure.

But there are some downsides to dorm life. The reality of living in a 130-square-foot space – and sharing it with a roommate – isn’t as glamorous as you might think. The claustrophobic stress of sharing tight quarters can ebb away at your happiness if you aren’t careful.

But, millions of dorm dwellers have managed to survive this situation, and so can you. With these five dorm room organization tactics, you too can lead a happy lifestyle during your college years.

1. Cleanliness and Happiness Go Hand in Hand

You and your roommate need to be able to agree on what a clean room looks like. Don’t just assume their idea of “clean” matches yours. You may have to compromise, but a tidy, well-kept dorm room is crucial to a great year.

Living in a clutter-filled room is detrimental to your health. Waking up to a mess spikes the stress hormone cortisol in your brain, which is the last thing you want first thing in the morning.

Messes also make it hard to focus, so when you’re trying to study, your brain will be distracted by disarray around you.

Clutter also increases your odds of getting sick. Germs thrive in junk-filled rooms. Dust accumulates, too, wreaking havoc on your allergies.

So if you’re a neat freak and your roomie is a hoarder, it could be a recipe for disaster. Talk to them ahead of time and set some ground rules to ensure that you’re both happy.

If you’re the messy one, you may have to put yourself in their shoes. If they’ve got a sensitive immune system or can’t study with all of your stuff around, they’ll only grow to dislike you.

But if you both compromise and keep to your agreement, happiness (and good health!) will follow.

2. Maximize Your Space

In the average dorm room, you have 130 square feet of space to use (or half of it). Every square inch counts, so be creative with your storage and furniture.

To take full advantage of your space, use these tricks:

  • Make use of the area under your bed with plastic totes. You can store extra clothing, books, and games in a rolling tote for easy access!
  • Add more shelving along the walls. With standalone shelving units, you don’t have to drill holes to add more storage space.
  • Some dorm room survivors have gone so far as to build lofts to open more space under their bed. (Always ask permission before starting a construction project in your dorm room!)

Whatever it takes, you must find creative ways to make do with the room you’ll call home for the next few months.

3. Use Smart Furniture

Most dorm rooms come with little more than a bed. If you’re lucky, you might get a desk and chair. You get to add your personal touch by bringing everything else.

Being happy and comfortable in your dorm is important. But so is avoiding a cramped, disorganized lifestyle.

That’s where space-savvy furniture comes into play.

Dual-purpose furniture, like a narrow TV stand with lots of shelves and compartments, can help you keep your room organized. Storage ottomans are useful, too, because they double as footstools and hidden trunks. If you’re allowed to bring your own bed, get one with drawers underneath.

As a general rule, if you can’t use a piece of furniture for more than one purpose, don’t bring it into your dorm room.

4. Accessorize!

Your accessories are just as important as your furniture. Like multi-purpose furniture, savvy accessories can help you reduce clutter.

Here are a few examples:

  • Over-the-door organizers are great for storing shoes, belts, hats, and scarves.
  • Extra shelving units work well for holding makeup, toiletries, and other small personal items.
  • Desk caddies give you a place for office supplies, helping you study more efficiently.

Organization accessories come in a variety of different styles, too. So no matter what your aesthetic is, you’ll be able to find some accessories that suit your taste.

5. Don’t Purge, Store!

You may not be able to bring all of your home comforts to college with you. But there’s no need to get rid of them forever.

Instead of purging, ask your family to store your prized possessions in their basement or attic.

If they don’t have room, consider renting a storage unit to keep your stuff safe. Even with the expense of a storage shed, it can be a smart financial move. Keeping your old supplies and furniture saves you money when you move out on your own officially.

Plus, it prevents you from trying to bring all of your belongings into your dorm room. Your roommate will thank you!


As a college student, your main job is to focus on your education. But living in a cramped, disorganized room can make it hard to do so.

Luckily, it only takes a few adjustments and some strategic furniture placement to have a neat and tidy room. Before long, you and your roommate will be cohabitating in an organized dorm. You’re both going to be much happier and healthier through your college years!
About the author:

This article was provided by Broadstone Brickell. Living at Broadstone Brickell, you won’t need to venture far to satisfy all your professional and social desires. Live your life surrounded by first-class shopping, dining, arts, and entertainment. Come tour this stunning Miami property, where life is truly exquisite.