There’s no denying that dorm rooms are tiny. It’s sort of amazing that they can manage to fit two of everything (bed, desk, armoire, etc.) into those postage-stamp sized spaces, and the fact that you want to add more furniture seems crazy. And yet, how can you be expected to live without a mini-fridge, microwave, beanbag chair, and all the decorations that will make your dorm a home-away-from-home?
If you want to personalize your space but you simply can’t seem to find the room, don’t despair just yet. There are all kinds of ways to maximize your space and create the cozy, comfortable dorm room that will meet all your needs (both functional and aesthetic). Here are just a few tips to help you get cracking.
1. Dual-purpose furniture
Your room comes standard with two XL twin beds, but you want a couch, as well. Don’t blow your money on a piece of furniture that will never fit in your space; instead make the beds do double duty. With a durable coverlet and a mountain of pillows, you can easily turn your bed into a bench when company comes around. Then simply pile the pillows underneath the bed while you sleep. A clutter free desk can also double as seating if you throw your laptop in a drawer and place a padded bedroll on the desktop (as a bonus, it rolls into a small package when not in use).
2. Get proper storage
If you have a closet so full of clothes that it’s overflowing, consider a vacuum sealer. You’ll get bags for clothes you don’t use often (seasonal items and fancy dress clothes) that attach to a small vacuum device. When all the air is sucked out of the bags, your clothing will take up a fraction of the space it did before, leaving you more room to store the items you want out of the way.
3. Utilize all levels
People often see usable space only on the floor or surfaces of a room, but there is a whole lot of space closer to the ceiling that could be put to use. If you want a flatscreen TV but have no counter space to accommodate it, simply use a wall mount to stick it in the corner of the room. And when your book collection starts to slide off your over-crowded desk, install shelving to house it above your head, freeing up your desk for the mountain of homework that awaits you.
4. Limit appliances
There are two appliances that will serve you well in college. One is a mini-fridge and the other is a microwave. You should be able to accommodate almost any kind of food with these two items. You may bemoan the lack of a toaster, coffee machine, and so on, but the few items you can’t make can probably be found at the cafeteria.
5. Think dinky
When it comes to additional furnishings for your room, you’re simply going to have to think small. A giant beanbag chair just isn’t going to fit. But you can get a comfy camp chair that can be folded and stowed when not in use. If you want to sprawl, you might just have to opt for the common room where there are couches and armchairs galore. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add some personal pieces in your room as long as you’re realistic about the scale.