Organize your residence hall room to maximize space

Tedi Mathis

Moving into your own space for the first time is exciting. How you want to decorate and organize is solely up to you, but it’s also important to plan ahead. Space in residence hall rooms is limited, so use it wisely. Here are some simple tips to best use your space.

1. Think outside the box — literally. Floor and shelf space is limited, so it is important to think of ways to store clothing outside of your drawers. I brought a hanging shoe organizer for my closet my freshman year, but I filled it with rolled up sweaters instead of shoes. It saved me closet space and from having to wear sweaters that were constantly wrinkled.

2. Don’t sweat it with decorations. At the beginning of every semester, there is a poster sale in the Memorial Union where you can get posters of everything from Audrey Hepburn to your favorite rock band. This, along with some simple photos on the wall, makes a huge difference in personalizing your room and doesn’t take up extra space on your desk.

3. Loft your bed. Though not all beds come pre-lofted, it is not a bad idea to loft your own. You wouldn’t believe the space you can open by moving your desk under your bed. If you are not interested in a high bunk, you can always move it up just enough that your dresser can fit under but you won’t have to climb a ladder to get into bed every night.

4. Bring a rug. Residence halls are a mix of hard wood floors and hard carpet. Either way, it can’t hurt to bring a soft rug. It adds a color to the room without taking up space you may need — a simple and harmless decoration.

5. Communicate with your roommate. You don’t want to end up with two futons or without a mini-fridge. It’s important to talk to your roommate in advance of moving in to make sure all your room basics are covered. This way you know who is bringing what, and you can make sure you’re both contributing to the room. It’s also a great way to get to know your roommate.

A closing piece of advice for organizing your residence hall room is to check the Department of Residence website. As soon as you receive your housing assignment, check the website and find the exact measurements of your room and a detailed list of everything that will be provided. Some residence halls come with a mini-fridge and microwave; some come with a sink. It’s good to know ahead of time what will be in your room so you know what you will and won’t need to bring with you.