Admissions Blog Posts

Less Is More: Tips & Tricks to Maximizing Space in Dorms

No one likes to admit that they’re an over-packer, but today I am here to publicly share that I am guilty of this. Taking a weekend trip to the beach? A whole suitcase packed to the brim is coming with. A two-week trip to visit family in Maryland? Two suitcases and miscellaneous other bags tossed in the back of the car. So, as you can see where this is going, moving to college was a challenge to say the least. Come August  before freshman year, I was pulling out things from my closet I hadn’t worn in YEARS and tried to convince myself I absolutely needed to bring said item. Long story short, I ended up sending whole Ikea bags home with my family on move in (@ Mom & Dad you guys are real ones). Learning how to maximize my storage space was crucial, and I’m here to give you all of my tips and tricks. 

Use under your bed as storage 

I know this may seem obvious, but you can really maximize the space under your bed. My suggestion would be to buy storage bins from Target or Walmart and stack them under your bed. I personally had the storage bins that are stackable from The Container Store (I’ll link them below) and I felt like I could really fit a lot of stuff I wouldn’t have room for otherwise. I used my storage bins for snacks, extra toiletries, and arts & craft supplies. If you’re like me and obsessive about how your room looks, you have a couple of options to hide the storage bins! First, you can buy a bedskirt! Just google dorm room bed skirts and you’ll have lots of options. Or, hot take, you can do what I did and use a cloth shower curtain that has ties at the top! I loved how mine looked and I only wanted one side of my bed to be covered so it worked out perfectly. 

Container Store Link:

Implement storage bins as flexible seating 

I highly suggest buying storage ottomans for your room! I bought two this year from Target and I LOVE them! These ottomans are multipurpose, and I know that you will benefit from buying one. First and foremost, they’re cute ways to store things that you don’t have room for! This year, one of mine is used for toiletries and the other one for Ziplock bags, plates, bowls, and cups! In addition to serving as storage, they also are quite comfortable seats. My roomie and I each have two storage ottomans so whenever we have guests in our room they have a place to sit! Lastly, they serve as a great step stool. Full disclosure, I’m 5’9 and have never had a problem hopping in bed, but all of my friends on the shorter side love using theirs for stools!

Add storage options in your closet

One of my personal game changers was buying a shoe holder and using command strips to put it on my closet wall. The catch is I didn’t put my shoes in it at all! I put things like dryer sheets, tide sticks, jewelry pouches, nail polish, cotton balls, bobby pins, etc. I know this sounds weird, but it made my life a lot easier and organized when I woke up each morning. Additionally, I had even more storage bins on the floor of my closet and I put my shoes in one, my scarves and cold weather accessories there, and my extra towels! Another option would be to buy another tension rod and make two different levels of hanging clothes. My roommate did this and had her sweaters, dresses and shirts on the top and pants and skirts on the bottom. Find a system that works for you!! 

Have a reality check with yourself 🙁

Y’all. Believe me when I say that I know how hard it is to decide what to bring to college. My advice would be look in your closet and only bring things that you’ve worn recently. Also, if you live close enough where you will drive home for fall break or Thanksgiving, I would bring only what’s in season. For example, my closet August through October is tank tops, jean skirts, and sandals. When I go home for fall break, I traded some tank tops for sweaters and then when I come back from Christmas break my closet is almost entirely winter clothes. By the time second semester of freshman year rolled around I was wearing leggings and an oversized t shirt almost everyday anyways, which is a very common outfit seen around Furman. Lastly, really evaluate what shoes you’re going to bring. Sophomore year I brought five (!!!) pairs of shoes and it really saved my life. For the fall semester I brought my running shoes, a pair of converse, two pairs of Jack Rogers, and a pair of black heels I could wear to whatever! I was so proud of myself and come second semester I switched my flip flops for boots and I am still thriving! 

Moving to college is a big deal and it’s only natural to want to bring everything you own in efforts to create some normalcy and similarity to living at home. I hope that some of these tips helped you as you start thinking about what you may want to bring next year to college. If you ever want to chat about it, please feel free to reach out to me- I’d like to think I’m a pro by now 😉

If you have any questions or concerns about Furman please reach out to me! My insta is @alexandra_rick ! And as always, Roll Dins!

Have a happy week!