25 Dorm Room Organization Ideas That'll Elevate Your Space

These dorm storage and organization ideas will maximize space

organized dorm room


Dorms rooms are truly multi-tasking spaces: they're made for sleeping, studying, eating, and hanging out with friends. But what they aren't known for is being spacious or particularly orderly. These dorm room storage ideas will help you think of creative ways to make the most of the space you do have. Whether it's under-the-bed or behind the door, vertical storage or organized drawers, there are actually a surprising amount of ways to organize a dorm, so you can fit clothes, books, cleaning supplies, and all the other things you need.

  • 01 of 25

    A Dorm Curtain Wall

    dorm room with curtain wall

    @bennyrebecca and @studio_benedetto

    If you're looking to warm up the cold cinder block wall of a dorm room, try this cool trick. Installing a curtain over the wall instantly makes the room look more spacious, sophisticated, and a lot more inviting, plus it lets the dresser decor pop. Cinder block or brick walls aren't easy to drill into (nor would you want to if your dorm has rules about what you can put on the walls), but Command hooks or even heavy duty tape may be your friend here.

    A curved mirror makes that telltale dorm dresser a lot more chic, too.

  • 02 of 25

    Organized Drawers

    organized drawers with toiletries

    Breathing Room Home

    When drawers are organized, you can fit even more inside (and you'll always know where everything is). Here acrylic bins keep everyday essentials like cotton rounds and makeup remover wipes handy. A shower caddy for trekking shower supplies to and from the bathroom is also a dorm room must-have, so you can keep all your products in one place (and they won't get your furniture wet).

  • 03 of 25

    Tablet and Cord Organization

    tablet and cord organization


    A desk organizer is a must for a small dorm room, especially one that has space for tablets and laptops. Cords don't have to look messy and tangled either when you are able to hide them behind an organizer. Storing tablets and laptops sideways frees up more space for books and studying. One of the handiest things about a system like this is that because everything has a very defined place, it's less likely that you won't be able to find a charger or tablet when it's time to study.

  • 04 of 25

    Under-Bed Storage

    underbed storage


    A lofted bed is a fantastic way to add square footage to a small dorm room. Some choose to loft the bed high enough where a couch or desk can fit under, and others may prefer to use the extra space for shelves or drawers. Most dorm beds are designed to be stacked (like bunk beds) or lofted, but it's usually a two-person job.

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  • 05 of 25

    Use the Dorm Windowsill

    organized dorm room


    Dorm room organization requires making the most of every space. Here a windowsill is wide enough for a reading lamp and a wicker basket (perfect for holding books). If you look closely, you'll notice a wire shelf on the desk which holds utensils and other essentials, so eating at the desk becomes more pleasant. On the desk itself, there's a coffee maker and a set of tiny drawers for organization.

  • 06 of 25

    A Floating Bookshelf

    floating bookshelf in dorm room


    Clear some space on a desk by using a bookshelf. This one displays books vertically, so it doesn't take up a ton of space, plus it adds a cool colorful effect to the room. This type of styled shelf works as a piece of decor too, and it looks beautiful with the rainbow books. It also works well for storing textbooks and other bulkier items.

  • 07 of 25

    A Dorm Room With Style

    a large dorm room with bookshelf and plant


    There's a lot to love about this cozy dorm room, but one of the coolest things from a storage perspective is that the top of the coffee table top slides ofd. Inside it holds blankets and other spare linens, which are notoriously hard to find space for in a smaller space with an extra closet. Look for a small space coffee table to fit in a dorm and furniture that doubles as clever storage is always a smart idea.

  • 08 of 25

    Drawers Galore

    a dorm room outfitted from dormify


    This striking dorm room, outfitted by Dormify, does not skimp on storage. Fabric drawers are a great and lightweight option that's easy to move at the end of the year. At the end of the bed on the left, you can see a mesh shower caddy that's handy for walking to the bathrooms, but also saves space.

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  • 09 of 25

    A Stool With Storage

    a stool with storage


    Hot tools can be bulky and hard to store, but this stool solves the problem. The top comes off and there's storage inside which is perfect for straightners, curling irons, and other hair tools that take up a lot of space. If you don't use hot tools, it's also a great place for chargers that aren't in use, cleaning supplies, or other things you don't need all the time. Plus, it doubles as extra seating when friends come over.

  • 10 of 25

    A Dorm Room With a Nightstand for Storage

    a beautiful dorm room with headboards


    This sophisticated navy and gold dorm room looks elevated and clean, thanks to plenty of storage (and of course, those upholstered headboards). When you lift the top off the ottoman, there's space inside for chargers, hot tools, and other odds and ends. The shared nightstand offers a bunch of space, and it's nice to be able to shut the door on any clutter.

  • 11 of 25

    An Organized Desk

    an organized desk

    Black & Blooms

    A dorm room desk can be both functional and beautiful. The cubbies, computer stand, and roomy woven baskets keep everything organized, while a houseplant, terrarium, and framed art looks warm and inviting. A set of lightweight drawers from Ikea works well as a desk stand, but if your dorm desk has drawers, you can always use something similar as a nightstand or in the closet.

  • 12 of 25

    Use Wall Space

    use wall space for storing hat in a dorm

    Black & Blooms

    In a room with limited space, like a dorm, it's always a good idea to think vertical and use wall space. This hat storage idea uses the wall (you can use Command hooks if you're not allowed to make holes in the dorm), and it also works as part of the decor. Bags, jewelry, and baseball hats also work well for vertical storage.

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  • 13 of 25

    A Lofted Bed

    a lofted bed


    A mini fridge fits perfectly under a lofted bed, as this photo shows, and you can use the additional space for storage bins, out of season clothes, or extra books. Pushing your desk against the end of the bed, almost like a headboard, also works well for saving space and creating a little study nook.

  • 14 of 25

    Jewelry Storage

    hooks for storing jewelry


    Keep jewelry from getting tangled by hanging it from hooks. This way, you can see everything you have, and you don't have to waste precious dresser top space on a jewelry box. If you don't have much art, hanging jewelry also adds color and texture to the space. Tiny nail holes are easy enough to cover at the end of the year, or you could get creative a hanging this type of racking using sticky hooks or push pins.

  • 15 of 25

    Makeup Drawer Organization

    makeup drawer organization


    Sure you could use your desk drawers for pens and office supplies, or you could use the precious real estate for makeup organization (and leave the pens etc. in a backpack). Here, small bins keep makeup brushes, products, and hair accessories organized so getting ready for a night out is stress free. If you have enough drawer space, it can be nice to lay out your makeup as well (as opposed to keeping it tucked away in a bag). This way, you can see what you have, and you'll know what you never use so you can get rid of it.

  • 16 of 25

    Command Hook Storage

    hat storage using command hooks


    An organized closet is key for keeping a dorm room clutter-free. Here, hooks keep hats off the ground, and bag organizers (that also double as file holders when turned upside down) separate each bag, and woven baskets hold other accessories like scarves. You may not have a spacious closet in a dorm, but a few simple organizing hacks will make it feel a whole lot bigger, and it will streamline your routine so you have more time in the morning.

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  • 17 of 25

    Drawer Organizers

    drawer organizers for underwear


    Use drawer organizers to make the most of every drawer. Fabrics organizers or drawer dividers keep underwear and bras separate, which keeps the hard-to-fold items orderly. This type of customizable divider can be helpful for socks and workout clothes too.

  • 18 of 25

    Hooks and Baskets

    hooks and baskets in closet

    Studio DIY

    Make the most of the closet space you do have by installing a hanging rack for keeping backpacks, purses, totes, and other items organized. An over-the-door rack (which doesn't require any drilling) is dorm-friendly, as are baskets for storing out of season clothes or bulkier items that won't wrinkle if they're folded in a bin.

  • 19 of 25

    Desk Drawer Organization

    desk organization


    Make your desk work for you by keeping it organized. When you're cramming for finals, you'll know exactly where to find your charging cord, highlighter, screen cleaner, (or Lifesaver mint for tough moments). Having some sort of desk organization is a good way to feel calm and ready when it's time to sit down to study, plus when you know where everything is you spend more time taking notes and less time looking for index cards or Post-Its.

  • 20 of 25

    A Place for Everything

    desk organization


    Not only is this colorfully organized desk aesthetically pleasing, but it keeps all those tiny desk supplies on display so they're easy to find. From staples and paper clips to highlighters and erasers, keep everything tidy (plus you'll be psyched to open your drawer).

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  • 21 of 25

    Space-Saving Folding

    organized folding


    Using a space-saving folding technique takes no extra time on laundry day (once you get the easy technique down), plus it saves so much space in your drawers. There isn't one right way to fold clothes to save drawer space, and you may try a few different ways until you find one you like best.

  • 22 of 25

    A Desk With Shelving

    desk with shelves


    Shelves on a desk are a great way to keep the desk surface for essentials while still having plenty of space for books, framed photos, and plants or other homey items that warm up a dorm. Many schools will have shelves above the desk, but if not, you can put a cubby shelf system on the desk itself which makes it so you don't have to drill anything.

  • 23 of 25

    Command Hooks for Wall Storage

    command hook storage


    Got a lot of bags, and not a lot of space? No problem. Command hooks add wall storage in a spot that would otherwise go unused, and they won't cause any damage to the walls (so you're free of that annoying fine at the end of the year). The image shows an extensive backpack collection, but you can mix it up with different types of bags or hats, belts, and other accessories that hang easily.

  • 24 of 25

    Floating Shelves in a Dorm

    floating shelves


    This small dorm room has plenty of personality. An open shelf over the bed is perfect for displaying framed photos and other personal items while keeping the desk and dresser clear. This style shelf (with sides, like a bookshelf) works well for displaying items that would get damaged if they fell, but open storage also works well.

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  • 25 of 25

    Drawers Under Bed

    lofted drawers under bed


    Here, thanks to a lofted bed and a clever desk placement, most of the furniture ends up along one wall of the dorm. If you have a single, you could use the other wall for a futon or extra seating for friends. And if both roommates opt for compact storage like this, it frees up space in the middle for a dance party.

Dorms rooms may be small, but they don't have to feel cramped. These dorm room storage and organization ideas make the most of the space, so it feels more inviting. Whether it's an organized desk drawer that makes studying more calm, a lofted bed with space underneath for a mini fridge or dresser, or simply using Command hooks to make the most of wall space, try these dorm organization ideas.