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Dear Storage Seeker:

I am heading off to college this August, and I have to be honest – I am a little concerned. The dorm rooms are really small, I mean, tiny, and I am expected to share that space with a complete stranger. I am not sure how to navigate such a small room with another person and all of our stuff and was wondering if you had any helpful organizing tips and tricks, as you usually do. Please help; I am worried.

Short on space.

Dear Short on Space:

We hear you!

Dorms are notoriously small, with most just measuring just 12 x 19 feet. This means that students entering their freshman year at universities across the county have, on average, 228 square feet of living space. You read that right – two hundred and twenty-eight square feet! And most will have at least one roommate — which means the amount of personal space shrinks to about 114 square feet. Two roommates and your dorm will become even smaller. 


You are right to be concerned – but worried? Not so much. Millions had gone before you and survived, so we think you will pull through this in pretty good shape. Regardless, with such a tiny space to work with, you have to strategically utilize every inch to stay organized (and sane)!

Here are some helpful tips to make navigating the tiny dorm life a bit easier:

Keep your belongings to a minimum.

American television host and radio personality Alexis Stewart once said, “The more storage you have, the more stuff you accumulate.” One benefit of having a small room to share with another person is that you are forced to really think about the items you bring into your dorm. With fewer opportunities to hoard and hold on to clutter, whatever you keep should truly have value and purpose. If not, you need to get rid of it, pronto!

Utilize every nook and cranny.

Think about using the space located above and below you by installing shelves and hooks. Believe it or not, over-the-door storage, stacked hangers, and even shoe caddies can be used to organize jewelry, papers, clothing, and miscellaneous belongings. These items are easy to find and inexpensive, so you can maximize space without breaking the bank.

Consider renting a self-storage unit.

Renting a self-storage unit nearby can provide you and your roommate with even more space for the items you need regularly but don’t have the square footage for, such as sports equipment or seasonal clothing. Plus, you can keep items close to campus when the year is through instead of lugging them back home. The rent is affordable, and if you go in with a friend, it is next to nothing each month.

By being mindful of the items you keep, getting creative with the space you have, and renting a storage unit close to campus, you can be certain that you will make it through – organized and clutter-free!

To a successful and spacious college career!