Dorm Room Storage: 30 Ideas to Organize a Small Space

Dorm Room Storage Ideas

College students who live in a dorm do not have enough storage space. That’s just the plain truth. Dorm room storage is critical for all of your college essentials.

You need a great way (or a few great ways) to make the most of a small space. The good news: you don’t need a professional organizer to organize a small dorm room!

I’ve collected the best dorm room storage ideas for maximum efficiency from college students who did it right. Read on!

(And be sure to download my super-handy FREE ultimate college packing checklist to help you get ready for move-in day!)

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1. Use Bed Risers to Create More Dorm Storage Space

Dorm Room Storage: Bed Risers
Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

A key to small-space organizing is using every bit of space you can. You’ve got to get a lot of stuff to fit into a tiny dorm room, after all.

Your dorm bed is the largest piece of furniture in your room. Take advantage of the space beneath it! As you’ll see in this article, you can store SO MANY things under the bed. 

Bed risers are an easy way to lift your bed, and they come in different heights. The set below can be purchased with 3, 6 or 8 inches of height. To me, the higher the better.

EVEN BETTER…it comes with a USB port and power outlet, which is really convenient in a dorm. You can never have too many ports or outlets in my experience. 

Tuffen Adjustable Bed Riser with Power Outlet and USB Ports, Elevation in Heights 3, 5 or 8 Inch Furniture Riser Lifts with Metal Sheet, Heavy Duty 1500 lbs Capacity for Dorm Bed Table Sofa (Set of 4)

​2. Use a Storage Ottoman Step Stool

A multi-use piece of furniture like this is one of my favorite storage solutions. Once your bed is lifted, you may need a step stool to climb up. Use a storage ottoman like this one!

Dorm Room Storage: Storage Ottoman stores extra cleaning supplies, tools, hardware, etc.
Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

It’s the perfect place to stash cleaning supplies or any small items you want to hide away. And it takes up very little floor space.

NO MORE TAG Storage Ottoman Cube, 12 inches Velvet Fabric Small Ottoman with Storage, Storage Footstool for Living Room and Bedroom, Grey

3. Add Cube Shelves for Under Bed Storage

Dorm Room Storage: Under-Bed Cube Storage
Photo Credit Mikaela C.

This is one of the most beautiful ways to organize beneath a dorm bed! Cube organizers make lovely storage bins that hide your items but offer easy access. You can store clothing, extra bedding, towels, food, plates and cups…you name it.  

Dorm Room Storage: Cube Organizers
Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

I like these collapsible canvas storage bins for this space because they’re easy to fold up when it’s time to move at the end of the school year.

You can also use wicker basket storage bins. 

PRO TIP: Carefully measure the space before purchasing the organizer to ensure it’ll fit. 

CAPHAUS Sturdy Room 13-Inch Cube Storage Organizer Shelf, with Extra Thick Exterior Edge, Open Storage Shelf Divider, Bookcase, 8-Cube, White

4. Hide Boxes and Luggage Behind Your Under Bed Storage

Another great dorm storage idea (at no extra cost): use the empty space behind your under bed storage bins for rarely used items like moving boxes and luggage. This way, it doesn’t take up precious closet space AND it’s out of sight until you need it.

Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

5. Add Dorm Bed Storage for Your Water Bottle and Travel Cup

You’ll spend lots of time on your bed: reading, watching movies, using FaceTime with your family, and hanging out with your roommate. Make it more comfortable by adding storage for bottles and cups — and avoid the hassle of spills in the middle of the night. 

How cute is this cozy cushioned cup holder?

Cup Cozy Pillow (Cheetah)- *As Seen on TV* -The World's Best Cup Holder! Keep Your Drinks Close and Prevent Spills. Use it Anywhere-Couch, Floor, Bed, Man cave, car, RV, Park, Beach and More!

6. Use a Bedside Caddy to Charge Devices Overnight

College dorms don’t usually provide a nightstand, so use a bedside caddy or bed shelf instead.

Dorm Room Storage: Bed Caddy
Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

These come in many different styles to suit your color scheme and bed frame. Some hang over the frame while others tuck into your mattress. They hold phones, tablets, glasses, chapstick and lotion…all of those typical nightstand items. 

Zafit Bedside Storage Organizer, Table Cabinet Storage Organizer Bedside Organizer Caddy for Remotes Phone Glasses (4 Pockets-Grey)

7. Use Utility Carts for Mobile Storage

Dorm Room Storage: Utility Cart
Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

I love the versatility of a rolling cart. You can use one to store food items near your microwave, or school supplies near your desk, and move it next to your bed for snacking or studying in comfort. This option with cube organizers looks really clean:

Honey-Can-Do 3 Drawer Rolling Cart - Blk CRT-02184 Black, 11.5'D x 16.13'W x 35.5'H

8. Use More Wall Space with Command Hooks 

Command hooks are your best friend in a college dorm room. When you’re not allowed to drill or nail into the walls, but you need to use all of the wall space you can…removable hooks are the best way to go.

You can also use them on the back of your door, side of your desk, inside a cabinet door…get creative!

Command Large Wall Hooks, Damage Free Hanging Wall Hooks with Adhesive Strips, No Tools Double Wall Hooks for Hanging Decorations in Living Spaces, 2 Brushed Nickel Plastic Hooks and 2 Command Strips

9. Store School Supplies in Drawer Organizers

Dorm Room Storage: Desk Drawer Organizers
Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

​You will probably have a desk with drawers in your dorm room. Make the most of your drawer space with organizers. I like adjustable organizers or sets of small bins that you can configure in multiple ways. 

KeFanta 22 Pack Desk Drawer Organizers,Interlocking Junk Drawer and Storage with 3 Sizes, Tray Organizer for Office,Bathroom,Kitchen,Makeup(Dark Grey)

P.S. Check out this post for great desk drawer organization ideas!

10. Store Like Items in Bins on Shelves

Dorm Room Storage: Shelf Storage
Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

One of the simplest organization ideas is to simply group “like” items together in bins. Have one bin for school supplies, one for cosmetics, one for hair care, etc.

This will help you keep track of your things in a small space and keep that small space tidy.

11. Use Adjustable Wire Shelf Storage Around Your Mini Fridge

I love adjustable dorm storage solutions! This wire shelving rack can fit around your dorm fridge and will fit a microwave, coffee maker and/or small smart TV, too!

I’ve seen students place these at the end of their beds to watch movies or play video games. (I would secure it to the bed with zip ties if you go this route.) The shelves adjust to any height you need. 

DormCo Suprima® Adjustable Shelving - The Shelf Supreme - Black

PRO TIP: Add your own hooks on the side for things like scarves, belts, jewelry and purses. 

12. Add a Full-Length Mirror to the Back of a Door

Don’t leave for class without double-checking your fit. Add an over-the-door mirror to your dorm or closet door.

NeuType Full Length Mirror, 44' x 16' Over The Door Mirror, Wall Mount Hanging Mirror with 2 Metal Hangers for Wall Bedroom Bathroom Living Room Decor,Black

13. Keep Dresser Drawers Tidy with Organizers

Add a few dresser drawer organizers to keep socks, bras, and underwear tidy. These can be great for file-folding t-shirts and athletic wear, too.

6 Pack Sock Underwear Drawer Organizer Dividers, 58 Cell Foldable Fabric Dresser Closet Organizers and Storage Bins for Clothing, Baby Clothes, Bra, Panty, Scarf, Ties (Grey)

Check out more tips to organize a messy dresser!

14. Store Laundry Room Essentials in a Laundry Backpack

A laundry backpack — what a great idea! Use it as a hamper in your room, then easily carry it and your detergent to the laundry room at the end of the week. You can hang it on the end of your bed or store it in a laundry basket (and use the basket for folding clean clothes). 

Dalykate Backpack Laundry Bag with Shoulder Straps and Mesh Pocket Durable Nylon Clothes Hamper Bag with Drawstring Closure for College, Travel, Laundromat, Apartment

15. Hang Shower Stuff on the Back of Your Door

Dorm Room Storage: Towels and Shower Stuff
Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

Another great use of Command Hooks! Hang your towel and a mesh shower caddy on the back of your door for quick access on the way to the bathroom.

F-color Mesh Shower Caddy Portable, Upgrade Deeper 7 Pockets Basket Bag Tote for College Dorm Room Toiletry Bathroom Essentials Gym Camp Quick Dry 2 handles with S Hook, Black

16. Store Extra Blankets or Seasonal Clothes Above Your Armoire or Wardrobe Closet

If you have an armoire or wardrobe closet like this, add a large basket or two on top for blankets or seasonal clothes you don’t need right away.

Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

It might be hot in August when you move into your dorm, but some climates get COLD in the winter. The extra space above an armoire is a perfect solution for extra storage! 

​P.S. I’ve got more armoire organization tips here

17. Use Desk Organizers for a Tidy Study Space

Your desk will likely become a place to store more than just school supplies. Keep it as tidy as possible with lots of organizers. Here are some great ideas:

BLU MONACO White Desktop Organizer with Drawer - Home Countertop Storage - Paper Wood Bill Letter Mail Organizer for Office Desk Accessories & Workspace Organizers UnionBasic Desk Organizer - Multifunctional Leather Desktop Pen Holder Storage Box - Business Card/Pen/Pencil/Mobile Phone/Stationery Holder (Blue)

For more desk organizing tips, be sure to check out my articles on: 

18. Jewelry Storage: Try a Travel Jewelry Organizer

Dorm Room Storage: Jewelry Organizer
Source: Mikaela C.

Check out this perfect storage solution for all of your jewelry! It keeps everything safely organized and sits neatly on a shelf or in a drawer.

Travel Jewelry Box, PU Leather Small Jewelry Organizer for Women Girls, Double Layer Portable Mini Travel Case Display Storage Holder Boxes for Stud Earrings, Rings, Necklaces, Bracelets (Black)

19. Keep Your Favorite Photos in a Neat Wall Display

Create a little wall of memories with neatly arranged photos of family and friends. This set of photo clip string lights keeps your loved ones close by without taking up drawer or shelf space.

Photo Clip 17Ft - 50 LED Fairy String Lights with 50 Clear Clips for Hanging Pictures, Photo String Lights with Clips - Perfect Dorm Bedroom Wall Decor Wedding Decorations

20. Organize Makeup, Nail Polish and Toiletries in an Upright Storage Bin

A vertical storage organizer like this frees up valuable drawer space and allows you to store all of your cosmetics, nail polish, perfume, etc. upright to avoid spills.

lexvss Makeup Organizer Countertop, Cosmetics Organizer with Drawers, Makeup Storage Box Organizer Skin Care Holder Display Case for Dresser, Bathroom Counter, Vanity Desk & Countertop (Green)

P.S. I have more makeup organization tips for bedrooms and bathrooms!

21. Use Magazine Holders to Store Books and More

Magazine holders store much more than magazines. And a basket version like this can hold your textbooks, art supplies, games and other items you may need to move around:

EZDeco Magazine Holder Foldable Magazine Rack Floor PU Leather File Holder Newspaper Book Storage Basket Document File Folder Organizer for Office Home

22. Store Hair Accessories and Tools in a Countertop Organizer

If you do most of your hairstyling in your room (or you’re lucky enough to have bathroom counter space for your things), this solution keeps everything in one place.

NIUBEE Acrylic Hair Styling Tool Organizer and Holder - Bathroom Countertop Storage for Blow Dryers, Accessories, Makeup, and Toiletries

23. Use a Hanging Shoe Organizer 

Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

Love this idea!  A hanging shoe organizer on the side of an armoire is perfect for a small dorm room. Your shoes are kept nice, neat and off the floor. 

24. Try Stackable Shoe Organizers Under the Bed (or in the Closet)

​These stackable shoe boxes are great. They keep your shoes neatly organized and use available vertical space. They’re perfect for under-bed storage or on the floor of your closet.

jphoiy box Shoe Storage Boxes Stackable, 9 Packs Shoe Organizer for Closet, Shoe Boxes for Sneaker Display, Shoe Containers, Fit up to Maximum Size of US12, Clear

25. Hang Hats, Belts and Scarves Inside a Closet Door

Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

Never forget to use the inside of a door or cabinet! This is valuable space for hanging many items with Command hooks.

26. Use Magic Hangers to Store More in Your Closet

These hangers really maximize space in a small closet. Each hanger allows you to hang five items of clothing vertically and save 80% more space. 

HOUSE DAY Magic Hangers Space Saving 10 Pack, Upgraded Sturdy Smart Space Saver Hangers, Ultra-Premium Black Hanger Hooks Triple Closet Space, Closet Organizers and Storage, College Room Essentials

27. Add Stackable Storage Baskets Inside the Closet

Another way to maximize the space in a small closet: stackable storage baskets. These are great for folded items like sweaters, jeans, sweatshirts and sweatpants. 

Jakyitvi Stackable Closet Organizers and Storage Bins 4 Pack, Folded Drawer Shelf Organizer for Closet Wardrobe, Sturdy Metal Clothes Storage Container for Clothes Pants Sweaters, Black

28. Create a Coffee Station on Your Mini Fridge

Photo Credit: Mikaela C.

A small Keurig or Nespresso machine will fit right on top of a pod storage drawer, creating the perfect coffee station!

Set it on top of your mini fridge or desk (or even a small bookcase). Add a filtered water pitcher and you’re set.

Check out more cozy coffee station ideas!

29. Set Up a Desk Lamp Charging Station

Multi-functional tech really helps you save space in a small dorm room. This light is an alarm clock, calendar, thermometer and charging station all in one. It offers wireless charging and a USB port. And it’s dimmable when you just want some background light.

poukaran LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger, USB Charging Port, Table Lamp with Clock, Alarm, Date, Temperature, Desk Lamps for Home Office,Black

30. Don’t Forget the Surge Protector with USB and USB-C Ports

You can’t go wrong with this surge protector! It offers a 6-foot power cord, 8 outlets and 4 USB charging ports. It’s perfect for all of your devices. 

6 Ft Surge Protector Power Strip - 8 Widely Outlets with 4 USB Ports, 3 Side Outlet Extender with 6 Feet Extension Cord, Flat Plug, Wall Mount, Desk USB Charging Station, ETL,White

P.S. Check out this post for a ton of cord and cable storage ideas!

I hope these ideas have inspired you to organize your dorm room. It’s possible to fit a LOT in a small space, if you get creative with storage solutions. Happy organizing!

Last update on 2024-03-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API