I Recommend This $36 Dorm Storage Essential to *Everyone*
You may be totally shocked to hear this, but a 128-square-foot rectangular room isn’t exactly the pinnacle of excess storage space. For most college freshmen who are living on their own for the very first time, it’s tough to figure out how to actually make such a small space work — I was no exception.
In the first few days of living in my dorm, I tried out several different storage methods — crates, bins, boxes, and an embarrassing organization hack I called frustratedly-shoving-items-into-the-closet — all in an effort to combat my lack of storage space in the shoebox (er, bedroom) I called home. Not only were these “solutions” ineffective, but they also didn’t fit into the carefully crafted, aesthetically pleasing space I was working so hard to create. It got to the point where I wasn’t sure if a cute and helpful storage solution was ever going to happen.
However, after one too many instances of muscle memory tricking me into putting a glass of water on a bedside table that didn’t actually exist, I went down an internet rabbit hole that showed me just what I was looking for: a three-tier utility cart to place next to my bed.
While “utility” and “cart” were not necessarily two words I would have personally typed into Google when searching for inspiration for my ultra-feminine dorm room, I changed my tune when I saw some truly adorable dorm transformation videos on Tiktok that featured what soon would become my new favorite storage piece. The internet seemed to love these carts so much that I was met with tons of inspiration for how to personalize it — proving this cart could (and should) have a home in any space no matter someone’s style, taste, or vibe. I even stumbled across a Facebook group dedicated to the various uses for IKEA’s version, the Råskog. So, I found a version I liked and bought it on Amazon — and immediately loved it.
The cart was affordable ($36), easy to assemble, and fit right in with my decor, no matter where in the room I wheeled it. I didn’t even have to get rid of the boxes and crates I’d already bought, as they fit onto the cart, with a perfect amount of room left over for plants, jewelry boxes, and my stuffed animals (including the Build-A-Bear frog that had a tendency to fall off my twin XL). I loved having a spot to store all my miscellaneous items that didn’t have a place of their own; the cart made them look like they always belonged there.
The cart has moved with me to two more dorm rooms and now lives in my studio apartment, and it’s gone from being a makeshift bedside table to an ever-changing, multipurpose tool I can’t live without. From perching it next to the door to hold my mittens and scarves in the wintertime to displaying all of my favorite jewelry and trinkets by my dresser, the cart’s versatility is exactly why I’ve taken it from home to home — and plan to do so well after college, too. It’s an adorable reminder that although my life has changed so much throughout the years, some things, like my need for cute and functional storage options, remain the same.
Buy: Amazon Basics 3-Tier Rolling Utility Cart, $36.87