Style & Shopping

10 Small-Space Storage Solutions for Every Spot in Your Dorm Room

published Aug 9, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Various storage devices in a template clockwise from top right: storage crates, bed raisers, command hooks, bedside caddy.
Credit: Clockwise from top right: Monkiss, Pottery Barn Dorm, Command, Wayfair

I can’t be the only one who experienced a moment of absolute shock when I walked into my freshman dorm room and saw just how tiny it was with my own eyes. I remember thinking, “I knew it was going to be small, but this small?” My housing website did a brilliant job of making the microscopic room look much larger online, and suddenly that carload of stuff I had waiting for me outside felt way too large to fit into my new home. 

After testing out a ton of different storage products in that tiny dorm room, another tiny dorm room the next year, and now a 400-square-foot studio apartment in New York City, I consider myself an expert of small-space storage solutions. My biggest takeaway is that if you’re willing to invest a little bit of time and money into your space, it’ll pay off big time. (My second biggest takeaway? Don’t just shove your stuff into the closet to deal with later — you’ll end up regretting it.)

Below, I’m sharing some of my absolute favorite small-space storage products that will make every zone in your room more organized, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.

All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Small-space storage for your bed:

1 / 3
PB Teen

During my freshman year, my bed sat so low to the ground that there was no room to store things underneath it. Dorm life requires a lot of creative trial and error, so my priority for my next dorm room was to figure out a way to change this. The best solution I came across were these bed risers, which lifted the bed 8 inches to create tons of storage space.

2 / 3

I used the newfound space under my bed by sliding in these storage boxes to put away items I didn’t need sitting out in my dorm room. If you’re unsure whether these (or any other storage solution) will fit under your bed with or without risers, you can contact your dorm’s residence life office to ask about the room’s specs! Being in the know about how much space you’re dealing with can help you plan ahead.

3 / 3

The lack of a bedside table is unfortunately pretty common in most dorm rooms, and while you may be tempted to bring one with you, they can be bulky and take up valuable space around your bedside area, in addition to becoming a breeding ground for clutter. Since I’m all about convenience without sacrificing organization and visual appeal, I love using this attachable bedside caddy as a cute way to keep all of my essentials in one easily accessible place.

Small-space storage for your closet:

1 / 2

I’m a huge fan of using products for everything except for their intended purpose — especially when it comes to storage. For example, I didn’t bring enough shoes to college to warrant a large shoe rack, but I had a few of these and used them to store so many other items: school supplies, accessories, makeup, you name it! They hang right inside the closet, and the lack of bulkiness ensures you can have more than one without sacrificing clothing space.

2 / 2

Because of its small size, I underestimated just how much this storage bin would come in handy, and for so many different things! I organized the drawers so each one held different items, including pens, hair ties, and my AirPods. I even used a label maker to ensure I knew what was in each drawer!

Small-space storage for your desk:

1 / 3

Your dorm desk is a crucial part of college life. Not only do you need to utilize every precious inch of limited space, but in the era of hybrid classes where you might need to Zoom into a lecture, it also needs to look good! Plus, who can study when your pens, papers, and books are all over the place, anyway? This caddy ensures that your school supplies are organized, neat, and easy to find.

2 / 3
Five Below

This is just like the closet organizer listed above — only mini! It’s perfect for keeping school supplies in one place, and for all of those tiny things that have a tendency to get lost: erasers, staples, pencils, and more. And at $5, you can’t beat the price — heck, you might want to snag a few of them!

3 / 3

While I’m on the topic of mini organizers, these colorful bins are seriously too cute! You get to minimize clutter while also adding some pastels to your space — and if you want to go above and beyond, you can color-code your items so you know exactly where to find what you need.

Small-space storage for your bathroom:

1 / 2

Command hooks have been a lifesaver in both my communal and private bathrooms. When you’re using a shared bathroom, you need to keep your stuff in your room but have it ready whenever you need it — putting up Command hooks right by the door is an easy way to create a grab-and-go space for your towels, shower caddies, and those absolutely dreaded shower shoes. Once I got a place with my own private bathroom, I started using Command hooks as a renter-friendly solution to having towels, caddies, and my robe right next to the shower.

2 / 2

Much like my desk, my bathroom counter tends to get cluttered with items that typically lack a proper home, like makeup and skincare products. This rotating organizer ensures I can see all of the products up close without making a mess of my bathroom.

Sydney Hargrove

Media Studies

Sydney is a journalism student at Hunter College in Manhattan. When she’s not writing about decor, she’s working as an on-the-scene entertainment journalist for The Knockturnal. She loves to interview talent and write about all things film, TV, and theater. In the rare moments she’s not running around somewhere, she loves hanging out in her Midtown studio that she’s constantly decorating and rearranging.

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SchoolHunter College '25
MajorMedia Studies
FavesDecor, dresses, Timothée Chalamet, NYC, fairy lights, hugs
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