Dorms and Apartments: How to Keep Organized in a Small Space

"Dorms & Apartments: How to Keep Organized in a Small Space" and a picture of a pretty RIT dorm, with decorations

Busy with homework? Feeling a little stressed? With other priorities taking reign, this is the time in the semester when your room starts to get a little messy. Small things can make a big difference; it will make you feel happier and healthier.  

Make Your Bed Every Day

Everyone gets a little lazy once in a while. But, if you really commit to making your bed as much as possible, your room will feel so much more organized. Nothing is worse than looking at messy sheets! 

Photo of a classic dorm room

Your Floor Isn’t a Laundry Bin

Do you have a hamper? Time to get one! Confining your dirty laundry to a hamper is going to help your room look more organized. I have a lot of clothes, and they can pile up quickly. Do yourself a favor and toss your dirty laundry in a basket. 

You’ll Never Have Too Much Storage

Storage bins, drawers, and shelves can really help you keep things put away. If you don’t have designated storage for everything, you’ll find your stuff all over the place. If everything in your room has a designated spot, it’ll be easier for you to decide where to put it and you’ll have less clutter to look at. 

You Have More Space Than You Think

Speaking of storage, your floor is not the only place storage can go. Think about vertical space. If you have room to hang storage equipment off of your door or in your closet, you’ll find yourself being able to use space you didn’t even know you could.

Decorate Your Space 

This one may seem odd, but the more you decorate your space and let your personality shine through, the more your room will feel like home. Sometimes, being in a dorm or an apartment can feel temporary. Don’t be afraid to love the space you live in, and take care of it too! 

Think About Changing Seasons

At this point in the school year, you probably have a ton of winter gear in your room. Within the last few weeks of school, the weather will warm up. Have a plan for where you’re going to put your winter gear until the end of the year.

Picture of girl blowing snow with gloves and a coat on

Get Rid of Anything You Don’t Need 

Don’t be a hoarder! It can be hard to let go of things, but if it’s adding to the clutter and you haven’t used it in a long time, get rid of it! Try donating unwanted items to a consignment shop or giving unwanted food to RIT Foodshare

Throw Away Food Immediately

Everyone snacks in their room, but make sure to throw away your food immediately. Especially in a small room, bugs or a rotten food stench is the worst. Make sure you don’t just dump smelly food in the open trash can: take it out of the room as soon as possible. 

Take Your Trash Out at Least Once a Week

If you have a small trash bin in your room, only throw things in it that won’t smell. Even if you’re only disposing of non-smelly trash in your room, take it out at least once a week. Small trash bins can only hold so much, and you don’t want it to overflow.

Paper crumpled in a small trash can

Invest in a Small Vacuum

Getting your hands on a communal vacuum can be a lot harder than you might expect. Trust me on this one, just get a small vacuum. You’d be surprised at how quick crumbs, dust, and hair can gather on the floor. Gross! 

Talk to Your Roommate Openly

Last but not least, if you have a roommate, just talk to them. If you’re bothered by something, talk respectfully and openly, and be open to accepting feedback as well. An open conversation on the topic of organization or cleaning is the quickest way to resolving conflict.


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