Storage Solutions For Dorm Rooms

what size storage unit for dorm room

When it comes to choosing the right storage unit size for your dorm room, there are a few options to consider. Firstly, it's important to assess how much space you need by taking inventory of your belongings and determining the volume of items you plan to store. A good starting point for a dorm room without furniture is a small 5' x 5' storage unit, which offers 25 square feet of space and can accommodate a twin-size bed, camping gear, and other miscellaneous items. If you have furniture, a slightly larger unit such as a 5' x 10' or a 10' x 10' may be more suitable, providing up to 100 square feet of space. These units can typically store the contents of a mid-sized bedroom, including a bed, dresser, TV, and several boxes. It's also worth considering the height of the unit, as most are around 8 feet tall, providing ample vertical space for stacking items.

Characteristics Values
Ideal for storing Office supplies and small equipment, twin-size bed or contents of a college dorm room (without furniture), camping and outdoor recreation gear
Size 5' x 5' (25 sq. ft.)
Good for Storing an entire bedroom/dorm room, office, or studio apartment
Size 5' x 10' (50 sq. ft.)
Perfect for Storing an entire living room and two full bedrooms
Size 10' x 10' (100 sq. ft.)


Storage for seasonal items

Seasonal storage is a great way to keep your living area clutter-free and your possessions in good condition. Here are some tips for storing your seasonal items:

Inventory and Preparation:

Before storing your seasonal items, take an inventory of what you have and what you need to store. Go through your belongings and decide what you want to keep, donate, or sell. For clothes, wash or dry clean them, and inspect for any damage or stains. For other items, such as sports equipment or furniture, clean and repair them if necessary.

Choose the Right Storage Containers:

Use sturdy storage containers to protect your belongings from dust, moisture, and pests. Avoid using plastic to store delicate items as it can trap moisture and cause mildew. Instead, opt for breathable garment bags or boxes for items like wool coats. Use sturdy plastic bins or cardboard boxes for bulkier items like boots and accessories.

Protect and Label:

Add cedar blocks, sachets, or essential oils to your storage containers to deter pests. Clearly label all containers with their contents and the season. This will make it easier to locate and unpack your items when the season changes.

Maximize Your Space:

Invest in space-saving solutions such as airtight, stackable storage bins to neatly pack away seasonal items. Utilize vertical space with wall-mounted shelves or over-the-door organizers. Consider using multi-functional furniture with hidden storage, such as rolling carts or ottomans.

Choose the Right Storage Unit:

When selecting a storage unit, consider the size and the features you may need. Take inventory of the items you plan to store and choose a unit that comfortably accommodates everything. If you're storing temperature-sensitive items like leather or wood, opt for a climate-controlled unit. Also, consider the accessibility of the unit and how often you'll need to access the stored items.

By following these tips, you can efficiently store your seasonal items, maximize your space, and ensure your belongings remain in excellent condition.

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Closet organisers

The average dorm room closet is small, usually a reach-in featuring a single bar and maybe a shelf. However, with the right closet organisers, you can maximise the available space. Here are some tips and product recommendations to help you get started:

Double Your Hanging Space

One of the easiest ways to instantly increase your hanging space is to add a rod doubler. This simple installation adds a second clothing rod under the existing rod, making use of wasted vertical space. Stock up on space-saving hangers to further maximise your hanging space.

Add Drawers or Stacking Storage

Placing a drawer unit or stacking storage drawers on the floor of your closet provides additional space for underwear, nightwear, workout gear, socks, leggings, and t-shirts.

Use a Sweater Organiser

Hang a sweater organiser with or without bins from your closet rod. This is a great way to store bulkier items like sweaters, leggings, and accessories.

Shoe Storage

There are several options for shoe storage, depending on the number of shoes you own. Stacking shoe organisers and cubbies work well on the closet floor. You can also use stacking drop-front boxes or shoe drawers on a shelf. An over-the-door organiser is another good option, and many can hold a dozen or more pairs of shoes.

Keep Accessories Handy

Hang pocket organisers over the door or from your clothes rod to keep scarves, sunglasses, hats, and other accessories within easy reach. Removable Command Hooks are perfect for hanging jackets, necklaces, and other accessories.

Recommended Products:

  • Hanging Over-The-Door Shoe Pockets – TUSK® College Storage offers several colour options, including alloy, black, glacier gray, rose quartz, and white.
  • Yak About It® – The Four Cube Organizer, Double Door Shoe Cabinet, Cube Storage Organizer, and My Shoes Need a Home Cubby provide various storage options for shoes, clothes, and other items.
  • Suprima® – Their Multipurpose Drawers with Shelf and Rolling Underbed Storage Shelf offer versatile storage solutions.
  • The Roll Keeper – This Closet Storage and Organization system comes in black or white and helps keep your closet tidy.
  • 6 Shelf Dorm Closet Roomy Organizer – Available in multiple colours, this organiser provides additional shelf space for your closet.
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Multi-functional furniture

When it comes to choosing furniture for your dorm room, it's important to consider multi-functional pieces that can help you maximise your limited space. Here are some ideas for multi-functional furniture that can enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your dorm room:

Bookcase with a Fold-Down Table

A bookcase with a fold-down table is a versatile option. It provides ample shelving for books and decorative items while also offering a workspace or dining area when needed. This 2-in-1 feature is perfect for small spaces and can help create a more open feel in your dorm room.

Under-Bed Storage with a Bedside Table

Utilise the space under your bed with rolling storage bins. These can be easily accessed and provide additional storage for items such as bedding, clothes, or books. Look for designs that double as a bedside table when rolled out, offering a convenient surface without taking up permanent floor space.

Convertible Tables

Convertible tables are a great way to create a multi-purpose area for work and entertainment. Opt for a side table or console table that can easily transform into a dining table when you have guests over. This saves space and provides flexibility, ensuring your dorm room can adapt to your varying needs.

Floating Desk with Shelving

A floating desk attached to the wall can be a lifesaver in a small dorm room. It provides a compact workstation without taking up valuable floor space. Look for designs that incorporate shelving to keep your stationery, books, and other essentials organised and within easy reach.

Storage Ottoman with a Tray

Storage ottomans are a popular choice for small spaces. They provide a comfortable seat or footrest and also offer hidden storage for blankets, pillows, or other items. Look for models that include a built-in tray, transforming your ottoman into a functional coffee table or side table.

Loft Bed with Integrated Storage and Desk

If you're dealing with extremely limited space, consider investing in a loft bed. This type of bed is elevated to create space underneath for a desk, storage shelves, or even a small seating area. It's an efficient way to maximise your floor space and create distinct areas for sleeping, studying, and relaxation.

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Space-saving ideas

Focus on multi-use furniture

Instead of adding chairs to your dorm room, opt for storage ottomans or a trunk to provide seating that doubles as hidden storage.

Take advantage of vertical space

Use over-the-door shoe racks, over-the-door towel racks, or hanging baskets to store everything from accessories to cleaning supplies.

Designate a kitchen area

Set up a kitchen station using a rolling utility cart or adjustable cube storage to keep appliances and other kitchen items together.

Maximise under-the-bed storage

Utilise the space under your bed by investing in storage bins, drawers, or boxes. You can also loft the bed to keep a desk, dresser, or futon below. If your bed doesn't adjust, consider purchasing bed risers.

Utilise above-the-bed storage

Add shelves above your bed to keep items up and out of the way. You can even add over-the-bed shelves specifically designed for twin beds that also allow space for a small headboard.

Make the most of your closet space

Use thin felt hangers instead of bulky wooden ones to create more room in your closet. You can also add a hanging closet organiser to store sweaters, jeans, and shoes, and make sure to leave enough space for a hamper and laundry supplies.

Create a DIY entertainment centre

If you or your roommate has a small flatscreen TV, save space by making a TV stand with cube shelves. Simply stack the cubes and place the TV on top. Cubes also provide extra storage for a DVD player, game console, and movies.

Use a rolling cart as a side table

A rolling cart is a smart alternative to a bulky end table or nightstand, providing both storage and additional space beneath.

Get more storage with a desk hutch

Desk hutches add plenty of storage space for textbooks, school supplies, and electronics. Small boxes, wicker baskets, and magazine holders can be placed on top for extra storage.

Use stacking bins for toiletry storage

If your dorm room has its own bathroom, use small stacking bins that fit well under sinks or in small cabinets to store toiletries. You can also add wire or hanging baskets from cabinet doors for extra storage.

Roll your clothing to save dresser space

Save space in your dresser drawers by rolling your clothing, also known as file folding. This technique allows you to store twice as many shirts and pants in a single drawer and can help prevent wrinkles.

Store blankets and throw pillows in a basket

A decorative wicker or fabric basket is a great way to store extra blankets and pillows while keeping them within arm's reach.

Keep accessories in cubby shelves

Hang cubby shelves on the wall by the door to easily stash scarves, hats, wallets, or wristlets as you're heading out. You can also attach hooks under these shelves for a convenient place to store coats, umbrellas, or backpacks.

Use command hooks

Command hooks are an easy and non-invasive way to add storage to your dorm room walls and doors. You can use them to hold keys, towels, photos, art, and more.

Choose the right storage organisers

Invest in desk organisers, drawer dividers, and closet bins to keep your dorm room clutter-free and organised. Regularly declutter by getting rid of items you no longer need and keeping everything in its designated place.

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Storage for specific items

Clothing and shoes

  • Use thin felt hangers to save closet space.
  • Use non-slip velvet hangers to prevent clothes from falling to the floor.
  • Use cascading or tiered hangers for pants, skirts, and shorts to save closet and drawer space.
  • Use a hanging shoe bag with multiple pockets and over-door hooks to save space.
  • Use stackable shoe shelves at the bottom of your closet to keep shoes contained and easily accessible.
  • Use under-bed storage containers for seasonal clothing, duvets, comforters, shoes, and extra bed sheets.

Toiletries and bathroom items

  • Use a shower caddy to carry toiletries back and forth from the bathroom.
  • Use small stacking bins to store toiletries under the sink or in small cabinets.
  • Use wire baskets or small hanging baskets from cabinet doors for extra bathroom storage.

Stationery and desk items

  • Use desk organizers to keep your study area tidy.
  • Use drawer dividers to manage small items like stationery and accessories.
  • Use magazine boxes to store tools like brushes, curling irons, and hair straighteners.
  • Use a DIY magnetic board to store makeup.
  • Use mason jars to store writing utensils.
  • Use binder clips to keep cords accessible and organized.
  • Use decorative washi tape to match each charger to its designated device.

Kitchen and snacks

  • Use a rolling utility cart or adjustable cube storage to create a kitchen station and keep appliances and other kitchen items together.
  • Use storage baskets to keep snacks, coffee, and utensils organized.
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Frequently asked questions

A 5' x 5' storage unit is suitable for storing extra items and the contents of a dorm room without furniture. A 5' x 10' unit is recommended for storing the contents of an entire dorm room, including furniture.

A 5' x 5' storage unit provides 25 square feet of space and is ideal for storing smaller items. A 5' x 10' unit offers 50 square feet, which is about the size of a mid-size bedroom.

A 5' x 5' storage unit can accommodate a twin-size bed, camping gear, sports equipment, and small personal items. It can also fit smaller mattresses, a chair, dresser, boxes, and other miscellaneous items.

A 5' x 10' storage unit can hold the contents of a dorm room, including a queen-size bed, dresser, TV, and several small to medium-sized boxes. It can also accommodate a king-size mattress, couch, refrigerator, or motorcycle.

The average storage unit size for a dorm room is approximately 5' x 10', providing 50 square feet of space, which is similar to a mid-size bedroom or a small walk-in closet.

Written by
  • Lara Beck
  • Lara Beck
    Author Home Renovation Professional
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