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Dorm room move-in & storage ideas

If you have kids heading back to college this fall, or you’re a freshman who’s going off to school for the first time, check out these useful dorm storage and organization tips. From move-in day to space-saving solutions for everyday dorm life, here’s how to choose products that are perfect for every aspect of college living.

Use fabric bins and hampers to move in

For moving in, ditch the wasteful cardboard boxes and opt for durable, reusable fabric bins and hampers with a large capacity for carrying clothes, bedding, shoes and sports equipment. Look for styles with sturdy frames and long, webbed handles to make carrying heavier loads easier. After move-in is complete, a versatile utility style like the Stand Tall Bin makes a great clothes hamper and laundry basket, while the Large Utility Tote and Deluxe Utility Tote can be used to store blankets, sports equipment, food pantry items, sweaters and more.

Opt for bins you can label or see into

For moving books and smaller items, the ability to instantly know what’s inside can speed up the unpacking process and help determine whether the contents need to be treated with extra care due to their fragility. Why write the contents on a cardboard box in marker that you just have to dispose of later? Better to pack up your things in a multi-functional, reusable Your Way Cube. Each cube comes with a clear PVC window or a small chalkboard panel on the side, so you can easily identify the contents inside. Matching Your Way Cube Lids are also available separately to allow for stacking, while each cube comes with side handles for easy carrying.

During the school year, the Your Way Cube can serve many useful purposes – from holding books, pre-packaged foods or cleaning supplies, to winter items like gloves, hats and scarves. Here’s an original storage and organization idea: When closet space is limited, tip the Your Way Cube on its side and place it on a shelf to create an individual storage unit for folded T-shirts, shorts, sweaters and other clothing items. Even on the floor or a table, you can stack them to create storage cubicles for extra clothes, shoes and more!

Start a system for organizing files

With all of the different classes college students take, there’s bound to be a lot of papers, tests, notes and study guides to keep track of. That means a neat, organized study space is going to be a priority. For organizing files and papers in the study area, no student should be without the Fold N’ File. It’s made to hold standard-sized hanging folders, and with cut-out handles, it’s easy to carry from place to place. Elastic side pockets allow for pens, highlighters, calculators and other study needs. Going home for a long weekend? Up to three Fold N’ Files fit perfectly into the Deluxe Utility Tote to create a completely mobile workspace.

Choose storage bins of varying sizes to meet different needs

For all the little essentials like pens, pencils, paper clips, staples, highlighters, note pads, calculators, thumb tacks and tech chargers, one or more catch-all desk organizers will come in handy. To keep study areas from getting cluttered, the Mini Storage Bin is the perfect storage solution. In fact, several Mini Storage Bins can make a huge difference when used throughout a dorm room to keep things together so they don’t get lost. In the bathroom, use them to hold toothpaste, tissues, shampoo, soap, and lots of other grooming supplies. In the pantry, they’re perfect for plastic ware, condiments, salt and pepper shakers, napkins, tea bags and other little non-perishable kitchen essentials. And on a dresser, they can hold everything from sunglasses and makeup, to jewelry and hair accessories.

Store dorm toiletries in a portable case

A small bathroom, especially one that’s shared by multiple roommates with limited storage or drawer space, may require a little ingenuity when it comes to dorm room organization. If there’s no good enclosed space to hide things away like cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, toilet tissue, or light bulbs, the new Get Creative Case for Fall is a great dorm room storage solution. With exterior side handles and a hook and loop flap closure, it’s easy to transport and stack in places where space is limited, like under a sink or cabinet.

If their dorm has a community bathroom and lugging personal grooming items back and forth between the dorm room and the shower is a daily activity, a sturdy tote with space for shampoo, bath gel, razors, brushes and shaving cream is a necessity. The Double Duty Caddy makes a great tote for bathing and grooming supplies. With a top handle for easy carrying, a structured, sturdy shape for stability and four exterior mesh pockets, it’s the perfect carry-all for students with limited (or no!) bathroom storage space.

Make your storage solutions distinct with personalization

Of course, all of these items can be personalized to make them feel more special. And adding a monogram or a special icon provides a sense of ownership and belonging in a dorm room that might have multiple occupants. Consider adding school colors or a sports Icon-It that reflects your college student’s personality or passion. And, even if you don’t have a university student of your own, a personalized dorm storage solution makes a great college send-off or graduation gift!

All of us at Thirty-One Gifts congratulate all of the new college students beginning this exciting journey! We wish every one of you the best of luck in your studies and endeavors. You’ve come a long way already and you should be proud. Now, don’t forget your shower shoes!