Back To School

With high school seniors preparing to head off to college, we decided to ask our friend Sydney Murrah, a senior at the University of Oklahoma, to share her recommendations on getting prepared for the move and her favorite accessories to keep a compact dorm room organized.

I remember taking a visit with my mom to my soon-to-be dorm room to figure out how we could organize the space which both my roommate and I could share and enjoy equally. With the right organization tools, you can easily make the most of the shared space and even get more space out of it.

The Pre-Pack

As a Freshman, packing was a bit of a daunting task and took me hours. To help, I made a detailed list of all the things I needed to bring to avoid bringing unnecessary items that would create clutter in my dorm. I broke down my list into 2 categories – one for the things I was bringing from home and another for things I would need to buy once I finished moving in.

Clothing & Shoes

I always overthink whether I’ll need an item of clothing or how many pairs of shoes are one too many. For the over packers and the accidental over packers, I recommend getting 9-hole clothing hangers for your closet. They save space and keep your clothes organized and easy to find. To keep all your shoes in pairs, I recommend getting an over the door shoe organizer because they take up minimal space. You can find some great options (option 1, option 2) for closet and shoe organizers at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Food & Snacks

When it came to food, I had a very convenient 2-cubby organizer right next to my mini fridge that allowed me to store all my snack foods like granola, chips, bread, etc. It made it a lot easier to find everything I bought AND kept food out of sight in my dorm room, which kept it looking more put together and clean. Here (option 1, option 2) are a couple of options from Target.

Desk

Keeping my desk organized was such an essential part in keeping me motivated during my first year! It makes such a difference when you know where everything is because it gives you a clear head space to work or study. My desk, at the time, also doubled as my vanity so I used acrylic organizers from Amazon to store my makeup. It was easy to clean and had built-in spaces for my brushes, makeup, tweezers, etc. They are also great organizers for school supplies as well. . Browse through my recommendations (option 1, option 2, option 3) for inspiration.

Bathroom

Dorm bathrooms can be….a lot. The goal is to minimize the stress and the mess! I usually kept my toothbrush and toothpaste together in a cup above my sink and kept the rest of my bathroom necessities in a three-drawer plastic organizer. I also used a caddy to keep all my shower essentials in one place. Target and Bed Bath & Beyond have some great options that are functional and affordable (option 1, option 2, option 3).

Decor and Bedside

Decor is so important in a dorm room! I made sure to pick out pieces from both my room at home and newly purchase items. Adding a string of lights around my dorm room and hanging framed photos on the wall (using CommandTM strips of course) gave my room the cozy feel I was going for. Target has some cute and functional options for décor – check out some of my favorites (option 1, option 2, option 3).

For my bedside, I hung an acrylic wall cubby to hold my phone and other essentials. I strung an extension cord through it, making it easy to plug in my phone at night or quickly charge my laptop. Here are some great options from Amazon (option 1, option 2).