We’re here to help you maximize every square inch of storage space in your cinderblock-walled shoebox of a dorm room.
We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
1. A set of foldable cloth storage cubes that might just be the most versatile and useful thing you buy for your dorm room. Use them to store clothes, books, pantry items, or school supplies, and place them at the top of your closet, on a shelf, or under your bed for easy access.
Promising review: “This is exactly what I anticipated, I wish they were just slightly bigger but I use them on the side in my closet almost like drawers. It’s definitely a space saver for me because we have just downsized and wanted a neat solution for lack of space to put a dresser in the bedroom. They work great — if I was using them right side up I am quite sure they would be more sturdy, but honestly I am not complaining because they work great for me. These run anywhere from $5–$10 at any store I looked at so as far as value totally worth it!” —Gretchen Thro
Get a set of six from Amazon for $18.97 (available in 11 colors).
2. A 50-pack of super-slim velvet hangers to streamline your closet situation so you can fit in as many clothes as possible into the tiny space. Go ahead, pack another suitcase of clothes to take to college — you’ll actually have room to hang them up thanks to these magical hangers!
Promising review: “These hangers do all the work for me. I was finally inspired to rid myself of flimsy, tacky dry-cleaner hangers and bulky plastic ones — I’d have to size up my clothes in order to determine which ones wouldn’t slide off the plastic. With these hangers, everything works, and the velvet is like an easy-to-use magnet for my clothes. Nothing slips. The space-saving design makes a surprising difference. I share a small master closet and thanks to these hangers my side is roomy and organized now.” —E. Marshall
Get a set of 50 from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in eight colors).
3. A pack of vacuum-sealed storage bags for compressing your bulky bedding or off-season clothing that is currently crowding your teeny dorm room. You’ll be amazed at how flat everything gets when you suck all the air out of the bags!
Maitland Quitmeyer / BuzzFeed
An editor on the BuzzFeed Shopping team LOVES these! Here’s what she has to say: “WHY didn’t I buy these vacuum storage bags sooner?? I chose the large size (as opposed to the biggest size, called ‘jumbo’) because it seemed easier to move and store — jumbo is probably perfect for bedding, duvets, etc! And just one large bag was plenty to store nine or 10 *very* large winter sweaters — all collapsed down to a fraction of their size. And it was surprisingly effortless, too! I am literally going to order another pack of five today — my closet game is forever changed!!!” —Maitland Quitmeyer
Get a set of five from Amazon for $22.99+ (available in four sizes).
Read her full review in “Just 7 Things You’ll Want To Try In June.”
4. A set of clear drawer organizers if your desk doubles as your vanity and you need a place to keep all your makeup organized. You can even stack them on top of each other if you have a deep drawer.
Promising review: “I love these stacking storage organizers. They fit perfectly in the bathroom drawers, even if you stack them. I use the smaller ones for holding cotton makeup pads and other smaller cosmetic items. I store fingernail polish and items I don’t use every day in the larger square containers that fit on the bottom. The long ones are used in the top drawer for toothpaste, hairbrushes, tubes of smaller first aid items, moisture eye drops, etc. I liked them so well, I ordered a second set and threw away the thin, funky plastic organizers I had used for years. These are much classier.” —JW
Get the six-piece set from Amazon for $14.99.
5. A honeycomb drawer organizer so you can see all of your underwear or socks at once as you frantically get ready for your 8 a.m. class at *checks clock* 7:47 a.m. Don’t worry — we won’t tell anyone you hit your snooze button three times!
The dividers snap together to create the individual slots. Some reviewers said these can be easily cut to fit the exact measurements of your drawer.
Promising review: “I needed something to organize my socks, saw this, and thought it looked like it would work. I live in the Pacific NW where our winters aren’t particularly frigid, but they ARE cold and damp, so I tend to wear a lot of wool or thicker acrylic knit socks. This is exactly what I needed. Size is super, and it’s easy to put together once I figured out that the buttons are easier to get into the slots if you DON’T try to push them but instead rock them from side to side. Really, I couldn’t be happier with these. Much better than I expected, and exactly what I need.” —L. Mountford
Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in sets of two, four, or eight).
6. A pack of hoodie hangers because even if you start the semester thinking you’re going to dress up for class, chances are you’ll be reaching for a hoodie as you dash off to your statistics class, bleary-eyed and in need of coffee.
Owner Nick runs this small business in Overland Park, Kansas. Check out the shop to find a handful of other clever life hack products.
Promising review: “These are a great addition for my teenage kids’ closet. They have so many sweatshirts that used to be strewn about on the floor instead of hanging in the closet. These hangers make it easy for them to actually hang up their sweatshirts! The hangers are strong and well made.” —Rebecca Scanlon
7. A set of shelf dividers to organize your dorm room closet’s top shelf and stack your sweaters and jeans without having them topple over constantly.
They’re also great for bulky items like linens and towels. The dividers are 12 inches tall and can slide over any standard shelf up to 7/8 inches thick.
Promising review: “I love these! They fit snugly over my shelf so they don’t shift or move around. I have a lot of handbags and it’s been a mess on my closet shelf for the ones that are floppy. I have limited closet space in a small home, so my choices of where/how to store them are limited. This was the perfect solution. I plan on buying more when I get around to rearranging sweaters on shelves.” —BarbraGenie
Get a set of two from Amazon for $10.22+ (available in platinum or bronze).
8. A jewelry stand ideal for storing all of your long necklaces so they don’t get tangled up in a random pile of clothes. Plus: it’s a great way to show off all of your favorite jewelry when you’re not wearing it!
It also has a base with a ridge around it for storing small jewelry like earrings or rings.
Promising review: “I love this stand!!! It’s simple, sturdy, clean and well made. It doesn’t look cheap at all, not even the plastic base. I have 27 necklaces on mine — all spread out nicely — and there’s plenty of room for more. I have 16–18″ on the front short bar, 36″ on the back tallest bar, and double-looped my longest necklaces onto the middle bar. I am so pleased with this product and will definitely tell my friends about it!” —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $20.
9. An adjustable closet rod to instantly add another layer of hanging space to your closet. Dorm closets are notoriously small, and this is a great way to maximize the precious storage space you have!
The horizontal bar can expand from 18 inches to the max 30 inches, and the hanging height can be adjusted by 1-inch increments.
Promising review: “This product has been one of my favorite Amazon finds, I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner. It has doubled my closet space in my apartment where I can’t make any damage to my closet in terms of adding another permanent shelf so this has been a perfect solution. It was easy to assemble and is sturdy; I’ve had it for a couple weeks now with no issue. My only complaint, which is not a fault of the product, is your closet has to be pretty high for this to work or else your shirts above are going to get caught on the hangers below and, for my case, some of my shirts are dragging on the floor. So just keep this in mind when you’re thinking about purchasing: you want your closet to be decently tall for this product to work.” —Alex
Get it from Amazon for $14.97 (available in two colors).
10. A Roll Keeper organizer if you’re like me in college and will attend any event if they’re giving out a free T-shirt. With this, you’ll be able to see all of your T-shirts at once, which makes getting ready in the morning so much easier.
The Roll Keeper is a woman-owned small business from Kelso, Washington. Check out this helpful video that shows you how to load and unload the Roll Keeper!
Check out this promising review from BuzzFeed writer Mallory Mower who owns (and loves!) the Roll Keeper: “Before getting this I was driving myself up the wall with my bad folding habits. I basically shoved all my shirts into the storage drawers under my bed, because I have a teeny-tiny closet (the picture above gives you a solid idea of how small it is). This has given me a massive amount of clothing storage I didn’t have before. The quality is stellar and Traci is 10/10 the most thoughtful person I’ve purchased an Etsy product from!”
11. An over-the-door shoe organizer so you can keep all of your sneakers and sandals in one easy-to-access place. It’s also a great place to store cleaning supplies, food, or anything else you want to have handy.
I also have one of these on the door of my coat closet and I store all of my winter hats, scarves, and gloves in the clear pockets.
Promising review: “This is good for students who live in dorms or small apartments. It fits in the small closet space. I would recommend it to all students. Perfect for 12 pairs of footwear.” —Chinmayi Karmalkar
Get it from Amazon for $8.97+ (available in three colors)
12. A 16-pack of Command small wire hooks to hang up string lights, hats, scarves…truly anything you want to keep within reach on your dorm room walls. The best part is you can remove them at the end of the year without damaging the walls!
Promising review: “I love these hooks. I have them in our closets (for hats, scarves, light jackets) and in our kitchen (for measuring cups and spoons). I love how easy they are to put up and take down. If you make a mistake and put it in the wrong spot, no problem! Just take it off and use one of the extra adhesives to put it on the right spot.” —A. Tran
Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in nine quantities and two colors).
13. Under-bed storage bins for holding some of your less-worn items like formal outfits or winter clothes so you can fill your drawers with the pieces you know you’ll be wearing on a regular basis.
14. A super-cool desk organization system made out of individually designed hexagons that you can customize and fit together to match your exact needs. It’s like having a functional piece of art on your desktop as you study for your midterm!
Ewart Woods is a small business based in Latvia that creates handmade organization and storage solutions that blend into your home decor.
Promising review: “They are amazing! Love the quality and how fun it is to arrange. Will be ordering more soon.” —Maira Sosa
15. Expandable drawer dividers because your university is probably only supplying you with a couple of drawers, and you’ll want to make them as organized as possible!
Promising review: “I will never be a person who folds underwear. It’s never going to happen. That photo that comes with this product? Not me. But a simple tool like this turned out to be what it takes just to know where things are. Left. Center. Middle. Any organizer made of cloth was out. I wanted something rigid but adjustable. If an organizer has soft sides, it’s going to end up underneath the things it’s supposed to be separating.
These fit firmly where I put them and there are no corners to snag clothing or hurt your hand on when you reach into the drawer. It’s a well-engineered product. I created three sections to my large top dresser drawer by adding the partitions from front to back. I am so pleased with the difference that I am ordering two more sets so I can do my other drawers also. These OXO dividers cost more than the flimsy ones, but if I wasn’t able to buy these, I would just not buy organizers.” —SeattleBookMama
Get a set of two from Amazon for $20.95.
16. A hair tool organizer with a silicone flap that will attach to any nonporous surface, aka the side of your desk or the top of a dresser. Plus: you won’t scorch your desk by leaving your super-hot flat iron on top of it.
The silicone can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees and can attach to any smooth, nonporous surface.
Promising review: “My wife left the hair straightener on and rushed to work, this plastic magnificent thing probably prevented a fire in our apartment. Even though it was very warm and hot, nothing burned, not even the plastic holder itself. It does what it’s supposed to do. It sticks and prevents fires from hair straighteners. Proved after sticking to the sink for over three to four months and not melting with a turned-on hair straightener inside from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.” —Emre
Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in black or pink).
17. A storage ottoman designed to add some extra seating space to your dorm while also holding blankets, toiletry items, or anything else you want to keep out of sight but within easy reach.
Promising review: “I really love this storage ottoman! It was the perfect size and color. It has a nice amount of storage space for how small it is and very easy to assemble. I bought this for a step stool to get onto my dorm bed and it definitely holds up when I step onto it!!” —Larissa
Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in eight colors and two materials).
18. A tower of slide-out baskets to take advantage of any tall cabinets or shelves you have. Have lots of skincare products? Place all of them in one of these baskets and just slide it out and take it to the bathroom down the hall during your nightly skincare routine.
The bins also come with dividers that you can place inside to keep everything as organized as possible.
Promising review: “This product was sooo easy to put together!! I recently moved into a new house and have way too many skincare products that I’m not using everyday as part of my routine. I needed a way to organize them and this was perfect and has the area underneath my sink looking so neat and organized! I fit my surplus of skincare, all my nail stuff, and some extra bath stuff all inside. I love it!!” —B
Get it from Amazon for $19.69.
19. A slim storage tower that slides right into any awkward, unused gaps you currently have in your dorm room, such as the space between your and your roommate’s desks.
Promising review: “Love this. Even after a few months, I wheel it out from its discreet place between the fridge and the furnace and still get a little thrill at all it holds and hides away. Have 25 cans of food plus Cup Noodles and rice on it currently and it handles it all well. Glides silently and effortlessly. Only possible drawback is it does feel a bit flimsy, but as long as you aren’t rough or have kids who would push it over you are good to go!” —Morgan
Get it from Amazon for $24.99.
20. A sleek bedside caddy to keep essentials close by at night, even if your dorm room’s so small you can’t even fit a bedside table. Just place this in between your mattress and bed frame and voila! Everything you need is within arm’s reach.
Nekonote Store is a Sydney, Australia–based small business filled with lots of very beautiful home accessories. The shop is also offering a storewide 25% off discount if you grab three items!
Promising review: “This product is great! Looks like leather from far away but is actually a soft, feltlike material. Perfect for holding your phone, glasses, a light book, or any other bedside objects.” —Andrea
21. A hanging closet organizer perfect for storing purses, shoes, sweatshirts, or anything else you’d rather fold than hang up. You could even use it to plan out your outfits for the week — just fold up all of the day’s clothes in each shelf so you can just grab the stack and get dressed in the morning!
Promising review: “Must have for NYC cramped apartment living! I made the mistake of buying a different and cheaper (less expensive) unit about 1.5 years ago. It could not hold all my heavy shoes and kept folding in and buckling and was unsightly. This is so sturdy!” —VulcanHunter22
Get it from Amazon for $25.99+ (available in two sizes and two colors).
22. Or this hanging organizer if you have some unused closet space and want to use it to keep your shoes nice and tidy.
23. A neat cleaning supplies bracket that’ll hold the broom, Swiffer, and duster your mom made you buy when you went dorm shopping. It also has hooks for you to hang small items like umbrellas or hats on.
Promising review: “Just what we needed to organize our broom, dustpan, Swiffer, and other bulky cleaning items in our closet. This keeps those items firmly in place, organized, and clutter free! We loved that this organizer also had hooks in addition to the adjustable stick holders — which meant that we were also able to hang other small cleaning/home items like our fly swatter and handheld Swiffer dusters. Easy to install with included hardware too.” —SeaShelley7
Get it from Target for $13.99.
24. A stackable cabinet organizer to keep all of your food organized on the one shelf you’re able to fit in your dorm room. Look, we know your education always comes first, but snacks are a close second!
Promising review: “Let me start by saying that I’m not one to post a review about anything. I just ordered two sets of these and they transformed my pantry in the blink of an eye! They are high enough to accommodate my short basket full of half bags of noodles and grains, and durable enough to hold any assortment of vinegars and home can goods. I ordered two sets (four shelves) and plan on buying more for the rest of my sloppy kitchen.” —V
Get a set of two from Amazon for $15.97+ (available in two colors).
25. Or a set of handy-dandy under-shelf baskets so you can stockpile as many granola bars as possible for those mornings you’re running to class and need to take breakfast on the go.
Just sliiiiide it on your shelf — that’s how easy these are to “install.”
Promising review: “These are excellent quality, sturdy, and well-made. I appreciate that when slid in place, the front of the basket lines up flush with the edge of the shelf (some lesser brands protrude a bit beyond the shelf, making it impossible to close the cupboard properly). Look no further — these are the best deal you’ll find.” —peggydf
Get a pack of four from Amazon for $29.99.
26. A laundry hamper to hang on the back of your door so you don’t have to take up valuable floor space in your dorm to hold all your dirty clothes. It’s also easily removable for laundry days!
Promising review: “Very convenient. I’d been looking for new laundry baskets to keep in my bathroom so my family didn’t just throw clothes into a pile on the floor. There isn’t a lot of floor space in there, so I was looking for a tall, narrow basket and found these. They are great. I put one on the back of the door and one hanging from a towel rack and labeled one for light colors and, without even asking, my family has been putting their clothes in the correct bin, and I just need to unzip and let the clothes fall into the laundry basket and they are ready to go into the wash. I really like them.” —D. Jelte
Get it from Amazon for $13.96.
27. A book organizer that’s not only useful for holding up your class notebooks and small-sized books, but is also a great piece of decor for your home away from home.
Promising review: “I didn’t want anything too bulky on my nightstand but I like to have several books I like to read in bed. I previously had them stacked on top of each other and found this and was afraid it might be cheaply made but it is sturdy and beautiful! I’m such a bookworm and I am in love with this added piece to my room.” —Stephy Lynn
Get it from Amazon for $15.89+ (available in four colors).
28. A cascading wall organizer if you have lots of worksheets, notes, or handouts for your classes and want to actually be able to find them, instead of sorting through a huge, messy pile of papers on your desk.
You can also fold it down and take it to go.
Promising review: “This is the most amazing invention ever. My husband and I got into a habit of piling up all our random papers in the kitchen on top of the microwave, and I was just SICK of it! Could never find anything and things would go missing. Once I set this up, it was a game-changer. My kitchen mess is no longer! And I have not lost another field trip form and have a place for all those floating art projects, receipts, and pay stubs.” —Kirsten
Get it from Amazon for $9.89+ (available in three colors).
29. A set of large baskets for storing all of your bulky throw blankets, extra linens, or shoes. They’ll actually blend into your decor and make your dorm room look put together instead of sticking out like plastic storage bins do.
You’ll get three baskets of various sizes that are made out of natural maize and are handwoven.
Holistic Habitat is a woman-owned small business in Charlotte, North Carolina, that specializes in home decor and donate 15% of their profit to education initiatives.
Get a set of three baskets from Holistic Habitat for $105.
30. Or a collapsable laundry basket that you can fold down and slide underneath your bed when you aren’t using it. The sturdy handles on the side make it easy for you to haul your dirty clothes down to the laundry room.
Promising review: “This laundry basket is for my college-bound grandson. It is so handy when collapsed because it can be stored underneath his bed. It is easy to open when needed for transporting clothes back to the dorm and large enough to hold everything.” —mystery
Get it from Amazon for $30.86+ (available in four colors).
31. An over-the-door hook rack so you can place your favorite sweaters or jackets on the back of your dorm room door for an easy grab-and-go situation. The best part is that you don’t need any tools to assemble it — just place over your door and you’re good to go!
32. An over-the-bed shelving unit to take advantage of that unused space right above your head. You can use it to store books and hold some storage bins, and it even has a cup holder!
You after you’ve transformed your dorm room into an organized paradise:
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