By Faith Evans on November 2nd, 2020

Fast, Cheap Ways to Make Your Dorm Room (Feel) Larger

Fast, Cheap Ways to Make Your Dorm Room (Feel) Larger

Two hundred twenty-eight square feet...that’s how large the average dorm room is, and trust me, it’ll drive you stir crazy, especially if you’re in quarantine.

So what’s the pandemic-safe cure? Redecorating!

Create Shelf-Dividers for More Storage Space

If you’re as basic, thrifty, and lacking in aesthetics as I am, cardboard boxes turned on their sides work well. (They’re extra convenient if you still have a few left over from moving in!) But, you can also find wire shelf-dividers at most home goods stores or online.

And where’s the best place to put shelf dividers? The top shelf of your closet, of course! Nobody ever expects a mess when it’s hidden up high, and top-closet shelves are often tall enough for multiple dividers.

Clear off Your Dresser and Desk…

…even if it means cluttering up your drawers. The open table space will give you room to breathe.

Plus, I find that having some desk and dresser space to sit on is a surefire way to cure writer’s block. It might be the excitement of feeling tall, or the change of scenery—either way, moving from office chair to desk has helped me power through many essay-writing all-nighters.

Be Sparing with the Posters

Do you ever get the irrational fear that one of your heavier, framed posters will tumble from your wall and fall on you in your sleep, squishing you like that character from the children’s book, Flat Stanley? Haha, me neither.

But even if you aren’t motivated by fear, consider: too much wall decor crowds your room. Just like clearing off your dresser and desk, open wall space creates breathing room for the eye.

Thrift a Mirror

Preferably, a full-length mirror. They create visual depth that’s not actually there, without taking up too much space themselves.

But don’t dump a few hundred dollars on a brand-new mirror. With a bit of searching, you can find something workable at a local thrift store or online for cheap. All you’ll need is a bit of Windex.

Use Under-the-Bed Space Wisely

Properly adjusting bed-risers is a delicate science. Many rookies will assume that it’s best to raise the bed as high as possible—au contraire! Lifting your bed to the max will allow it to take over your room.

Try to find that perfect sweet-spot where you have just enough under-the-bed space. This will give you more vertical space, which is equally important to create that roomy-dorm-room illusion.

Draw Open Your Curtains

Natural light might solve half your problems. Having trouble waking up in the morning? Draw open your curtains (the light will wake you). Feeling self-conscious in a Zoom meeting? Open your curtains (the light will look great on your skin). Cramped room? Open! Your! Curtains!

Don’t just tilt the blinds so that you’re getting more light. Draw them up completely and make the outside world an extension of your room. It’s the fastest way to add square footage!

Force Yourself to Vacuum Once a Week

But how will vacuuming create more space in my room?! Easy, my friend: vacuuming forces you to pick up the clothing items, discarded papers and plastic cups that have made themselves at home on your floor. If you can vacuum comfortably on a weekly basis, then you know that you’re making the most of your floor space.

Make your bed

I saved this for last because, for most busy students, it’s a last-resort strategy. But, something about a freshly smoothed-over comforter opens up a bedroom. If all else fails, you can lean on this as your Hail Mary.

READ MORE BY FAITH EVANS IN THE LIVECAMPUSTOURS BLOG: A Journalist's Advice for Writing a Great College Essay

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