14 Simple Hacks To Upgrade Your College Dorm Room


dorm college lofted beds


Dorm living doesn't have to be awful.

While seeking a higher education, society expects you to live in a 15' x 15' box with another person.


Welcome to the tedium of dorm life, where the mattresses are hard, the walls are white, and everyone gets the same furniture like some communist utopia.

Luckily, there are a few easy ways to your room so much more livable. Keep reading to see 14 easy college dorm hacks.

1. Loft your bed. This one's tricky, but raising your bed will create more space in your room, and you can always find an intrepid engineering major in your hall if you need a hand. Once lofted, you can put your desk, a small couch, or storage boxes underneath your bed.

Lofting can be dangerous if done incorrectly, so check with your university first to see if it's allowed or if they provide adjustable loft beds on campus.


bed risers with power

Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed risers provide more under-the-bed storage.

2. If you can't loft your bed, buy bed risers. Bed risers come in a range of sizes, and create more storage space under your dorm bed. Some even come with additional electrical and USB outlets, too.

3. Create a DIY headboard. Dorm room twin beds are not very attractive, but you can spruce yours up by creating your own headboard. All you'll need is cardboard or plywood, quilt batting, fabric, and a staple gun.

Cut out a rectangle (or your own design) from the cardboard or plywood, making sure it will be wide enough to rest on the rail of your bed. Fit a layer of quilt batting to the board and staple. Then lay your chosen fabric over the quilt batting, and secure in the back with more staples. Click here to see one blogger's DIY.

Once your headboard is complete, slide it between the back of the bed and the mattress, and rest on the rail.

4. Hang removable wallpaper. If your school allows it, decorate one of your blank walls with a sheet of removable wallpaper. It will brighten up the space, and make it feel homier and less like a stark white box.


You can find removable wallpaper at sites like Tempaper and Chasing Paper, or Etsy.

5. Buy a floor ottoman. Floor ottomans can be used as additional seating, storage space, or as a stepping stool. You can easily find options for under $50 at Target or Wal-Mart.

washi tape hang pictures on wall

Sahrish~Creating Individuality/Flickr

Washi tape is a colorful way to accessories your posters and pictures.

6. Frame your posters and photos with colorful Japanese 'washi' tape. The colorful, easily removable tape comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and will give your photos a frame without having to buy or hang one.

CuteTape.com has a lot of color and style options to choose from.

7. Invest in a deluxe mattress topper. A durable and thick mattress pad will make a world of difference on your tiny dorm bed. Memory foam toppers that are over an inch thick are ideal (don't worry about getting a twin XL - a twin-sized mattress pad will work fine).


Pick out quality sheets, a duvet/duvet cover, plus soft pillows for the best bed ever.

8. Hang over-the-door shoe organizers for extra storage. Plastic over-the-door shoe organizers can be used to store extra shampoo bottles, hair brushes, make up, candy, water bottles or any other miscellaneous objects that need a home. See this Pinterest board for inspiration.

9. Label your power cords. Write "computer," "phone," "lamp," etc. on masking tape, and secure to each power cord so you always know what you're unplugging.

You can also use colorful bread tags if you're feeling crafty.

10. If you can't have curtains, wallpaper your window shade. Buying a curtain rod at Target is easy, but if you can't or don't want curtains in your dorm, use removable wallpaper on your existing window shade. It will add pattern and style to the room. Martha Stewart has an excellent rundown of how to do it.


hangers with pop soda tabs


Soda tabs can easily extend how much stuff you can fit in your closet.

11. Use soda can tabs on hangers to hang more stuff. Pry off your soda can tab and slip onto the hanger's hook. You can now easily hang another hanger from the empty hole of the tab, thereby giving you more space in your tiny dorm closet.

12. Put velcro on your TV remote. If you're lucky enough to have a TV in your dorm room, you might find that the remote disappears behind beds, couches, and doors very easily.

Save yourself the trouble and put velcro on the back. Choose a convenient spot like your desk, bed, or wall to stick the remote to so that you know where it is at all times.

13. Buy command hooks and strips. These genius strips and hooks can hang Christmas lights, picture frames, and anything else you may want to put on your walls without creating nail holes. Find them at any convenience store.

14. Use space-saver bags to store out-of-season clothes. Clothes take up a lot of space, and there's really no point in hanging your sweaters and winter jackets when it's still 90 degrees. Put unwanted items in a space saver bag, and keep it under your bed until the seasons turn.