Cultural Experience | New York

Dorm Diaries: Customizing and Organizing Your Space

10 Must Haves to Make Your Dorm Feel Like Home

Whether you are in another country or five minutes from home, your dorm is your bedroom, study space, hangout, and so much more. This year is my second year dorming and I’ve learned a lot about how to personalize my space and keep everything organized.Being a college kid with a college budget all while living away from home is no easy task. Then you add on trying to buy cute, functional, affordable dorm supplies and customizing your space becomes almost impossible. So to all you people out there looking for the perfect way to customize and organize your space and make the best of the limited room you’ve been given, I’ve created a list of my 15 must haves to make your space organized and feel like home:


1. Desk Organizers from the Container Store:

I found cheap boxes, bins, and a ton of other containers that came in every color that have been helped immensely this year. I highly recommend picking up a few to make the most of your tiny desk space.

2. Book Holder/Bookend from Home Goods:

I searched everywhere for something like this, It makes mornings so much easier because I put each day’s notebooks, textbooks, and supplies, in a different slots. It saves so much time and I think it was only around $10.

3. Command strips/hooks:

Whether you are in your normal dorm or studying abroad, if your university allows, I recommend having a few packages of the Command brand hooks and strips to hang your favorite pictures, to hang towels, and leave no damage behind.

4. Drawers from the Container Store:

I love these stackable drawers because they fit so easily under my bed and hold all my extra clothes. They save so much space and you don’t have to worry about cramming everything into the drawers provided by the dorm.

5. Posters/plaques/quotes:

I love decorating my dorm at the start of the year. Look for things that you love and show your passions. Your room is a reflection of you, regardless of how little space you have.

6. Silly pictures:

This goes for everyone, even those studying abroad. Make sure you pack your favorite pictures of friends and family that remind you of the best memories. Looking back on these kinds of pictures make being homesick a little easier.

7. Top 3 favorite movies:

It’s something a lot of people forget, but even if you’re abroad, your favorite movie has the power to make even the hardest day better. Also, if you’re dorming, nothing beats movie nights with your floor.

8. Your favorite blanket: 

Pack it wherever you go, it’ll always remind you of home.

9. This organizational tip is especially for those of you that are abroad; Roll, don’t fold your clothes:

Rolling clothes into your suitcase or drawers allows you to fit so much more and your clothes won’t be wrinkled.

10. Flexible clear boxes from the Container Store:

I used these to move in and they helped a lot. They hold so much stuff and fit really easily into closet spaces or under the bed.



These are just a few of the must haves I’ve found make living in my dorm easier. Using the tips and products I’ve listed, I’ve managed to create a space I love being in. Let me know in the comments what your organization must haves are and how you customize your dorm.

Gabrielle Murphy

Hofstra University | 7 stories

Gabrielle is a sophomore currently studying marketing at Hofstra University. She is a born and raised New Yorker who can’t leave her house without a good book and her journal. Her first experience abroad included performing in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria. She is currently planning to study abroad in Europe and she looks forward to learning and experiencing all that the world has to offer.

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