There are a lot of pluses to living in a dorm room at college. The dorm provides great social interaction (depending on your floor), a convenient temporary living space, and three squares a day, if you opted for the campus meal plan. However, there are some challenges to dorm living, and not all of them involve sharing your life with one or even two roommates.
One of the big issues with a dorm room is where to put all of that extra stuff. The closets in these close cubicle-type rooms can be completely insufficient for anyone with more than a few bags of personal possessions. Here are some of the creative ways that students stash their larger items during the semester.
1. Use Shared Space on Dorm Floors
Many times, a dorm will have an empty “free room” for people to congregate in. There might be a tv or other amenities stowed away there. Sometimes, students can also find that available space in one of these common rooms isn’t being used. Securing items from theft in these spaces can be difficult, but in some cases, the common area can provide a storage option.
2. Mini-Storage Options
Another common solution is for the student to rent a self-storage space as close to campus as possible. This mirrors the strategies of Americans everywhere who just have too much gear for their living spaces. In many areas, the storage business is booming, and it’s easy to find these small units for rent.
3. Leave Stuff at Home
This is one of the more obvious solutions to student overload, but it’s one that sometimes gets overlooked. Students should think critically about what they really need in their dorm space, and leave the rest back with the parents. Anything else puts your dorm room at risk of becoming one of those over-filled nightmares where there just isn’t enough floor space, let alone closet room.
4. Get Portable Storage Pods
Another way to safely store your extra stuff is in a storage pod. The PODS company and some other competitors offer these portable secured units for putting away all of the additional items that won’t fit indoors. You may need a campus permit to keep a POD on the grounds, and some creative thinking and networking may be necessary to find a safe place to put the unit.
5. Utilize Vehicles
For those students who just have a little bit more than can comfortably fit in their dorm room, another common solution is to use a personal car or other vehicle for temporary storage. It can be frustrating to drive a full trunk, and it’s not great for fuel economy, but in a pinch, keeping your goods in your car can help out a bit when it comes to tricky dorm storage scenarios.
Think about all of the above when your dorm room is overflowing with stuff. Cutting down on clutter can also help out a lot when it comes to freeing up space in a limited dorm area.