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Power bed risers
Bed shoe storage
Bed shoe storage

As your young adult heads off to college, it's always a challenge to know what to buy and what they'll need in order to help them adjust to dorm living. They may be sharing a space with up to four roommates.

It goes without saying that storage will have to be maximized.

Here are some inexpensive dorm room storage and space saving ideas:

Refrigerator storage table: For the mini fridge that usually takes up floor space, find an end table or night stand that has an opening that the refrigerator fits nicely into. Combining two items into one will save space.

Dishware and utensil caddy: Storing plates and utensils on the top and sides of the refrigerator using a piece of fabric with pockets on either side will save space and provides easy access when dinner and snack time arrives -- every other minute.

Under-bed drawers
Under-bed drawers

Binder clip cord organizer: Binder clips can be used to organize phone, iPad and laptop chargers. Clamp the clips to the back side of the desk surface and feed the ends of the chargers through the wire grip. This will keep them organized and stop them from falling behind the desk.

Mug tree organizer: Saving space on the desk is crucial. A coffee mug tree can free up desk space. Storing pens, paperclips and desk paraphernalia in hanging coffee mugs provides organization and easy access to these items.

Shower caddy: Not only used for the shower, try using this for note pads, scissors, sticky notes and a hanging can for pencils to organize desk items.

Power bed risers: Bed risers are a must for any dorm dweller.


Where electrical outlets are usually scarce or overtaxed, power bed risers give you more options right at your feet. These can be found at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Shoe storage: Storing shoes in a shoe caddy tucked between the mattress and box spring and hidden under a bed skirt will free up much-needed space in the closet.

Baseball cap storage: Use shower rings attached to the bottom bar of a clothes hanger as a handy place to store baseball caps.

Under-bed drawers: For additional clothing storage, create drawers from a vintage dresser with a unique draw pull. Add casters to the bottom of the drawers to make them easy to pull out.

Milk-crate storage and wire-spool coffee tables shouldn't be the limits of college creativity. There are lots of ways to make the most of the space in a dorm room while still giving it some style. As long as it's going to be your child's second home, it might as well be as comfortable, as useful and as unique as her first.

Debbe Daley, owner of Debbe Daley Designs and RAW Furnishings, is an interior designer with more than 25 years of experience as a professional interior redesigner, stylist, stager, trainer and project manager.

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