20 Life-Changing Dorm Hacks For Back To School

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It’s that time in August where every college student is hustling to grab their last minute dorm necessities before heading off to school. However, before rushing out to buy every available device that promises to be handy around the dorm, it can be a good idea to look at what you already have with a little creativity. It isn’t hard to find great and convenient uses for common dorm items you probably already own. With a little extra thought (and some help from great websites like this one), your next semester or year at school will be amazing.

Not Just For Hair!

Everybody (at least every female) can relate to the feeling of disappointment when the outfit you’d planned on wearing is covered in unsightly wrinkles. And lugging a full-on iron with the ironing board to school can be a waste of space for something that doesn’t happen often. So, use the other hot iron that just about every single girl has: a hair straightener! It’ll work great, and is easy to maneuver.

Get Organized!

Those clips that you have dozens of but never use? Put them to use in your dorm, by looping cords through the metal handles and clipping the end on a shelf or pole. This keeps all phone chargers in a neat row, where they won’t get tangled.

Extra Space, Used Wisely

Purchasing these awesome bed lifters not only gives you more storage space under the bed, but also adds several convenient outlets so that using your phone or laptop in bed doesn’t have to be as much of a hassle anymore!

Space Saver

In a small college dorm where bringing your own stove is heavily frowned upon, microwaves are the go-to option for cooking and heating food. Still, unless you’re preparing meals for one, it can be difficult to fit meals into the small space they offer. However, sticking a mug under the second bowl or plate elevates it, providing double the space!

Cooling Off

Struggling to find a way to cool off your dorm room on the hotter days of the year? Solution: hang a damp towel over an open window. You’re welcome.

Extra Closet Space

Dorm rooms are notorious for cramped closets that leave much space to be desired. However, you can actually double your available space by doubling up on hangers! Use the top of a soda can, and use it to link two hangers as shown in the picture.


Shower caddies are a simple storage container that actually works great for many things outside of holding soap and shampoo bottles. Hang a couple in your room to keep desks less cluttered!

For The Artists

Buying picture frames is costly, and sticking photos up alone is unsightly. For those with a little bit of design skill, thin tapes with designs on them are perfect for creating your own beautiful frames that are easy to remove!

Dance Party!

Don’t waste your money on another iHome or other iPhone speaker, when you can make your own that functions just fine! Putting your phone in a cup or other container amplifies the sound, cost: free!

Cure For Dorm Funk

Is your room a little difficult to walk into because of the stink? (We’re looking at you, boys!) We’ve got a cheap and easy solution for you: hang drier sheets over your air vent or fan.

Trick The Thieves!

Struggling with petty pen thievery? Switch out the ink between your red and blue pens. Since nobody wants to steal red pens, your blue ones will be deceptively safe!

Easy Entertainment

Command strips or similar products are a necessity for every college student. They can be used to do a million different things, but one of the uses you probably hadn’t thought of is to mount a tablet for easy viewing!


Those big shoe holders can be useful for more than just separating your flip-flops from your heels. Girls who use lots of hair, make-up, and other beauty products will find that they are also perfect for sorting those!

Repurpose Pt. 2

Don’t worry guys, we didn’t forget about you! While you probably don’t have as many beauty products (unless you do — there’s no judgement here!) as the girls, shoe holders are still a great tool to hold all of your snacks for easy access.

Movie Night!

TVs are big and expensive, real projectors are impossible to bring and set up, and laptops are often too small for movie nights. An awesome and affordable solution is to get a shoebox and the lens of a magnifying glass — it can even be a really cheap one from the dollar store! Simply cut out a hole in the front of the box for the glass, prop your iPhone up inside the box, and presto! You’ve just made yourself a projector.

Boring Ramen No More!

Ramen noodles are every college student’s best friend, because they are incredibly affordable and easy to prepare. However, in case you haven’t heard, the sodium in those flavor packets is through the roof. Luckily, this problem can be solved with a quick trip to the dining hall. Grab some other ingredients such as cheeses, vegetables, and meats to put into the pasta instead for a much yummier and healthier option!

Hide The Mess

Shoeboxes, besides functioning as iPhone projectors, also make perfect storage areas for electronics. They are the perfect size for hiding unsightly cords or power strips.

Beauty Made Easy

Ladies, this one is for you. Quit rummaging through baskets and drawers for your make up products; make a magnet board! By hanging up your favorite products like this, they are all visible at once and super easy to organize.

Coffee Made Easy

Don’t have a coffee maker, or had yours break? Fear not, your life is not over! It is actually very easy to brew coffee without an expensive machine! All you need is a disposable cup, some scissors, a coffee filter, a rubber band, a mug, and, of course, the coffee grinds. Assemble as shown in the picture, add the grinds on top, and pour hot water through it. Easy!

Cute & Organized

iPhone chargers are one of the easiest things to misplace, because everyone’s looks the same! Your solution is to use the same cute tape that was used to make the adorable on-wall picture frames. Wrapping it around both the wall charger and cord makes sure that you always know which cord and plug is yours!