Maximizing Living Space in Your Israel Dorm - The Ultimate Guide
All space on earth is limited... Especially in a dorm situation, where you share your space with many people. So how do you make the best of the space you have? Where do you keep all your stuff if you only have one small shelf and how do you organize it in a way that you can actually find it when you need it? What do you do if you share a closet with two other students?
Enter storage products. Those handy little solutions that can turn a potentially messy disaster area into a spacious and organized palace. Ok, maybe not a palace, but if you can find some space to sit down and study, you’re doing well :-)
You probably will need and want storage products everywhere – under and around your bed, in your closet, over the door and for the shower and laundry. Let’s look at the pros and cons to help you decide what makes the most sense for your needs.
Extra Storage Drawers for Anywhere and Everywhere
Extra storage drawers can help expand your storage space exponentially and can sit anywhere where you have some extra floor space. They are useful for storing just about anything. If you want to easily see what is inside your drawers, you can choose transparent drawers but if you prefer your privacy, you can go with a solid color.
Pros of Storage Drawers: Creates significant amounts of extra space quickly, easy to know what belongs to you.
Cons of Storage Drawers: Take up a lot of space, can be messy if each person in the room has a one or two or three.
Under and Around Your Bed
Remember when your mom told you to clear the floor in your room and you shoved everything under your bed? Well that was an early form of under your bed storage. The problem with that method was that you couldn't exactly find what you needed afterwards (you didn't even know what you shoved there). Thanks to (not so) modern technology there are great solutions for using that under-utilized space under your bed for the stuff you don’t need to constantly access.
For a start you can increase the space under your bed using either hard plastic underbed storage boxes or foldable underbed storage bags to keep things like food, extra towels and blankets or sweaters folded away nice and neatly until you next need them. The underbed storage boxes are generally clear so you can see exactly what you put there without having to take everything out.
Additionally, you can add extra space with a bedside caddy, where you can keep things you need to access often such as tissues, glasses, magazines, fuzzy socks and anything else you can think of!
Pros of under & around your bed storage: Use space that is generally underutilized.
Cons of under & around your bed storage: Sometimes can be difficult to get to depending on layout of room and furniture, may be shared if you sleep on a bunk bed.
While you may not be able to change the physical size of your closet, you can use closet storage products to organize and optimize your drawers, shelves and hanging space.
First of all, let’s talk about hangers. These useful little items that we have known and loved all of our lives can make your closet super neat and organized. It’s best to use the same kind of hangers so you keep your clothing wrinkle-free and separated and you know which items are yours. Two types of hangers are standard and skirt/pants with clips.
Sometimes, all a big space needs are a few boxes or bins to sort your stuff and create some order out of the mayhem. Storage bins are usually foldable and lightweight so you can pack them away when they’re not in use. Hanging options include shoe holders, sweater storage and shelves for anything and everything.
Pros of Closet Storage: Maximize space, create different types of space suited to your needs, find things easily. If you share a closet, easily identify your things.
Cons of Closet Storage: You may not have space in your closet and you may want to use your closet as is.
Over the Door
Gone are the days when your door was simply the instrument that sealed off your room and allowed you to enter or exit at will. Every item in your room is now a potential storage receptacle and your door is no different.
We recommend the old classic over the door organizer, which gives you lots of mini cubbies to store all kinds of stuff that would otherwise be piled on your desk/floor. These don’t even require installation (you know, when you stick the nail in the door and it comes out the other side). Just place it over the door and you’re all set. If the main door of the room is not available, you can be creative with other doors (like the inside of your closet or the bathroom door).
Pros of over the door storage: More space, see everything clearly, easy access.
Cons of over the door storage: You may not like seeing your stuff out, may make closing the door difficult. You may be fighting with your roommates for this space.
Shower & Laundry
Instead of hunting for your toiletries or wondering which roommate is using up your shampoo and body wash, consider using a popup shower caddy to keep your things together and easily bring them back and forth to the shared bathroom.
Dirty laundry can also be organized quickly with a laundry bag or hamper. For those who like to separate whites and colors, having two or three bags should do the trick.
One Last Word
There are additional products that don’t fit into the above categories and are good for all-around use, including organizing your suitcase and keeping things organized in your dorm afterwards. The best of these are good old-fashioned zip-loc bags and packing cubes. If you pack your suitcase using these items, you will also have extra storage options in your dorm.
Good Luck and Stay Organized
We hope you enjoyed our blog. At Pack for Israel, we care about things like storage products because our mission is to make your dorm feel as much as possible like your home away from home. A little organization using storage products goes a long way to doing that.
If you have any questions about the best products for your needs, please feel free to contact us.
About the Author
Melissa Goldwag is the CEO and owner of Pack for Israel. She’s been sharing space since her GAP year in Israel in 1991-92, followed by 4 years at college living with roommates. Now she shares her space with co-owner and husband Gaby Fachler and their four children ages 8-18.