Storage items that will maximize your space in close quarters

Media Credit: Arielle Bader | Assistant Photo Editor

If you're looking to separate your space in a large room, invest in a divider complete with shelves.

One of the most difficult parts of switching back to college mode is adjusting to life in a smaller space.

Storage hacks like closet organizers or ottomans that can be used as storage will help you stay organized as you enter the new school year, and decorative pieces can spice up your living area while making the most of your space. Here are a few tips on how to maximize your storage space this fall:

In-style storage

Many students use ottomans to climb into their lofted beds or to kick up their feet after a long day, but purchasing one that doubles as a storage bin will keep your belongings out of sight. You can buy one from Amazon ($39.49) and choose between several different shapes, colors and sizes for a stylish and practical storage item.

If you want the flexibility to move your storage around, buy a wheeled utility cart. The carts are both easy to move around your room and can be used as a towel holder, unit for extra bed sheets or makeshift food pantry. Students can choose from black ($40), white ($35) or silver ($35) carts from Target to match with their rooms’ design. Bed Bath & Beyond also sells a cart with built-in drawers for $37.99.

Keeping your closet in order

When you arrive at your residence hall room or apartment, your closet space might not be as large and luxurious as the one at home. Hanging closet organizers are ideal for holding shoes, accessories and other essentials once you run out of space in your dresser drawers. Amazon sells a six-tier closet organizer for $14.99 in white or grey.

Over-the-door hanging storage options like shoe or coat racks can help students clear up even more of their precious closet space. Urban Outfitters’ over-the-door shoe rack ($59) holds up to 18 pairs of shoes.

Sharing a bathroom

Sharing a bathroom with other people might require some adjustment, but students can use foldable, stackable cube organizers ($15.99) from Amazon to store their toiletries. Once it’s time to move out of your residence hall, the organizers can be folded and packed into the trunk of your car.

You can also take advantage of the bathroom wall space by adding shelves. The acrylic toiletries wall pockets from Urban Outfitters ($8) come with suction cups to stick and remove with ease. You can stick them in your shower to hold shampoo and conditioner or suction them by the sink to store items like your toothbrush, face wash and lotion.

Turning one room into two

Students can also purchase room dividers complete with shelving to showcase their favorite possessions like houseplants and pictures of loved ones. Amazon sells multiple styles with finishes like dark mocha brown or bamboo for $89.99. In addition to using the divider as a storage unit, they can add sophistication to a residence hall room or apartment and serve as a privacy screen between your bedroom area and living area.

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