How to Make Your Dorm the Perfect Study Space


Dorm life is an adjustment. You have a limited amount of space, and you’re sharing it with a perfect stranger. Plus, it must work as both a place to hang out and a study/work space where you can get stuff done. After all, you can’t live in the campus library – though many have tried.


Photo courtesy of Kevin Donald


Luckily, these tips will help you set up an A+ dorm for studying. So, you can crank out A+ college work.


Photo courtesy of Northern Michigan University


Understand you will need to come to a compromise too, especially if your roommate has different priorities. The good news is with a little creativity and communication, you can make your dorm room double as the place to be and the place to buckle down and study. Plus, you can always rearrange your room if the initial layout isn’t working.

2. Maximize your space by lofting your bed

College dorm rooms are small; most are about 228 square feet. But lofting the beds so they’re off the floor will help you make the most of the space you have.

You can raise your dorm bed just a little and put storage underneath or loft them even higher to put a desk and a mini fridge under there. This not only creates more floor space but also gives you a nice little study alcove. Just make sure you have a desk lamp, so you have enough light under there!


Photo courtesy of Allan Reed


3. Give yourself a super desk for studying

So, now that the rest of your dorm says, “dean’s list,” let’s focus on where the real magic happens: your desk.

Try to keep important school-related items on your desk and less important things elsewhere. A bunch of knick-knacks on your desk may make you smile, but too much clutter can make it difficult to concentrate. When you remove the clutter from your desk, you create a distraction-free workplace and, according to Coaching Positive Performance, individuals who limit clutter in their home and work environment are less irritable, less distracted, and more productive.

Of course, you should have the tools you need to get work done readily accessible, and you can pick up cute desk organizers and stationery that make you feel put-together and fancy. But just keep in mind that you probably don’t need much on your dorm desk. In fact, if you don’t truly need the item at arm’s length, you can probably put it in a drawer—or get rid of it entirely. (How often are you going to use that stapler, really?)

4. Add some flair

Aside from the pre-set furniture, your dorm room is your space to do what you please. And even though you’re going to make your dorm into the best study den ever, you probably want fun decorations and reminders of home to boost your mood. After all, a dorm that makes you happy will be a dorm you’re happy to do work in.

So, invest in some décor that makes your dorm feel like home: posters and artwork, colorful chairs and small furniture, and more.


Photo courtesy of Mandy Toot


5. Eliminate distractions

Every little distraction would cut into your ability to do good work—not just in college but for life. So, when you’re trying hard to study or bang out an essay, you want uninterrupted blocks of time, so you can do your best work. That might mean blocking the Internet for a while, closing your otherwise open and welcoming door, or unplugging the dorm TV (provided your roomie isn’t watching it). Also, have a no-phone-zone, a designated place in your dorm where if you put your phone there, it essentially “disappears” while you’re studying. Turn the phone off too!

A comfortable, study-friendly dorm can make all the difference in college. What awesome dorm room study tips do you have?