How to Hack Dorm Life for Your Best School Year Ever

The following post is sponsored by OCM

Quick Tricks to Save Time and Energy All Semester Long

Life hacking as a genre of internet conversation is nothing new to the average college student. However, different situations and ways of life demand different solutions and attention. Life hacks for general living don’t always cater perfectly to dorm life. Further, there are situations that occur in college dorms that don’t really happen anywhere else. From shared bathrooms to in-room recycling, this list is focused on the life of a young person in a university dormitory. You can treat this article like a checklist of cheap, easy dorm room solutions to accomplish immediately. By investing just a little bit of time and coin now, you will save your time, energy, and frustration long-term to make this year the best school year ever.

Invest in a backrest pillow

Dropping a few bucks on a cushion made specifically for sitting will make getting comfortable to study so much simpler. These backrest pillows are also textured but neutrally colored, making them a great addition to a nicely decorated dorm room. Image courtesy of OCM.

Many college students are ardently against studying in the same room you sleep and socialize, but chances are you’ll find yourself getting some work done in your dorm room from time to time. Sitting in bed for a long period of time can get uncomfortable, especially if you don’t have many regular pillows to prop yourself up against the wall. A backrest pillow like those shown above is an inexpensive way to make studying in your room more convenient and sustainable. You can also just chill in your room and pretend you’re studying. We won’t tell.

Backrest pillows with this design have the added benefit of doubling as a cushion for uncomfortable desk chairs that come with most dorm rooms. There’s no point in being uncomfortable or getting sore when there’s an inexpensive and easy solution like these cute pillows out there.

Set up a permanent charging station


With these cord organization solutions, you can keep easily your devices fully charged by making a charging station in an easily accessible spot. Image courtesy of Amazing Interior Design.

Don’t waste any of your own time looking around your room for your charger. Don’t get caught in the middle of class with a dead laptop. Setting up a permanent charging station in your room can help you get into a routine of keeping your devices charged, charging overnight, or sitting to study and recharge during a certain part of the day. For devices like your phone that may need to be recharged while you’re away from your dorm, it’s likely worth it to get a second charger: one for the charging station, and one for on-the-go. The above photos show a couple of different DIY options for making a charging station on your desk or table. For those of us who are more akin to crafting and just generally being ‘extra,’ making a cute charging box out of an old shoe box or ribbon box is a great option. If you’d prefer to go simpler, try securing your charging cords to your desk with binder clips. Either way, you’ll always know exactly where in your room to go when your device is about to die so you never get caught up waiting for your phone or computer to come back alive when you could be studying.

Create toiletry totes

A mesh toiletry tote is a great option to keep your toiletries accessible and portable to and from the bathroom. Image courtesy of MUIFA.

It’s well-known that if you’re operating in a shared bathroom, you’re going to want to keep your toiletries in your dorm room. Most college students will have some kind of toiletry tote to keep their bathroom supplies and carry to and from the bathroom. This is a great solution. Look for totes that have mesh or holes to allow water to drain out, especially if you need to take your tote into the shower with you. Having a pool of standing water at the bottom of your toiletries tote will create a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, and it’s pretty counterproductive to have your hygiene products be so unhygienic.

You can make your life easier by having separate bags for skin care or oral care that you can quickly grab out of your tote. This way you don’t need to bring your shampoo down the hall with you when you just need to wash your face or brush your teeth. Image courtesy of Daisy’s Cute Korean Stationaries.

To maximize your convenience with a toiletry tote, we recommend having two or more designated for different purposes. For example, you need to brush your teeth more than once a day, but you likely won’t need to shower that often. Create separate toiletry totes for different purposes. You can diversify as much as you desire, perhaps having separate skincare, oral hygiene, and showering kits for all the different times of day you need to use different tools.

Pre-separate recycling

Products that pre-separate recycling will make being environmentally friendly way easier. Image courtesy of Ribens.

Most universities these days will allow recycling on campus. However, you may not have access to all the different recycling bins in your room or even in your building. Having compact, separate bins in your room will make it way easier to live sustainably with minimal added effort. The product shown above has the added benefit of velcro to attach the bins and straps to carry your recyclables to the proper bins when full.

Little changes to your dorm life can make your daily activities quicker, easier, and way more convenient. Saving time and energy in small ways will allow you to dedicate more time to studying, socializing, and just generally living your best life in college. Many will say these are the best four years of your life. Don’t make things harder than they have to be. Do yourself a favor today that will benefit you for semesters to come.