Coordinating the College Closet

For many students college means freedom, an enlightening education, nights out with friends and for those that dorm, finally having a living space away from home. However, it is also a well-known fact that dorms are fairly small and maximizing the given space is crucial. Finding room for all of the clothing is usually one of the toughest obstacles, as one can only stuff so many shirts, shorts, and pajamas into a few drawers. A dorm closet provides more space, but when one factors in the number of people they’re living with, and their room’s position on the building floor plan, it becomes apparent that that space is also minimal. In many NYU dorm rooms—such as those in Weinstein Hall and  Third Avenue North—the shared closet space is about three to five feet wide with one rod for clothes and shelf space. However, in other living spaces, such as some in Hayden Hall, Rubin Hall, University Hall, Palladium Hall, and Carlyle Court, the closets have a larger shared space. Sometimes, when there are only one or two people living in a room, they even have a walk-in closet. Regardless, in dorms everywhere, there is always a need for more space. Before deciding that piling the remaining clothes in the corner is the only option, learn how to organize a dorm closet and increase coveted space.


Taken by Avia Hawkins
Taken by Avia Hawkins



One realizes quickly that plenty of hangers won’t suffice when it comes to arranging your clothes in your closet. It does help, however, to create cascading hangers. One simply has to place one hanger on the rod and place another through the hole of that hanger. This way, one can create and fill two levels of clothes by only taking up vertical space. Meanwhile, the precious horizontal area of the closet is left open for other items.

If there are still too many clothes for the given space, utilize storage bins for the tops, dresses, coats, and pants that are rarely in circulation. Place the clothes for other seasons or items that you rarely wear in these bins, and put them under your bed or at the bottom of your closet; by doing this, you have better access to the garments you wish to wear the most.

Also, hanging sweater bags are a great closet installation for the colder months. They keep them neat and can be purchased for under $25 from most department stores.



Due to their size and clunky shape, shoes are tough items to place in your closet in an orderly fashion. Luckily, hanging shoe organizers have been made to solve this issue. At most, they only require six inches of the width of your closet as the shoes are arranged vertically in little cubbies. The hanging shoe organizers come in different sizes and colors and can be purchased for less than $20 from the Container Store, Target, KMart and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Alternatively, there is still the old-fashioned way of lining your shoes on the floor of your closet.



There are so many more elements besides clothes and shoes that go into one’s closet.  For scarves, ties and belts, scarf hangers are ideal because they’re cheap, take up little to no space, and are easy to find. With multiple holes in one hanger and stylish designs, one can easily hang their accessories.

One can buy small, linen storage boxes for socks, jewelry, hats, gloves, and other small items. They fit perfectly on top of shelves and can be stacked or folded if necessary. They come in bright colors and patterns, as well as different sizes. They can be found  for under $5 at H&M and KMart.


According to the Students

All of these tips are incredibly useful and fit well within a college budget. Still, closet storage techniques vary from student to student. When asked about her methods, Niara Perry, a sophomore at New York University, said: “Hanging shoe shelves are a must! Also, I like to make a second floor out of my storage boxes and put my shoes on top of that.” Another idea was presented by Paolo Confino, a junior at NYU. He explained: “In my closet I have a set of plastic drawers for some things, and then shorts and coats hanging up, and everything else is on the shelves.”

Although finding places to put clothes and belongings can be stressful, it is possible and can be done with style.


Avia Hawkins is a contributing writer. Email her at



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