Designing a Dorm Room You’ll Be Happy Living in: Part II, Your Desk & Nightstand

          This first note is really to say that I do not use my desk in the conventional sense: I do all of my work on my bed and use my desk as more of a shelf and storage unit and therefore do not have a lot of advice for people who want it as a work space (though maybe some of my advice will apply).

          A typical dorm desk consists of three components: The drawers, the desk, and the shelf. It is important to use all three components since your desk takes up a chunk of the room you won’t get back (and at least at my school, you can’t get the desk removed…I tried).

          For the drawers, I store my filing systems for all of my classes (past and present), my stationary, and my ‘non-everyday technology’. Basically, I put things I access from time to time but nothing that I use frequently.

          The desk portion I use mostly as a countertop; however, I keep my textbooks on the section of the desk underneath the shelf so I can utilize all of the space I have available. You may be thinking ‘what do you need a countertop space for?’ and my answer is that I like to cook food  (because my college has a terrible caf) and so when I am preparing muffins for the oven or cutting up meat for the microwave I like to have a flat empty surface that’s not my bed to work on (and that I can wipe with a cleaning wipe to easily clean)

          The shelf is the space that I use the most on my desk simply because the way I have my room arranged, I can access the things on the shelf from my bed. Therefore, I keep all of the supplies I need for doing homework on my shelf. I have cups with different types of pens, pencils, and highlighters. I also have hand sanitizer, scissors, a stapler, and a cool accent lamp (though I will discuss lighting in the third part of this series).

          One of my favorite things on my desk is an empty picture frame. If you are like me and enjoy making lists, using a dry erase marker on the glass of the frame allows for me to make lists and can see them while I work. It is also a cute idea for a graduation gift if you write on the back of the frame (but more on that in my graduation gift post coming up).

          The back of my desk is right at the foot of my bed and therefore I see it all the time as I am in my bed. I personally use it for all the letters, drawings, etc. that I receive while I’m away from home which gives my room a little personality; however, you could put pictures, posters, a small tapestry…this is a very underutilized space that I suggest you use to add some personality to your room

          The conundrum of the nightstand. At home, my nightstand has everything I needed to get ready for the day and everything I need at night (You know: lotion, vitamins, hairbrush, headphones, etc.) . It was easily my most used piece of furniture. So how do you put a nightstand in a dorm room? You don’t. What I did instead is that I put my mini fridge by my bed and then found a really cool drawer at a thrift shop and put all of my stuff in the drawer on top of the fridge (you can see a picture in my post about my dorm). Also, find a magnetic hook for your keys to put on the fridge.

So this is all I have for this post. If you have questions, feel free to email. If you have other tips, put them in the comments.