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Re-Purpose To Save Money on Dorm Room Storage

Dorm room desk with laptop some messy items on top.

As a college student, every penny counts. Whether its a BOGO coupon for the book store or eating Ramen for dinner, college students tend to look for ways to save money. What better way to save than getting creative with some of your dorm room essentials?

We’ve previously showed you ways to maximize space in your choice of residence. In addition to that, we now have some smaller storage solutions that can come in handy while also helping you recycle unwanted goods. Below are ways to reuse common items found around your dorm room or apartment that can be used for a different purpose than their original intentions. Put a little fun in your storage solutions. And remember, there are plenty more tips like this that are good for adults too!

Share your favorite reuse tips in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Dimes in a plastic water bottle.Bottles as Banks

If you buy soda or beverages in 2-liter bottle sizes, hang on to those containers. Once a bottle is empty, wash it out and start filling it with the coins you find in your backpack and around your room. It might take some time, but once it is full, you may find yourself with a few hundred dollars! That’s a nice chunk of change that you may never have even thought to collect.

Salad stored in mason jarsSauce Jars for storage

Any jar will work. Run the empty jar through the dishwasher or simply wash it by hand and now you have a reusable lunch container. They keep odors locked in make great use for lunch needs. You can easily store and transport some lunch favorites like salads, pasta dishes, or smoothies in an easy to carry container to your next class or campus activity.

Paint swatch cards on wall in design form. Post-Its and Paint Swatch Samples for wall decor

Need new wall decor? Easy to obtain paper good like Post-Its and paint sample cards can give your room lots of color for little cost. If you take a bunch of these colorful papers and cut them into individual squares, you can make different wall decorations out of them. In my apartment last year we had a tree and this year we made a sky. But be advised, it takes longer than you may think to actually complete it (our sky took 9 hours from start to finish). Hard work becomes worth it when a fun environment is the result.

Egg Carton holding jewelry inside it. Egg carton storage cases

After you finish a carton of eggs, cut the top off and create storage for your small goods. You’ll instantly have a personalized jewelry holder. Sort and separate earrings, bracelets, rings, and necklaces and pendants to make it easier to find the accessory you’re looking for to complete your look on any give day. To get creative, you can even paint the outside and put some personal style on it.

Dried pasta in plastic bottlesPlastic bottles for rice/pasta

The next disposable water bottle or food storage container you get, make sure to keep it! They make great holders for rice and pasta and are much easier to store than an open bag or box. How many times have you opened the pantry door and seen little pieces of uncooked rice on the floor? With the bottle method, you can prevent that from happening again.

Think these ideas are great and want to create more or learn what you can do to sustain our planet? At SUNY, there are many ways to get involved in sustainability, both in and out of the classroom. SUNY Oneonta’s Environmental Sustainability major is just one great option! And there are other programs, such as Environmental Studies, Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Science and more.

Bottom line: there are many different items to reuse that reduce your spending and help the environment. Plus, you can personalize all of these items and add a bit of your own unique style.


    Written by Sarah Petrak

    Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.

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    There is 1 comment

  • Care Packages For College Students says:

    Nice idea for managing space and decorating dorm room. I like the plastic bottle idea for saving time and money.

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