Okay look, it’s been a while since we’ve been in college. Our experience will absolutely not be the same as yours but there are a few things we wish were around while we were in school and there are a couple of things that will never change.
As you scroll through the TikToks, get your book lists, and start making plans, we have a couple of pieces of advice.
First, a lot is going to be outside of your control. That’s good! That’s where the magic happens! So make good choices with what you can control like stocking your dorm with recycled plastic hangers.
Second, you are not ever going to have enough space so get really good at organizing.
Third, you need to feel comfortable in your space. Well, as comfortable as you can be. It’s your new home! While your dorm room and experience might be temporary, all the ‘essential products’ are permanent.
Think about the planet and your comfort.
Listen, hangers are a pain in the ass to carry, to store, and they’re not sexy. But you need ‘em and we got ‘em.
Scroll through for why ( r e ) ˣ recycled plastic hangers are the best choice for your dorm room hangers.
how many hangers do i need for my dorm?
Each ( r e ) ˣ recycled plastic hanger is thicker than most hangers with a pant bar width of .31 inches (8mm). While that means you can’t fit as many hangers in your dorm, quantity is not always better than quality. You can layer our hangers up like crazy.
Technically, you can fit 135 hangers in the standard 43-inch dorm closet (with no clothes). 68 would be a good number to start with, bring more if that number feels too low, and keep reading for our storage advice.
You’ll also most likely be using some of that closet space for other things (read: shoe storage).
how to use ( r e ) ˣ hangers to maximize your dorm space
Closet space is tight so you’ll have to get creative on how you store things — that’s where our hangers shine!
- Use The Hanger Hook
- Shirts and skirts with loop tags, can all be looped over the hook, use the rest of the hanger for hanging other stuff.
- Pants and shorts with belt loops can also be looped around the hook.
- Alternate the clothes front to back for best results.
- Use The Pant Bar
- If it has snaps, snap it around the pant bar. This is especially great for bodysuits, you’ll be able to fit a ton.
- Tie scarves (both accessory and weather ones) along the pant bar.
- Buckle your belts across the pant bar.
- Fold multiple pairs of pants across the bar — it won’t break.
- Use The Notches
- Have shirts with those annoying strings? Hang them through the notches of the hanger, put a cardigan or jacket over it.
- Layer, layer, layer!
- See how many tank tops you can fit on one hanger using the notches and looping them over the hook. Word on the street is someone at ( r e ) ˣ keeps 10 per hanger.
- Keep all your winter/seasonal outdoor gear on one hanger.
- To give heavy coats, coveralls, and jumpsuits extra support, loop the hook of the hanger through the loop above the tag. Add in all the accessories that you generally wear with it (scarves, belts, gloves, hats, purses, etc).
other ways to use recycled plastic hangers for dorm storage
- Brought Shower Curtain Hangers & Don’t Need Them?
- Hook it over the pant bar of the hanger and stack up your belts.
- Similarly, hook your scarves around the curtain hangers for easier access
- Don’t wear jewelry often? Loop necklaces and bracelets through the shower hooks, and clasp them around the pant bar.
- Bathroom Accessories
- You’ll already have a bathroom caddy if you have a shared bathroom. Use one ( r e ) ˣ hanger to carry your towel, washcloth, face towel, and hair towel. Loop it over the shower rod or on the hook and you’ll have everything in one place.
- Extra Storage
- Keep an extra sheet set on hangers (if you have the space). Keep the fitted sheet, top sheet, and pillowcases all together.
- Movie Night In A Bunk Bed
- In the bottom bunk, hook two hangers through the metal grate of the top bunk close together. Slide your iPad in the middle of both so each hanger is on either side of the iPad. Watch hands-free!
storing ( r e ) ˣ hangers in the dorm
This is going to sound crazy, but hang in there. Don’t throw them all in a trash bag or plastic bin and hope for the best. It will be terrible.
You could get a metal hanger rack specifically for hangers but space is precious.
We recommend neatly stacking your hangers on top of each other or next to each other in a box or bin. Tie them together with string, yarn, a shoelace, saran wrap if you already have it, an old biobag that can’t be reused from moving, or anything else!
hacks from a designer: keep your clothes on their (recycled plastic) hangers
When moving in (or out) of your dorm, DON’T TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF THE HANGERS! Grab a biobag (compostable) or whatever trash bag you already have to wrap around the clothes to move them easily.
- If the trash bag has handles, pull the bag up around a section of clothes on the hangers. Loop one tie across all the hangers to the right, and the other tie across all the hangers to the left. Reuse the bag when you get to your destination.
- If using a biobag or bag without handles. Cut a small hole in the bottom corner of the bag. Feed the hangers (with clothes) through the opening, tie off the bottom, and transport them. To be extra crunchy, tie off that hole when you get to your destination and reuse the trash bag — although maybe keep it to non-liquid trash.
other must-haves for your dorm, sustainable edition
You get it, ( r e ) ˣ recycled plastic hangers are awesome and you need them for your dorm. (Seriously what are you waiting for?!).
Keep the sustainability streak going and consider some of our other favorite items for a more eco-friendly college experience.
- These are the OG’s of compostable bags! If your college composts that’s extra great. Even if you don’t have access to a compost pile, using trash bags that are plastic-free and less energy-intensive to make is better for the planet.
- Solar Lamps
- If you’re looking for the glow of Lofi Boy’s room, get a solar lamp! Not only do solar lamps create excellent ambient lighting (isn’t the phrase “everyone looks good in solar light?”), they’re less energy intensive. Use them at night when watching movies studying, keep them in your bag for late-night picnics or outings, or keep one on your bed for easier light access.
- Nimble Portable Charger
- There are not going to be enough outlets in your room. That is almost guaranteed so you might as well have a portable charger handy. Nimble chargers use high-quality design, more earth-friendly materials, and they offer free e-waste recycling to help you dispose of your charger at the end of its life.
- Secondhand or Slightly Used Vaccum
- Check out your mom’s closet, a local secondhand store, or a buy-nothing group on Facebook. We can almost guarantee it will be better quality than whatever you’ll find for $10 brand new.
- Miir Reusable Mugs
- Don’t throw these away at the end of the school year! Miir stainless steel cups are great alternatives to plastic that you can keep well beyond your college years. Check the bottom of each one to see how your purchase contributed to a donation. Create a sustainability trend and BYO for your morning (afternoon, and evening) coffee.
- Turkish Towel
- A Turkish Towel is great to have on hand. They’re super lightweight, take up a tiny amount of space, and are perfect for a variety of activities. You can even use it as a bath towel!
It’s been a while since we were in college and your experience will be far different from ours. Some things go out of style and our college experience is definitely different from what yours will be. But caring about the planet and creating sustainable habits now is something that will stay with you forever (as will all of the single products bought and used for one year).
If sustainability is your passion, find a sustainability group on campus (like CALPIRG where Paulina was a member for 5 years) and talk to your school about carrying ( r e ) ˣ hangers in the bookstore or becoming an on-campus ambassador.