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5 Creative Ways to Use a Utility Cart in Your Dorm Room

Living in a dorm is the ultimate test of creativity, ingenuity and compromise. For nine months out of the year, you share a space that is the same size or smaller than your own bedroom, with at least one stranger. That means twice the amount of stuff jammed into one room. Not only that, this one room is just a basic room that isn’t connected to a bathroom or a kitchen that is stocked every week by your parents. But you still need some of those same supplies to survive. 

A utility cart is a fun and functional solution to store some of your basic needs in your dorm room. Check out these five creative uses of a rolling cart that will help organize your dorm room essentials:

1. The Mini-Kitchen Cart

A utility cart could be a functional dorm room-alternative to kitchen cupboards | Bob's Discount Furniture
A utility cart could be a functional dorm room-alternative to kitchen cupboards

As mentioned above, the kitchen that you might take for granted at home that’s open 24 hours and doesn’t require a swipe card, doesn’t exist in a dorm room. But that’s not to say you can’t still have your snacks and basic dining needs on hand. Designate a specific purpose for each of the three tiers of your cart. The bottom tier is a great place to store a few plates, bowls, cups and utensils. Notice the use of the word few. You don’t need a full set of plates. Two or three plates, bowls and cups will suffice. And don’t forget to pick up a small bottle of dish soap because these dishes don’t wash themselves! 

The second tier is ideal for smaller, more compact items. Use this to store drinks along with non-perishable snacks and fresh fruit. 

The top tier is for your go-to items or larger items that won’t fit underneath. Place a few cups here for easy access. You can also store menus to your favorite take-out places here.

2. The Study Caddy

Create a tiny office space using a cart to hold your study materials and supplies  | Bob's Discount Furniture
Montana Brown Metal Nightstand

Even though the majority of your classwork lives in the digital world, you’ll still want a few of those standard physical school supplies around. For example, it’s always a good idea to have a pair of scissors to open those care packages. You’ll also want space to store the essential school supplies such as pens, highlighters, notebooks and sticky notes. The top shelf of the cart is a perfect place to store these basic needs and your books.

Use the middle and bottom tiers to store materials for each class. Storage baskets or bins are a great way to separate papers by class and keep them organized. 

And finally, don’t forget about a spot for your backpack. Simply purchase a removable hook and adhere it to the top shelf to create a makeshift “wall hook.”

3. The Bathroom Buddy

Your dorm may not have a bathroom cabinet, but a cart can be a worthy substitute  | Bob's Discount Furniture
Your dorm may not have a bathroom cabinet, but a cart can be a worthy substitute

One of the biggest adjustments to dorm life as a freshman is the fact that you can’t leave your shower supplies in the bathroom like you do at home. Every time you need to take a shower or brush your teeth, you have to take everything with you. A rolling cart provides the storage space you need for your bathroom supplies while also making them easily accessible.

Use the top tier for items that you use frequently such as your toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc. This is also a great place to store your shower caddy so you don’t have to wheel the entire cart down the hall and into the bathroom. 

Use the second tier to store extra towels and bathrobes. You’ll want to have a few extra towels readily available.

The bottom tier is a great place to store all your small supplies and necessities, such as hair accessories and tools. Use baskets or bins to help keep this area organized.

Last, but not least, don’t forget shower shoes. Once you get to college, you’ll soon learn that flip flops aren’t only for the beach!

4. The Bedroom Butler

A utility cart can act as a practical, eye-catching nightstand | Bob's Discount Furniture

A utility cart can act as a practical, eye-catching nightstand

You’ll quickly find that your dorm room may be missing a few pieces of furniture you were used to having at home. The first thing that probably stands out as missing is the nightstand. Overshadowed by the much taller dresser, the nightstand is an often-forgotten furniture piece, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of this versatile little table. And you probably won’t realize how much you actually use your nightstand until it’s not there anymore!   

A three-tiered utility cart acts as a great nightstand because it gives you plenty of storage space and has wheels. This means you can easily push the cart around the room as needed. The top tier is a great spot to charge your phone, store your water bottle and a few books if you’re a nighttime reader.

Use the middle tier for extra pajamas and socks – especially if you don’t have a rug in your room. Dorm room floors can get pretty cold during the night! 

The bottom tier is ideal for extra pillows or an extra blanket.

5. The Coffee Cart

Store your coffee and tea supplies for your dorm room on my Montana white metal nightstand | Bob's Discount Furniture
Montana White Metal Nightstand

Because all-nighters are incredibly difficult without caffeine-lots of it! Whether you’re cramming for a big test, finishing the final project of the semester or need a pick-me-up, a coffee cart is a must-have! 

Use the top shelf for your coffee machine and favorite mugs. Don’t forget to write your initials on your mug so you can keep track of your cups. 

Place your coffee beans and/or tea bags on the second tier. This is also the perfect place to store a few snacks if you have the room.

Use the bottom tier for extra mugs and supplies. In addition to mugs, it’s a good idea to keep a few spoons here as well so you can stir your coffee or tea. And, like the kitchen caddy mentioned earlier, keep a small bottle of dish soap and a brush because you’ll need to clean out these cups. Unfortunately, tuition doesn’t cover room service!

Share your Cart Pics!

So there you have it. I hope you found these ideas helpful and I would love to see what you’ve done with your utility cart. So, snap a pic and tag us on social using @mybobs for a chance to be featured in our feed.


I consider myself the luckiest spokespuppet ever because I get to talk about the thing I love the most everyday – furniture! Tufted headboards, rustic finishes, the difference between a sofa and a couch (yes, there is a difference)… I could go on and on. Oh, I just love furniture and I’m SO excited that I have this blog to share my passion with you! It may take me a little longer to create posts – have you ever tried typing with clay hands – but I look forward to talking furniture with you!