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How to collect in college when you’re tight on space

There are two steps to furnishing a college dorm room. First, you furiously rearrange your room trying to make the most of the space you have. Second, you ask yourself how you’ll possibly fit anything else in it.

The thought of starting a collection in a dorm room might be daunting, but fortunately, it’s far from impossible. In fact, there’s no better icebreaker than showing off some awesome collectibles you handpicked yourself. To get you started on your journey, here are five collectibles that are perfect for college students who want to keep their clutter to a minimum.

1: University Apparel

Dartmouth Shirts

Generally speaking, collecting clothes is one of the easiest things you can do in college. After all, you need to fill some drawers with clothes anyway, so why not make them things you like showing off? Besides, a healthy selection of clothes keeps you from being that one person who only wears the same three shirts every week, and no one wants to be that person.

University apparel works for two reasons. One, you can start your collection without leaving campus. Second, wearing swag from other colleges will help you trick people at parties into asking you what life is like at that respective campus. Never fumble around trying to make conversation by using this trick, which works every time except for the times that it doesn’t.

2: Books


Here’s another collection that you kind of have to start anyway. Textbooks are big and approximately 5000% more expensive than they need to be, so why not mix up your mandatory book shelf with fun reads at presumably more reasonable prices?

Books are great because you can organize them and stack them virtually any way you want. And if you actually get a chance to read them, you’ll give your eyes a rest from backlit screens and possibly get better sleep in the process. I’d call this a life hack if the act of reading wasn’t literally thousands of years old.

3: Nintendo Switch Games

Octopath Traveler Case

The Nintendo Switch is perfect for both casual and hardcore gamers who are tight on space.

The Switch is playable on both big screen TVs and on its own built-in screen. However, a TV isn’t required for it to function. In fact, you can leave the Switch Dock in the box and use the Switch as a dedicated portable device. The games themselves are also on super small cards and housed in fun-sized cases. They’re big enough to show off, but small enough to fit basically anywhere.

The best part? You can even use the Switch’s kick stand to set it up for two player games, and both players can use the detachable joy cons as separate controllers. It’s as compact of a gaming experience as you could ask for, as long as you don’t mind snuggling a little too close to your player two. Maybe that’s actually a feature for you, I’m not here to tell you how to live your life.

Just make sure you don’t act like Karen.

4: Blu-ray Movies

Anime Blu-ray

Blu-ray movies might seem unnecessary in an age of Netflix, but this is one collection that will get better with age.

As great as movie streaming services are, popular movies and TV shows are often rotated in and out of circulation. This means any potential movie nights can easily get sabotaged if you can’t find anything that everyone wants to watch. Meanwhile, if you have a collection of blu-rays on hand, you’ll always have a safe selection of movies that won’t disappear right under your fingertips. As a bonus, people will love you forever if you happen to have their favorite movie that isn’t available on a streaming service.

The best part is, blu-ray movies are so small that the Marvel Cinematic Universe might barely fit on one shelf!

5: Funko Pop! Figures

DBZ Funko Pops

When it comes to cheap, accessible collectibles, it’s hard to go wrong with Funko Pop! figures.

Figurines are normally the bane of dorm rooms, but the unique design of Pops makes them easy to fit just about anywhere. The figures themselves are small and sturdy, first of all. But even if they weren’t, it’s actually the boxes that make Pops so space economic. They’re in an easily stackable shape, they’re see-through, they’re nice to look at, and they’re easy to unbox and box back up. You can arrange a Funko Pop! collection in a ton of different ways: the only limit is your imagination. Oh, and space, but that’s obviously a given at this point.

The best part of Funko Pop! figures is the vast variety of pop-culture characters that exist in Funko form. So whether you like comic books, anime, video games, binge-watching T.V. shows, or just about anything else, you’ll definitely find some Pop! figures that’ll interest you. Just don’t get too deep into the Pop! addiction and spend hours tracking down chase figures. You need to make some time to learn, after all.

Written by TimM
Tim is a video game aficionado who is fascinated by pop culture. He built his first collection in 1999 by catching all 151 monsters in Pokemon Red, and he hasn't stopped collecting since. His work has been featured multiple times on