Like the middle seat on an airplane, it’s axiomatic that your college dorm room is cramped, without a lot of storage space. (Hopefully, there’s no sleeping, fat guy drooling on you, who’s also blocking you from the aisle and that all-too-needed restroom.)

Still, life in a university dorm room doesn’t have to be messy, confined and disorganized–in other words, economy class. Using the following items can help cut down on your new home having that cluttered feel, and save you lots of anguish. Of course, we can only help with your organizational skills inside your room: once you leave, you’re on your own.

In my dorm room at the University of Maryland (Fear the Turtle!), our cable jack was on the opposite side of the room from where we wanted our television. And, of course, we wanted those surround sound speakers hooked up to our death-matches of NFL Madden. But that left wires, wires everywhere–and those picture hangers we nailed into the baseboards weren’t exactly what you would call the height of fashion.

In later years, I found the answer: raceways on a spool. You can unroll the length you need, cut it with a scissor, fold it out to its rectangular shape, and no one will ever know that you didn’t splurge for those gold-tipped monster Monster cables. It sticks with the pre-applied adhesive (no messy glue to fumble with) and you can even paint it black, to match the rest of your highly-developed interior design skills.

When it comes to computing, why even bother with wires? Avoid the horror of Cat-5 cable everywhere and get yourself a wireless network router. Sure, it has the Ethernet jacks just in case you haven’t upgraded yourself into the 21st century, but some are also outfitted with SpeedBooster and SRX Technology. (Hey, if you need to know what that means, find your RG–resident geek–and ask him.)

Some routers make setup a snap, with their step-by-step installation guide doing all of the heavy liftings for you. They can transmit up to 150 feet, even through walls, so you never have to interrupt that really crucial IM with fastchick667 while you roam about your room, trying to find that one square foot of privacy. Plus, they have built-in security protocols to prevent your RG from hacking into your system.

Surge Protectors: These items do double duty. First, dorm rooms are notorious for never having enough outlets, especially in this digital world. (How many times have you heard: Dude, unplug your alarm clock, I need to recharge my iPod.) These surge protectors give you up to ten outlets for all your peripheral needs.

Second, surge protectors protect your precious PCs, TVs, DVD players, MP3 players, PSPs, cell-phones and whatever else you need juice for from electrical overload. Some feature space-saving right-angle plugs–so you can actually use all the outlets–and they have LED warning lights, to let you know of the impending danger.

With these essentials, you’ll feel like you’re flying first class! Now if you could only convince fastchick667 to actually meet you in person…