Little Space, Big Ideas
Ah, the dorm room. The cramped quarters where friendships form and memories are made. The small room full of ramen noodles and textbooks. While dorms are usually the opposite of wide, open spaces, that doesn’t mean they can’t be clean, cozy and comfortable. Here are some tips to make your dorm room a happy home:
- Your furniture or theirs? Some dorm rooms will already have basic items such as beds, dressers and bookcases. Before you start buying dorm room essentials, make sure you know what the school provides. For items you plan to bring, make sure they fit in your new room before strapping them to your parent’s minivan.
- Read the fine print. Some dorms have very specific rules about what you can and cannot bring. Coffee makers may be prohibited and using a toaster inside your room may get you in serious trouble. Avoid a bad reputation and make sure you know the rules.
- Make a list, check it twice. If you already have a dresser, you don’t need to buy another one! Before you run around town shopping, make a list of what you’ll need. Include linens, pillows, hangers, one of those handy over-the-door hook thingamabobbers and a mini fridge for all those study snacks.
- Moving far away? You may want to consider shipping your belongings via an air cargo company, especially if you are moving less than 1,000 pounds of stuff.
- Keep space in mind when packing. Bringing too much stuff is an easy mistake to make. Ask yourself: “Do I really need this?” If not, keep it in storage somewhere else.
- Pack like a pro. Keep your dinosaur figurine collection safe on the journey to your dorm with these packing tips.
- The key to being clutter-free is having a place for everything. Owning functional furniture will help maintain a clean, organized space. Storage ottomans and over-the-door organizers will help keep your dorm room feeling open and relaxed, all without cramping your space or style.
- Bed risers make more storage space. Want more space to call your own? Loft your bed. Can’t loft your bed? Purchasing plastic bed risers will give you more space for storage containers, suitcases and your shoe collection.
- Picture perfect. Between lacrosse practice, class and your busy social life, it’s easy to get disorganized. Take pictures of your perfect organized set-up so when you finally get around to cleaning you’ll know where everything goes.
- Make it yours. By trying to make your room fit your roommate’s desires or follow the latest trends, you may feel less at home. You have to live there, so why not make it what you want? If you’re having an issue with your roommate(s) about decorating, try to compromise. Coordinating a color or pattern scheme can be a fun way to make space your own while acknowledging those that share a space with you.
- Be smart about wall art. Most dorms have a policy against nails and destructive hardware, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave them blank. Use adhesive hooks and poster putty to hang your favorite artwork and posters. Decorating with removable wall decals, draping lights and calming fabric can also hide confining textures of a dorm’s concrete walls.
- Just remember to keep it simple. Cluttered walls can make a dorm room feel smaller. Hanging an interesting mirror is another great way to make a dorm room feel bigger. The reflected light and extra view will make your dorm look like a mansion. Or at least a little bigger. You can also brighten a dark dorm room by using bright colors instead when decorating.