How to Make Your College Dorm Room Feel Like Home

After a long few months in quarantine, many students will be coming onto campus for the academic year—or maybe already have! Students will move into dorms, apartments or houses that they will be calling home for (hopefully) the next eight-ish months.

It is important that students are able to get the most out of their space and make it feel like their own. I’ve compiled a list of essentials to help achieve that goal!

Dress up the walls

Nothing adds personality to your college dorm room more than decorating your walls! Here are some of my favorite ways to do it:

  1. Print out some of your favorite photos of you and your friends, family members, favorite places, etc. You can do this at CVS for just 33 cents a photo!
  2. Put up some posters or prints of your favorite celebrities, albums, movies, art, quotes or any image that matches your aesthetic! My favorite sites to find posters are Society6, Redbubble, and Posterfi (at a steal of $6 a piece!). Or if you can’t find something you like you can always print an image to poster size at CVS or Walmart.
  3. Go for a tapestry to achieve the perfect cozy artsy look! You can find good ones on Society6 and Redbubble, but I suggest looking to Etsy or Walmart if you’re looking for more inexpensive options.

Light up your space

  1. LED lights are a great way to give your room ambience, especially if you’ll be hosting some friends for a hang out! They come in reels that are easy to put up and come with a remote with various color options so you can set your desired mood. Get yours on Amazon!
  2. If you’re going for a cozier look, pick up some fairy lights to string along your walls, which you can also get off Amazon. They’ll add a calming twinkle to your space!
  3. If you’re looking for some lights that are best for winding down before bed, I suggest getting a small light for your shelf or desk. Some of my favorites are a moon lamp, letter lights or a Lumipet!

Get Cute Bedding

Your bed will take up the bulk of your space, so make it something pretty to look at and comfortable to lounge on!

  1. Decide on a color scheme and match your sheets and blanket to them—freshman year I went with a grey and white theme. I would suggest getting two sheet sets so you can switch them out with your wash.
  2. In addition to your one or two sleeping pillows, get a lounge or throw pillow. They’ll make your bed look more put together and offer a more comfortable option when you’re sitting upright. This pillow is my favorite! But don’t overdo it! Remember your space is limited, so don’t crowd your bed with six pillows you’re just going to end up kicking onto the floor during the night!
  3. Pick up a throw blanket. This saved me from dirtying my sleeping blanket and sheets when I wanted to take a midday nap or cozy up in the lounge during a movie night.

Don’t forget a mirror

A full length mirror is a must! Get a cheap one from Target or Walmart that you can attach to the back of your door with some trustee Command strips —buy a bunch of these you will use them to hang everything in your dorm!

Dress the floors with a rug

The floors can get super cold and dirty —a rug is a great way to add more color and comfort to your room. My roommate and I ended up getting separate rugs to match our different color schemes, but you can also get one rug to fill the space. 

Storage

College dorm rooms are certainly not the most spacious, so it’s important to think about where you’ll be keeping and organizing all of your things. Here are some ways to make the most out of space:

  1. Get bed risers. Most rooms will have a couple desk drawers, a small wardrobe or drawers and maybe some cabinets. Again, considering your bed will take up most of your room, utilize the space under it! By giving your bed a boost you’ll create an extra nook for your belongings.
  2. Containers and drawers are your best friend! Once you know the dimensions of your room and the things in it, visit Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, Walmart or any home improvement store and look for plastic containers or drawers that fit and fill ‘em up. Differing containers/drawers allow for easy location of your things. If you want an option that’s cute and doubles as an extra seat, opt for a storage ottoman.

Add some life to your room

Now this one isn’t a necessity, but it is my personal favorite. Consider getting a low maintenance plant for your room like a small cactus or succulent to liven the atmosphere. Having a plant in my space always makes me feel happier!

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