Your college dorm room will be your home away from home throughout your higher education. But it won’t feel that way unless you decorate and organize it to make it your home away from home. Whether you live with roommates or are lucky enough to have your own dorm space, you need to know where to start.
That’s what this guide is for. Read on and check out some top dorm room ideas to make your space yours. These DIY decor ideas are perfect for decorating a small space, even if you just have one wall or your bed headboard to dress up.
What Are the Basics You’ll Need?
For starters, you’ll want to pick up some dorm room essentials you shouldn’t try to live without. Every college student needs:
- Comfortable bedding. You’ll sleep in the same place each night, so it pays to ensure your bed is as comfy and refreshing as possible.
- Plenty of storage containers. To maximize your space, these should be compact and storable under your bed or along the wall. Stuff like hangers, file organizers, and shower caddies are essential for keeping your important items organized all freshman year.
- Cleaning supplies. If nothing else, having disinfectant wipes (or just general cleaning wipes) will always come in handy.
- A microwave and mini-fridge. While there are often community microwaves in the hall, having your own space and your own appliances can make you feel more comfortable in your new living quarters.
- School supplies. From chargers and binders to pens, pencils, notebooks, and more, you can find all you need at local retail stores or even on Amazon.
- Plenty of decorations. You don’t need to overdo it on posters or LED lights, but adding a touch of your own taste and personality can help make your space warmer and more welcoming to come back to after a long day of classes.
Plan everything you'll bring to your dorm room ahead of time so you can pack the moving truck early and get to school on time.
If you’re lucky, you may be allowed to bring your car. Having a car on your college campus can be immensely practical by giving you extra freedom and flexibility to hang out with friends, handle groceries and errands, or hold down a job away from campus.
Carvaygo can help you ship your car to campus in no time — check out our services, from standard car hauling to expedited car hauling.
What Are Some Ways To Make Your College Space Your Own?
Decorating your dorm room can seem a daunting task at first. Let’s look at some smart ways to make your dorm room space feel like it’s your private sanctuary on campus.
Removable or stick wallpaper is a great way to spice up the walls of your dorm room. Depending on your preferences, you can go with flowers, stars, or even just plain colors.
Removable wallpaper is excellent since you can strip it away when the time comes to move out and get on with your adult life. It's also a great solution if you don't like the color of your dorm room's walls when you first move in.
Pictures, posters, wall-hanging tapestries, and other artwork are excellent wall decor ideas to add a pop of color and make your dorm as much like your home bedroom as possible. Put some art pieces around your bed or on the front door (especially if you have your dorm room to yourself).
Consider putting up a note board and hanging up new posters or a photo wall for a creative touch. Using thumbtacks as attachments, you can even include seasonal or themed decorations on that board. That way, your decorations are constantly changing and evolving.
Soften It Up
A comfortable dorm room is often softly decorated. To that end, consider adding a cozy area rug to the middle of the room, plus hanging up curtains in calming, neutral colors like blue, gray, or beige.
Adding a throw blanket and some toss pillows to your dorm room couch will make it a much better hangout spot or an excellent place for an afternoon nap. Throw pillows should fit your overall color scheme or match the blanket on your dorm bed.
A little greenery goes a long way toward boosting your mental health and helping you stay optimistic in the cold, dark winter months. Indoor plants like succulents barely require any attention but look great for months. Or you can go with fake desk plants if you want a bit of green within your eyesight anytime you study for a test.
You might want to invite your friends or peers into your dorm room for hangouts or study sessions. So it could be a good idea to invest in some extra comfortable seating, like cushioned chairs, futons, or, even better, beanbag chairs.
Your dorm room’s lighting will impact its mood and overall comfort. Aside from replacing loud or overly bright standard lights with LED, energy-efficient bulbs, you can also:
- Scatter a few lamps around the space, which allows you to control how much lighting is present at any time.
- Add cute dorm room lights that double as back-to-school necessities, such as customizable desk lamps or bed reading lights.
- Put colorful string lights around the ceiling or behind your desk for a bit of creative ambiance or fun.
- Put some glowing lava lamps on your desk or elsewhere around your dorm room for old-fashioned appeal.
What Are Some Dorm Room Decorating Tips?
When decorating your dorm room, it’s a good idea to do so while making as little of a permanent impact as possible. After all, someone else will move into the dorm room once you leave.
With that in mind, renter-friendly decorating strategies are ideal. Some smart dorm makeover suggestions include:
- Using removable Command hooks or adhesive strips to hang up pictures and wall art instead of nailing things to the wall.
- Cleaning the walls, door, and carpet or hardwood floor regularly. Try to clean your dorm room once weekly so it is always inviting and relaxing.
- Opting for vertical decorations instead of horizontal ones. This is a doubly clever idea if you have a dorm roommate, as odds are you’ll want to split the room in half (so you decorate your side of the room and vice versa).
- Decorating your living space with a storage ottoman or cubbies to provide even more storage space and a place to sit.
Overall, the best dorm room decorating ideas are those that speak to you. Think about what you want to put on your dorm room walls or what you want to see over the school year, and have fun.
The Bottom Line
In the end, these tips are just suggestions — you should consider what you like and what elements you want to bring from your home bedroom to your new dorm space. The main thing to remember is it’s all about your comfort. Decorate or organize your room how you like.
Just remember to plan your move ASAP. If you need to ship your car to your college campus, Carvaygo can help. Contact us today to learn more.
Dos and Don'ts of Decorating a Rental | HGTV
Should My College Student Have a Car on Campus? | Collegeparents.org
Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study - PMC | NCBI