Let's face it: dorm rooms can be cramped, bland, and uninviting. The idea of living in a tiny room with two or three people for nine months may have many of you rethinking your living situations. But before you forgo the experience of dormitory life, realize that you can easily spruce up your living environment to make it homey yet functional at the same time. All you have to do is follow the steps below:
Step 1: Optimize Your Space
The key to living in a tiny dorm room is to use the space you have available to its fullest. If your dorm room already has a bed that sits low on the ground, you can maximize the storage space underneath by slightly raising the bed. This will give you more space to store off-season clothes, books, or anything that you don't use on a regular basis. At some schools, you can purchase lofts to put your bed on, which will give you space underneath for dorm seating, TV, and a mini-refrigerator. Some schools may even allow you to bunk two beds together, which will also allow room for a "living area." In addition to maximizing space in the actual dorm room, you can also optimize the space in your closet. Utilizing closet organizers for shoes, sweaters, hats, and belts will not only keep you better organized but will also allow space at the bottom of your closet for more storage. There are all sorts of ways to better optimize the space you have in your dorm room; just keep an eye out for new ideas.
Step 2: Accessorize With Necessities
There are several must-haves that you should put in your dorm room to help make it more functional. Good lighting is crucial to have because it will make reading and studying much easier. Invest in a desk lamp and possibly a floor lamp to put by your bed for nighttime reading. You will also need space to store important documents, such as tax information, bills, scholarship information, etc. Purchase a small filing cabinet to help you organize these important papers. You can even use the top of the cabinet to place your printer, pictures, or other knickknacks on. Finally, a bulletin board is another dorm room must-have. This board can be used to hang roommate messages, class schedules, and assignment due dates. Make the bulletin board more colorful by adding candid photos of your family and friends. If you can think of anything else you deem as a dorm room necessity, be sure to bring it along.
Step 3: Express Yourself
Expressing your individuality through your dorm room décor will allow others to assess your personality as well as make you feel more comfortable in your surroundings. Do you like to paint? Splash your favorite color on furniture or walls (using paintable peel n stick wallpaper) to brighten up your room. If you are artistically inclined, paint pictures to hang up on your walls. If you are not artistically inclined, check out peel n stick wall decals from Dormco.com and Roommates.com to liven up your bland walls. Dormco.com also has fun tin signs that you can remove and rehang year after year (unlike posters)! However you decide to express yourself, just remember to be creative so you will feel more at home and so you and your friends will enjoy hanging out in your room.
Step 4: Stay Comfortable
To make your dorm room your home away from home, it has to be comfortable. While dorm rooms do not have the reputation of being very comfy, there are ways you can improve the comfort level of your new abode. Because dorm room beds can sometimes be hard, don't forget to bring along a mattress pad to soften it up. Also, purchase a comfortable chair or couch that you and/or your guests can lounge in and be sure to have a large amount of pillows because these necessities make everything more comfortable and homey.
There are pros and cons to living the dormitory life but with the right decorations, you can easily make the positives outweigh the negatives and have a dorm room in which you'll make unforgettable memories. For more dorm room decorating ideas and tips, be sure to follow our Dorm-Organization board and our Dorm Decor board on Pinterest.