By / Emily Adams
8 Tips for Turning Your Dorm Room into Your Dream Room
Getting ready for college is a big step in any young adult’s life. When you’re moving out of the house for the first time, things can get stressful and it’s easy to forget important aspects of moving into a new place. Additionally, just because it’s temporary, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun decorating student housing! Use these dorm tips and ideas to make your new home comfortable. Let’s also take a look at some of the most important aspects of moving into student housing, such as an apartment, house, or dorm, and how you can make the move easier and fun.
- Stick with the essentials first. – Kind of a no-brainer, right? You’d be surprised. Don’t get caught up in bringing furniture or decorations – wait until the essentials have been moved in before decorating your new place. If your belongings don’t fit into the back of an average minivan or car, you might be bringing too much stuff. If you’re moving into a dorm, they generally supply basic furniture like beds, desks, and tables. Bring your essentials first: clothes, sheets, towels, toiletries, chargers, and maybe even a TV and microwave. Once you have the essentials moved in, you can get a better idea of how you can decorate the space and how much decorations you can fit.
- Keep things organized. – Since most student housing is shared space, you’ll want to make sure your stuff can’t be confused with your mate’s. It’s also helpful to keep your belongings organized, as you might need to move them out in a less than a year anyway. Use storage bins and boxes to keep your area tidy and make your belongings easy to access. Bonus points if you put your belongings into bins before moving them!
- Prepare for seasons.– Back to school moving typically happens in the late Summer, so it’s reasonable to assume that a lot of shorts and short-sleeves will be packed for the current weather. That said, don’t forget about the upcoming colder months that will require heavier clothes. It’s important to pack a balanced wardrobe so you’re not scrambling for clothes when the temperature drops!
- Bring memories from home. – I know we just talked about sticking with the essentials, but I think memories are pretty essential, too. This dorm tip is easily overlooked, but it’s very important. Eventually, you will feel homesick and miss the little things that made your home special. When you’re packing, make sure you bring memories for those homesick nights. Bring your favorite pillow or stuffed animal, and plenty of photos of your friends, family, and pets. If you have a favorite mug or favorite blanket, bring those, too! Your new home is still your home, and you deserve to feel comfortable there.
- Before you unload, inspect. – Before you start bringing things inside, take a look around and inspect the new place. Especially if you’re living in a house, you’ll want to take note of any issues with the walls, floors, drawers, cabinets, doors, and windows. If you notice an issue, make sure to notify the landlord. This step is crucial! If you don’t notify your landlord, you may be charged for these issues on move-out, even if you did not cause them.
- Once you get there, buy food. – This sounds like a no-brainer, too, but it’s super important. One of the first things you should do in your new place is to buy food – preferably something easy to prepare. We all know the stereotypes of eating Ramen for days in college, and while there is some truth there, you can still have an enjoyable meal on a budget without a fuss. After a long day of moving, the last thing you’ll want to do is cook a full meal, but you can always find easy to prepare meals at the grocery store, like canned soup and mac and cheese. It’s always smart to check out the deli section, too. Grab some bread and deli meat for easy back-to-school lunches, and maybe some rotisserie chicken and potato salad for dinner. You’re going to get hungry, but you don’t have to spend money on fast food to eat.
- Make it cozy! – What’s more important than good grades? Comfort! Well, maybe they’re of equal importance, but don’t underrate how good it feels to come home to a comfy and cozy room. Now that you have your essentials moved in, you can start looking for decorations to make your dorm cozy and comfortable. If you’re living in a house or apartment, start with the living room, which is where you’ll likely be spending most of your time. Grab some rope lights or holiday lights to create soft lighting for your student housing. Soft lighting beats harsh overhead lights, like ceiling fans and fluorescent bulbs. Throw some house plants by the windows to give your room some life, and if you’re so inclined, maybe throw some chachkies or decorative art on tabletops and walls. Keep thinking of new dorm tips and ideas when you look around!
- Coordinate with your roommates. – Your roommate is going to be a big part of your life for the next 8 months or so, and it’s important that you have a good relationship to avoid drama and miscommunication. Whenever you decide to put something in the common area, make sure to talk to your roommate first. You should be in agreement about items in the common area, as you don’t want to make your roommate uncomfortable, or even worse, cause an argument. Since this isn’t only your space, it’s important to consider your roomie’s opinion. With that said, you can still be selfish about some things! If you have important items that make you feel comfortable or help you relax, put them in your space. It’s natural to feel controlling over items that are important to you, so don’t try too hard to share things that you wouldn’t like someone else messing with.
Moving out of the house is a new experience for many, and it can get scary, but that shouldn’t stop you from making your new home just as comfortable as your last. Since school can get stressful, you should always be thinking of relaxing ways to decorate your dorm and tips for making student housing comfortable. You can prepare for a lot of the unknown by packing for your dorm ahead of time using bins and decorative boxes. Ultimately, it’s very important to bring the essentials and coordinate with your roommate(s) once you move-in. You can only prepare for so much, but having your roommates on your side will make this stressful time a lot easier.