“To the windows, to the walls…” As every freshman
probably knows by now, decorating a dorm room can prove to
be a very challenging project during the frenzied first week at college. In order to let your individuality show through in your
room, you must make sure that that room makes you feel as
comfortable as your room at home. By this I don’t
mean that you leave everything lying on the floor for your
mom to pick it up later (cause guess what, your mother isn't here!). However, the room should suit your style. So
for those of you who are completely lost when it comes to
organizing and decorating, just follow these tips.
The first step in decorating is to choose a color scheme. This decision narrows your search to only things that will complement the room.
It is smart to stick with 2 or 3 colors (even if they don’t flatter each other). By incorporating these hues and tints, the room will tie in nicely, even if the 2 main colors are not complimentary.
This is very important in a dorm room, considering that you are condensing four rooms' worth of items (kitchen, family room, bathroom, and bedroom) into one.
It is not very hard to find the storage supplies that you need as long as you know what you want. Many stores carry a great array of different size organizational remedies. What’s important is knowing what kind of storage would be preferable for what you are bringing. Baskets and locker boxes look nice but are only appropriate for small things, such as food and cleaning supplies. There are mesh cubes which can be put together easily in many ways that fit clothes, shoes, towels and even books. Under bed storage is great because is out of view (bed risers make room for more under bed storage). Just remember, you can never buy enough organizational tools. Besides, they are fairly useful to prevent clutters from class to class or party to party. It is also a good idea to organize closets because they tend to be pretty small.
Hanging cloth shelves where pants and shoes can be stored neatly make a closet look orderly. It also makes it easier for you to put things away. Friction hangers have five arms so that you can hang more on just one hanger. Another space-making option is to use a double hanger which creates a whole other bar for hanging clothes.
Posters are a good idea but make sure that they do not overwhelm the room. Pick appropriately sized posters that flatter the wall space.
Hanging wall lights are often overdone, but hanging lights that complement the room colors can add a nice touch of color and brightness into an otherwise dull room.
A rug is a valuable asset to the room because it not only provides comfort for your feet, but also adds color. It can be used to pull a room together by topping off the color scheme.
Dorm rooms can acquire some unpleasant odors. To prevent this, buy cheap car air fresheners and hang them in hidden corners of the room. Trust me, people will notice the aroma.
A drying rack is cheap and well used in a dorm. The dorm dryers are too powerful for some of the finer clothing, thus causing shrinkage. Avoid this with your convenient drying rack.
Last but certainly not least, buy cleaning supplies. An air freshener can only hide so much. Keep the room clean. Throw out old food, swiffer the floor, and wipe any spilled items immediately.
People will notice a room that’s smartly organized and decorated and clean! Again, you want to make your room as welcoming and comfortable as possible, but most importantly have fun decorating and be creative.
Jennifer Kessler also contributed to this article.