How to Make a Dorm Feel Like Home by Peyton Smith

Living in a dorm room is not always the most glamorous but there are ways to make it prettier as well as functional. Here are a few tricks I have learned from living in dorms  in college that can help you maximize the space in your room and let your personality shine through. 

Tip 1: Less is more 

Since dorm rooms are such small spaces, there is no reason to fill them with a whole bunch of useless decorations that clutter the space. Instead, select things that have multiple uses, which helps utilize the limited space to its fullest potential.  

A few examples of multi-purpose décor items would be a cute desk lamp that serves as a light for studying at night but also can be used to add character to the boring wooden desks provided. A bulletin board or whiteboard can be used to display inspiring pictures or quotes as well as reminders or important papers. A storage ottoman can be used to help you step into bed, while also giving you and extra space to store shoes, blankets, snacks, etc. A mini refrigerator not only gives you a place to keep your drinks and snacks cold, but can also be a nightstand next to your bed.  

You are most likely going to collect a lot of trinkets while living there, so make sure to leave room for those as well! 

Tip 2: Utilize the space given to you 

The easiest way to make a dorm feel bigger is to utilize every space possible. Loft your bed if you’re able to so you can push drawers or your hamper underneath it. If your desk doesn’t come with a hutch, invest in one for your books, makeup, or trinkets you want displayed. Maximize your closet space with hanging shoe organizers, a set of drawers that can be placed under your hanging clothes, or a shoe shelf.  

Another great way to store things is in your suitcases or bags. You can put some of your seasonal or dressier pieces in there until you need them which can help you save room in your closet.  

Tip 3: Narrow down your toiletries and limit your product refills 

Chances are that your friends are almost always going to want to join in on a Target trip to get the refills on cleaning supplies or toiletry items you may need. Your bookstore on campus may also have the basics that you might need in a pinch. Too many toiletries and refills will take up precious real estate in your storage areas. Instead, limit it to only what you need at that moment and use regularly.  

Another helpful tip when it comes to toiletries is using a plastic shower caddy instead of a fabric one. While the fabric ones are typically cuter, they can get moldy quicker since it is harder to wipe them down compared to a plastic caddy. 

Tip 4: Keep healthy snacks around 

In college, you are usually on the go most of the day, so you are likely to snack in your room between classes or late at night. By keeping healthy snacks around, you won’t be constantly feeding yourself junk food when you need a quick bite to eat.  

Some good options to keep around are breakfast bars in case you’re running late in the morning, individual bags of popcorn as a late-night snack while watching Netflix, and trail mix to pick on throughout study sessions.  

At the end of the day, you will figure out what works best for you and your living situation. Each dorm room is different so something that might have worked for you one year might not the next. Hopefully, these tips can help make the most of your dorm experience no matter if it’s your first year or fourth year. 

Peyton Smith is currently a senior at Seton Hall University and a Communications Intern at the Network of enlightened Women. 



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