Tag Archives: dorm decorating

10 Ways to Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home

When I walked into my freshman dorm room with my arms full of my very favorite and prized possessions, I was a little apprehensive. I remember taking a moment to look around the room and noticing the horrible wallpaper covering every available surface. (Do not place wallpaper all over your dorm room. Just don’t do it!) My wonderful mother immediately jumped into action, forming a plan to remove it all. I remember feeling unsettled until that wallpaper was gone and my things were neatly placed where they would forever reside, my room started to feel more like home. 

So before you get here, before you even start packing, here is a list of 10 ways to make your dorm room feel more like home, and guess what? You can find all these things at Target, which happens to be just a short ride from campus, just in case you forget something! *praise hands* 

Photographs

The best and fastest way to make your room feel more like home is to put up photos of your family and friends. Seeing familiar faces every day can give you the boost you need to make your day great. Frame them, hang them, display them however you’d like! 

Throw pillows and blankets! 

Not only are throw pillows and blankets incredibly comfortable, since they come in so many different shapes, colors, and fabrics, they will also help make your dorm room look better. Toss them on your chair, over the bed, everywhere! You’re about to start college, you know how great pillows and blankets are, I don’t need to convince you! 

Succulents 

Succulents are all the rage, partially because they are cute and partially because they are so low maintenance. In fact, my trusty succulent Rufus is sitting next to me as I type. Basically, all you need is some sunshine and a little water from time to time and you’re set! 

Floor rugs

Some dorm rooms have tile floors. Who wants to get up in the middle of the night and walk on the cold tile? Not only are rugs cozy, they also will help make your room look nicer. 

Lighting

There’s nothing worse than harsh overhead lighting to cause a headache during an important study session or ruin a great selfie situation. Take your lighting into your own hands by bringing lamps for your desk or maybe a hanging lantern. A string or two of Christmas lights are also a popular addition to a lot of dorm rooms. 

Essential oils

People use essential oils to help with all sorts of things from sleep to anxiety, if I’m being honest, I just like my room smelling nice. Diffusers come in various sizes and designs and don’t cost a lot plus you can get essential oils in a huge variety of scents. My go-tos are rose and lavender. 

Favorite snack foods

What are your favorite snack foods? Candy? Chips? I personally love them all lol. Be sure to stock up on snacks! Always have your favorites handy! 

Floor cushions/ottomans  

You can never have too much extra seating in your room. For study groups or movie nights, it will always be helpful. What’s fantastic about many of them is that they open up for built-in storage, perfect for all those throw blankets you’re going to end up buying!

Organizers 

It’s important to keep organized. There are tons of options from ways to keep your desk in order to bathroom and closet organizers. My favorite thing to have were hanging shoe racks cause you can never have too many shoes! 

Your favorite movie and some microwavable popcorn

Nothing screams relaxation like a good movie and some popcorn. Bring a stack of your favorite Blu-rays with you. Pop some popcorn and enjoy. 

What’s great about your dorm room is … it’s yours! While these ten things seem like great additions to anyone’s room, they might not be for you, so make your own list! Did you know right now Target has a great College Checklist you can use to help you track the things you need! Check it out and get packing! 

 

Dorm Decorating on a Budget

PUC students study in McReynolds Hall.

PUC students study in McReynolds Hall.

By Andrea James

Save money where you can and still get a stylish, functional dorm room!

Tip #1. Shop at thrift and dollar stores for supplies.

Dollar stores are a college student’s best friend. At my local one, I found:

  • Christmas lights
  • Picture frames
  • Mirrors
  • Mounting supplies, such as self-adhesive hooks
  • Fake flowers
  • Vases and jars
  • Etc. (I also found a lot the things on my packing list FYI)

Tip # 2: Look for deals aimed specifically at students or college freshmen.

Some stores will offer free shipping, free store pick-up, various discounts, etc. However, only buy what you need. Don’t get dazzled by 20 percent off signs and end up buying five fuzzy blankets and 10 rolls of washi tape. Although these things are great and can be useful, you will likely not need that many. Make a list and stick to it!

Tip #3. Print Instagram photos to decorate your walls, shelves, and/or desk.

There are many apps and websites where you can get prints of your photos for cheap, or even free. A few options include:

  • Shutterfly Get 50 free 4×6 prints for first-time customers. If you download the free mobile app, you get 100 free 4×6 prints.
  • Snapfish First-time customers can get 50 free 4×6 photos and very low rates on basic prints.
  • Costco Photo Center Pick up your prints and tick items off your to-buy list in one trip.
  • FreePrints Only pay shipping costs for 4×6 prints, although there are limitations on the number such as only one print per photo and only a certain number of prints a year.
  • PostalPix Print four-inch squares from your Instagram library for only 33 cents each (other sizes also available).

Tip #4. Use sticky notes (available at the aforementioned dollar stores) to cover bland white walls with colorful creativity!

Some ideas:

  • Make a motivation wall with quotes, affirmations, and goals.
  • Create a calendar to keep track of important dates and when assignments are due.
  • Post-it to-do lists make it easy to add and remove tasks.
  • Postit pixel art requires a little planning out on graph paper (unless you use patterns), but is easy to do and will impress all your friends with your skills.

Or, better yet, come up with your own ideas! Which leads into my last tip:

Tip #5. Get creative! Use whatever supplies you have available and have fun.

Honestly, the last thing college students should be stressed about is decorating their dorm room. Don’t spend so much time on DIY projects and Pinterest boards that you neglect the truly important things, like getting your financial aid worked out and registering for classes. At the same time, it’s nice to sometimes take a break from freaking out about the serious things and design a Post-it note pixel superhero to decorate the area above your desk (since you will be staring at it for most of the time you should be studying) or browse Etsy for the perfect washi tape with which to cover everything. College is a time for learning and studying but it’s also a time for great fun, so take a break and design your perfect dorm room. Then make it a reality, using the above tips, and start the school year with your room as full of joy and creativity as your college experience will soon be!

Take a look at a few of my favorite dorm websites for some inspiration too:

Editor’s note: If you’re an incoming freshman, we hope you’re getting excited about being at PUC this fall! Soon you will receive information about New Student Orientation, including what to pack, but in the meantime, you can also refer to the FAQ section on our website.