By Melissa Setterlund
Around this time of year, most incoming new students have received emails from their deans telling them where and with whom they will be spending the next nine months. This highly anticipated email also comes equipped with a list of things provided in each dorm room and things to remember to bring. (Read the “Your College Packing List” post for a list of suggested items.) When I was an incoming freshman and received that email, I thought to myself, “Great! But now what? What do I do to my room to make it my home away from home?” Our tastes may be completely different and these ideas might not work for you in particular but here are some suggestions to try out in your own dorm room.
My biggest issue is organization. Where was I supposed to put all this stuff I insisted on packing into my car and driving to PUC all the way from Idaho? Luckily, I realized the height of my twin bed in my dorm room could be easily raised or lowered and I adjusted it to the perfect height to fit two large plastic bins underneath. I highly suggest utilizing the space under the bed and using those colorful Target bins to keep things organized. They work great for food and cutlery items; boxes of shoes and boots; scarves, hats, and gloves; and more. You can mix and match sizes and colors with items you don’t use as often in the back.
Once I had things organized, I really wanted to make my room look good. I went to Napa and stopped at Target to get a couple of accessories. I got short, cheap tension curtain rods and some colored curtains to make the closets look more tasteful. Next, I got a long tension rod and the blackout curtains for the main window. I definitely recommend getting blackout curtains for your room if you need the room to be dark in order to sleep.
Another thing that helped make the dorm feel more like home was fixing the walls since the all-white, stone block wall really bothered me. I found three black-and-white posters from AllPosters.com for a total of $15 and bought simple frames from Target to fit. My roommate made us two corkboard wall hangings so we used those as well. I used 3M Command Damage-Free Mounting adhesives to hang my frames and they worked great. Of course, no room is complete without pictures of your family, your friends, your pet, and vacation destinations. I also used the 3M adhesives to hang up pictures so that I felt more at home in my room.
My last suggestion would be to personalize your room to you. I have a friend who decorates her room based on the holiday – pumpkins for harvest, turkeys for Thanksgiving, lights and trees for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day, and summer décor. Another friend of mine puts up Christmas lights year round to give her room a bit of ambiance.
If you’re looking for more tips, follow PUC’s Pinterest board dedicated to Dorm Decoration Ideas.