How to Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home

How to Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home

Moving into your dorm room is one of the first challenges you’ll face on campus, and making it as comfortable and livable as possible is important. Think about your dorm room as a blank canvas of possibility. But if it stays that way, it might not feel like the sanctuary it can be, where you can both relax and tackle your online classes. So, how exactly can you make the most of your room?

An unfortunate fact about living on campus is that not every dorm room was created equal. If you live somewhere like Angelou Residence Hall or South Residence Hall, you may feel that your room was created with spacious comfort in mind. If you live in Luter Residence Hall or Collins Residence Hall, you … might not. But, this isn’t to say that you’re S.O.L in the latter case, rather that your priorities might be different when organizing your room.

Regardless of the size of your room, the most fundamental idea in transforming it and making it feel like home is to customize every empty space possible. The idea is rather simple, but in execution, you’ll want to put some thought into how you do it. Finding ways to functionally and intentionally fill the surface area of your room will help form it into a space that you enjoy being in, and choosing what you put where can most definitely be a way of expressing yourself. It’s important to keep in mind that there is a difference between filling your space and making it cluttered, but it’s hard to reach that point if each piece you choose has a function (which can be solely improving aesthetics).

Filling up the empty wall space is probably the most obvious. Hanging posters of your favorite movies or musical artists can do a lot to add color and life to your space. Just make sure that you use command strips and remove them correctly when they come down so that you don’t have to worry about paying for damage to the paint.

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Unless you bring a desktop computer, you’ll likely have excess desk space. Of course, this is an area where simple functional items like desk organizers can be placed. But, beyond that, most if not all desks in dorm rooms have shelves, which give you way more space to use than your textbooks can account for. You can fill up the extra space with DVD’s or video games that you bring from home, small items like POP figures if you’re into that sort of thing or even more books that you bring. If you have a book shelf back home, taking some of those titles to put on your shelf in your dorm room can be a great addition, regardless of if you plan to read them or not. If they’re books that you’ve already read, having them on display can not only demonstrate your interests or values to those that visit your room, it can simply act as a passive, familiar sight to make you feel more at home in your room.

In some cases the bed in your room, if not bunked with another, will be lofted, leaving a lot of space between it and the floor. Though you may have to work on your vertical to actually make it into your bed, the added storage space you get under your bed is worth it. This is a great area to store bins or luggage that you used to transport your things to school, and stuff that you brought but chose not to utilize. Rooms with lofted beds will most likely have a set of drawers that you can slide under it, but if your wardrobe is that big, or if you have other haircare and skincare items that you need to organize and store, there are plenty of options for inexpensive drawer sets or shelves that will still easily fit next to the existing furniture.

The top of your bed and the floor are horizontal spaces that shouldn’t be ignored if you really want your space to feel cozy, but are probably less essential than other areas. You may choose to leave the floor alone, especially if you just prefer a hard floor, but an area rug is a really effective way to make the space feel more full and can really tie the room together. Comfortable bedding is definitely essential to bring, but tossing on a throw blanket or pillow can make your setup look extra sharp and be extra comfortable.

It’s entirely reasonable to feel excited about customizing your own space, because there’s so much you can do to make it feel like your own. Though, if you aren’t so excited about it, there are still simple changes that can make the space considerably more personalized and livable. In any case, making your space feel like home is rather simple, and is mostly a matter of making the effort to do so. 

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