When I helped my daughter move into her first college dorm room, I wasn’t prepared for how tiny her room would be! Floor space was definitely scarce, and it was obvious she would have to come up with some creative storage solutions.
Decorating a dorm room can be tricky, because obviously your roommate will want to have a say in how the room is decorated. Whether you are moving into a dorm room for the first time or you are looking to re-decorate your existing dorm room, hopefully these decorating tips will give you and your roommate some creative ideas to give your dorm room a great new look that you both will love.
Vacuum sealed space bags are great for transporting clothing to college. You can purchase these inexpensively at Walmart or on eBay. You won’t believe how much you can get into these bags. I don’t recommend the extra large bags, because they are quite heavy when full and difficult to carry. These bags can be stored under a bed or stacked in the closet.
Small storage ottomans or benches can provide seating and storage areas, and are easy to move around and fit into small spaces. They are great for storing blankets, pillows, hats, gloves, and a great place to stow away book bags or back packs.
Buy some decorative hat boxes in varying sizes for distinctive storage. Shaker boxes also make great storage. Both of these types of storage can be purchased inexpensively on eBay.
Hard case suitcases can be stacked up to create coffee or end tables, and used for storage. Most of these can be spray painted.
Hang a shoe pocket organizer in a closet or on the back of a door to hold small items (cosmetics, hairbrushes, CD players, pens, pencils, socks, underwear, etc.).
Stackable plastic crates and bins can be used to store things like books and snacks.
Baskets are easy to find and can be used to store many items. Most of these can be spray painted to match your decor.
Chalk board paint can be used to paint on many items to make them into a chalkboard message board.
Dry erase boards on the back of the door are handy for communicating with friends and roommates and making notes to yourself. You can also get a dry erase calendar at an office supply store to keep track of your busy schedule.
Picture frames can also make great message boards. Just remove the glass and replace it with cork, a fabric covered piece of cardboard (use tacks to attach messages), or a piece of dry erase board. Most picture frames can be spray painted.
Area rugs can add a note of individuality to a room. They can also help warm up the room and help soundproof it.
Before you get started decorating, make sure you look over all the dorm room do’s and don’ts in your college handbook. Many college handbooks are available on the college’s web site.It’s also a good idea not to buy all your accessories before you actually see the dorm room for the first time. Dorm rooms are all different, and you want to make sure all your furniture and accessories will fit in the room. Thrift stores are usually numerous in college towns, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding extra furniture after you get there.